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Plaid is the New First Grade

September 16, 2013


September  is the sorrowful month of starting school. Seeing all those little kids letting go of summer bliss, standing on the corners waiting for buses, wearing  real clothes and heavy shoes…I could weep for them.


The horrible day I went to first grade, I wore plaid. My father was thrilled with this. He’s a Southerner by birth, doesn’t have a drop of Glasgow in him, and yet, the man loves plaid.


So there I was, first day of school, wearing a plaid dress, and some kind of tam. My mother added that touch. She was always a hat person, which in her case, worked because she too was a Southerner, and everyone knows about Southern belles and their chapeaux.


Personally, I was shattered to be sent off to school. And wearing that buffoonish plaid didn’t help.

This went on for years, this wearing of plaid. I was sent to Catholic schools, each of which had uniforms. To say my aversion to plaid has been cemented in my psyche, is to say I wouldn’t eat plaid if it was the last meal on earth.


I love fashion. But just last month or was it April, British Vogue informed me that plaid is the new first grade…I mean the new latest thing. They showed me pictures of plaid and fur. Plaid and lace. Plaid and chiffon. Plaid long. Plaid short. Plaid speaking up at world conferences. Plaid lolling about before the fire in Glasgow. Plaid glistening in the rain.


I have taken umbrage.


I love the British Vogue. And of course I want to show my utmost respect for the world of fashion. But the British Vogue doesn’t own me, see. I can do what I want, see.  No plaid for me, honey. No plaid will ever be draped on my body, even if I am being taken to the Kentucky Derby.


However, to be polite and show respect for all that is plaid in this great and vast world of ours, from the depth of my closet, I have hauled out my one and only plaid item of clothing.  I shudder, although my mannequin seems calm enough. But later this week, when I have lunch with my dear Pa, I just may wear it. To see his face light up. Yes, I just might.

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