#tbt: Tales from the Chatelaine archives

In 1984, the first word in fall fashion was “plaid.”


Plaids and Tartans retro feature for #tbt

The issue: November 1984

The times: Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” hits No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100; Apple unveils the first Mac desktop; Marc Garneau is the first Canadian in space.

The trend: Plaid, plaid and more plaid. As any respectable clothes horse will tell you, pattern mixing is not for the faint of heart. But in 1984, our fashion editors just couldn’t get enough of grid-like prints. Primary-coloured plaid and tartan pieces — dubbed “the new look-changers” — adorned our daring model in the form of strong-shouldered jackets, full suits, and pleated, near-ankle-length skirts for “something a little different, a little unexpected.” To accessorize the look, we recommended a scarf-and-tie combo in — you guessed it — more plaid. Shoulder pads may have gone out with the DeLorean, but purposeful mixing of graphic prints is back in a big way. Could it be time to revisit our checkered past?

Every Thursday, we bring you selections from our archive of 86 years of Chatelaine, featuring weird and wonderful recipes, vintage fashion and décor, and stories that still resonate today.