13. Plaid

Plaid patterns.

"It's history is in the establishment - the clanmanship, the aristocracy and military forces, but because it's become the uniform of rugged masculinity, it's also revisited in an iconic way." -Dr. Jonathan Faiers, Tartan: Textiles that Changed the World
Plaid is a checkered clothing pattern. The word "plaid" is used synonymously with "tartan". A plaid pattern typically consists of two or three checkered colors, with interwoven stripes of differing colors. Plaid is considered to be the manliest clothing pattern, though paradoxically, women can also look fine in some plaid clothing items.

The two main clothing articles with a plaid pattern are long-sleeved, button up shirts, and kilts. It's also acceptable to wear plaid socks and underwear. Plaid pants are considered tacky.

Manly qualities of plaidEdit

So strong is the association of plaid with manliness, that nearly anyone wearing it is assumed to be more rugged and presumed to spend a significant amount of time outdoors, perhaps hunting. At the same time, because plaid is a non-natural pattern, it can be an outward sign of man's custodianship of the world in which he is residing.

It is said that a fish grows as large as it's environment allows, and kilts are often recommended on this principle. In any case, there's something to be said for easy access.

Plaid in societyEdit

Plaid's popularity fluctuates depending on group association. The following are groups well-known for wearing plaid:

  • Lumberjacks - While lumberjacks don't need help being manly, many 

    A red and black plaid pattern with white and yellow stripes.

    of them still wear plaid.
  • The Scottish - Scotland is well-known for it's plaid. Scottish clans identifiy one-another by the pattern of tartan they wear. Truly a manly people.
  • Hunters - While an unnatural pattern would seem a giveaway to a hunter in wait, plaid is still admired by hunters.
  • Manly men - Plaid is worn by manly men. A long-sleeved plaid shirt is considered a uniform when men visit a steakhouse, and the sleeve is their napkin.

Regardless of a man's group association, men stand to benefit from wearing plaid from time to time.

Sam Winchester is also an example of one of many manly men who drown their sorrows in plaid shirts.