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Take a Bite Out of Style With Houndstooth
What do Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, King Edward VII, Alabama coach Bear Bryant and ancient lowland Scots have in common? Houndstooth.
Houndstooth, that iconic print, originated in the Scottish Lowland’s and has fallen in an out of favor over the years. The print gets it's name from it's dog tooth shape. In 1933, it was popularized by design house De Pinna of New York in 1933. De Pinna, a high-end clothier featured housdstooth prints, along with gun club checks and Scotch Plaids on sport cloths for men and women.
The 1950s was a popular time for houndstooth prints in men's clothing. It wasn't widely popular again until the 1980s. Houndstooth in the 1980s was mostly oversized renditions in bright colors. Widespread use of houndstooth would not be seen again until fall 2008 and winter 2009. Although houndstooth falls in and out of favor, it never goes completely out of style, as it is considered a classic.
Early this fall it started popping up everywhere, and on nearly everyone. From tiny to huge oversized renditions, houndstooth has been showing up on everything from boots to furniture to dresses skirts and suits.
Stylish Devotees of the Tooth
Ian Fleming described James Bond as wearing a black and white houndstooth suit with a dark blue shirt and black silk knit tie in his novels. Legendary Alabama coach wore a houndstooth hat for most of his 26 years as head coach. Team members and fans also wear the popular pattern. Gwen Stefani, singer, designer and fashion icon is a long time devotee of houndstooth. Pee Wee Herman was known for wearing his Glen Plaid, short for Glen Urquhart Plaid suit, a variation of houndstooth. Lady Gaga has sported head to toe houndstooth. The Australian clothing chain, David Jones Limited uses houndstooth in its logo.
My Houndstooth Shoes
Developing a Pattern
Much like polka dots, houndstooth is a favorite of mine. In fact, it is second only to polka dots. While some people may see houndstooth as stodgy and old fashioned, properly styled it can be whimsical, fun, classic and edgy. Yes, I said edgy. Several years ago I bought my daughter a motorcycle jacket in a huge oversized black and white houndstooth jacket. It looks very punk rock with skinny jeans, a t-shirt and Doc Martin Boots, and yet, interview ready with a black pencil shirt, sweater and pumps. To me, houndstooth is fall and winter’s alternative to polka dots. I love polka dots, but to me they feel like summer and spring. Polk Dots to me are fun, whimsical, retro and classic. Incorporating houndstooth into my fall and winter wardrobe gives me the same sense of fun and individuality. Plus, it really works with my love of all things black and white.
I have a houndstooth dress, shoes, and jacket. I plan on expanding my houndstooth wardrobe options.
I black and white houndstooth pencil skirt can be paired with tops of just about any color such red, hot pink, electric blue. An oversized houndstooth dress could be worn with a large yellow belt and some electric blue platform pumps. Nothing stodgy about that combination.
If you are feeling a little nostalgic for the 80s try a hot pink and black mini skirt!
Houndstooth in Décor
Houndstooth is a pattern that plays well with other black and white patterns in interior design such as damask and toile de jouy.
You can add a little or a lot of houndstooth in your home from pillows to throws, to large upholstered pieces and carpets.
Because houndstooth is most commonly found in neutral tones it mixes easily in to any room with any paint color. Pops of color like red, fuchsia, bright green or yellow can give your houndstooth a nice modern look. Another nice thing about houndstooth is that it also has a nice masculine feel to it. Houndstooth in a living room or master bedroom could help balance out the feminine elements in the room.
As always, have fun with your fashion and in your decorating. I think you look cool.