annually on January 8th (since 2009)
Keely McAleer in 2008
Argyle—people seem to either love it or hate it. Argyle Day was created as a way for people to brighten up winter by wearing argyle, the more the better. Some people just wear argyle socks on the day, but some are known to wear argyle hats, sweaters, dresses, and pants as well.
Argyle is a diamond pattern with overlapping diagonal lines. The design came from the tartan of Clan Campbell, a clan from Argyll, a county that was in western Scotland. They used it in their kilts and plaids. By the seventeenth century, the Scottish were wearing "tartan hose," which look similar to the argyle socks of today.
Following World War I, argyle became popular in Great Britain and then the United States. Pringle of Scotland was at the forefront of argyle fashion. Argyle's popularity was spurred in part by Prince Edward, who would later become the Duke of Windsor; in the 1920s, he began wearing argyle when he went golfing. Today, the design continues to be associated with golf. Recently it has been used in the uniforms of other sports, such as cycling, curling, and soccer. It is even included on the side of the University of North Carolina's basketball jerseys.
Argyle became part of preppy clothing attire in the 1980s. Besides clothing, argyle is common on wallpaper, blankets, throw pillows, and even on thermoses. Today, socks may be the most popular place to find argyle, followed by sweaters.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by wearing argyle. Celebrants are encouraged to wear as much argyle as possible, but any amount will do. If you are in a professional setting and can't go all the way out, wearing argyle socks is a good way to show a flash of originality while at the same time maintaining an otherwise professional attire. Pringle of Scotland, one of the earliest brands to sell argyle clothes, still sells high-end argyle clothing, and you could get something from them today. Once you have all your argyle clothing for the day, perhaps you could head out for some golfing. If you are really excited about argyle, visit historic Argyll, perhaps making a stop at Kilchurn Castle.