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  1. #1
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    A couple of locals...

    The March of the Clans (only three because it's a local Games) at the Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Highland yesterday. Pictured are are chief, Donald MacLaren of MacLaren (3rd left), and a chieftain, Sandy Stewart of Ardvorlich (left). A couple of rows back and out of frame was Sir Malcolm Macgregor of Macgregor.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Thank you for posting that great picture. For the sake of discussion, is it just me or are most of the people wearing their kilts below mid-knee? Most on this forum seem to advocate having the bottom of the kilt a bit higher.
    WK4K

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhughes View Post
    Thank you for posting that great picture. For the sake of discussion, is it just me or are most of the people wearing their kilts below mid-knee? Most on this forum seem to advocate having the bottom of the kilt a bit higher.
    You're right about the length and the fact that many of us traditional wearers favour the top of the knee. There are two things to note about the kilts in the picture, several, particularly the chiefs, are often wearing their father's kilt so it's not surprising that they don't fit as well as they would if made for them.

    Secondly, some (second left is an example) are a result of the kilt shop fashion for measuring them too long. That said, these are nothing compared with some of the off-the-self horrors I saw yesterday, including a couple of mid-calf .

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    You're right about the length and the fact that many of us traditional wearers favour the top of the knee. There are two things to note about the kilts in the picture, several, particularly the chiefs, are often wearing their father's kilt so it's not surprising that they don't fit as well as they would if made for them.

    Secondly, some (second left is an example) are a result of the kilt shop fashion for measuring them too long. That said, these are nothing compared with some of the off-the-self horrors I saw yesterday, including a couple of mid-calf .
    I don't want to sound patronising here but, I think many new to kilt wearing forget that the kilt has been around for rather a long time and in consequence hand-me-down kilt attire is part and parcel of some Scottish families. Why spend a considerable amount of loot on a new kilt------remembering that many Scots, even the wealthy and not so wealthy one's, consider the expensive bespoke kilt is still the only way to go-------- when an ancestor's kilt will do perfectly well. If a kilt is slightly tight/slightly large/slightly short/slightly long and with rips, moth holes, mends and patches in/on it, so what. We local observers know the form and pass no comment.

    It is only when we come to a website such as this, where there are many new to the kilt who ask for guidance from the more experienced does theoretical perfection get discussed. Its just not something that experienced kilt wearers in Scotland get too concerned about. They know at a glance, if they look at a picture or, mirror and see that their kilt attire is not perfect, but if its not too far out then life goes on with just a shrug of the shoulders.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 22nd July 19 at 05:01 AM. Reason: found my glasses
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    There are two things to note about the kilts in the picture, several, particularly the chiefs, are often wearing their father's kilt so it's not surprising that they don't fit as well as they would if made for them.
    I know this to be true for Donald MacLaren's kilt. At last years AGM I asked him if his kilt was in a different variation and he explained that it was just old and faded. I suppose that could be considered kilt patina.

    Cheers,

    David
    "I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal."
    Grouch Marx

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhughes View Post
    Thank you for posting that great picture. For the sake of discussion, is it just me or are most of the people wearing their kilts below mid-knee? Most on this forum seem to advocate having the bottom of the kilt a bit higher.
    And some, um, may not have enough in the rear end to keep it up well and it might be slipping? I've seen it happen.


    I wonder, however, if the point of asking is because I know plenty here, if they posted a picture of themselves wearing a kilt of that length, might be advised to shorten it. Of course, one must keep in mind that many of us here acquire kilts second-hand, and though they're not passed down through family, the same caveats to "it wasn't made for me" apply (but maybe that's not considered okay unless it's an heirloom?). My kilt, for example, is actually a bit on the short side; not by much but it is, IMO, noticeable. Its previous owner must have been pretty close to my measurements otherwise because it generally fits quite nicely, but, her legs must have been a tiny bit shorter (I don't know how this is possible, but the hemline don't lie...). For what reasons is it "acceptable" for a kilt to not fit perfectly? (Obviously it's never okay if the kilt was allegedly made specifically for the wearer, but...)
    Last edited by Katia; 23rd July 19 at 05:27 PM.
    Here's tae us - / Wha's like us - / Damn few - / And they're a' deid - /
    Mair's the pity!

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katia View Post
    And some, um, may not have enough in the rear end to keep it up well and it might be slipping? I've seen it happen.


    I wonder, however, if the point of asking is because I know plenty here, if they posted a picture of themselves wearing a kilt of that length, might be advised to shorten it. Of course, one must keep in mind that many of us here acquire kilts second-hand, and though they're not passed down through family, the same caveats to "it wasn't made for me" apply (but maybe that's not considered okay unless it's an heirloom?). My kilt, for example, is actually a bit on the short side; not by much but it is, IMO, noticeable. Its previous owner must have been pretty close to my measurements otherwise because it generally fits quite nicely, but, her legs must have been a tiny bit shorter (I don't know how this is possible, but the hemline don't lie...). For what reasons is it "acceptable" for a kilt to not fit perfectly? (Obviously it's never okay if the kilt was allegedly made specifically for the wearer, but...)
    Good question.

    I think we all know in life that there are distinct differences between "theory and practice" and kilts are no different. This chasing of "theoretical perfection"on a website such as this is all well and good and for all types of kilt-------and its is good to know what is good and what is not----so that those new to wearing kilt attire can set their sights high.

    However none of us can always achieve perfection in real life. You mention bespoke kilts, even then, they are not always the epitome of kilt attire perfection. For example, I have two kilts, both are bespoke, one must be at least 40 years old and one is probably 6/8 years old. Neither fit as the kilt maker intended as overtime my body shape has altered. They fit me still and on(rare) occasion they might still do, perfectly. So for those kilts to fit one of my sons perfectly is a forlorn hope, but they may fit.

    So what to do? Provided the kilt attire fits reasonably well, experience can help us camouflage the imperfect fit reasonably well, but only to a point. Nevertheless those traditional and experienced kilt wearers in Scotland might notice the obvious things like the kilt being worn too long, or the tweed argyll might need the sleeves shortened/lengthened, or the brogues could do with replacing and so on. But, BUT and I am not joking, the observer could well be having the same problems with their attire!!

    So yes, from the relative anonymity of the internet we can respectfully suggest attire improvements, tweaks and even polite criticsms too if we think they are being helpful to others, to what is a theoretical aim of perfection. However in real life we may see things in public that are not quite as right as they might be, with the attire of others, but good manners restrain us from making a comment. I suppose it is the way of the world really.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 24th July 19 at 03:44 AM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Good question.

    I think we all know in life that there are distinct differences between "theory and practice" and kilts are no different. This chasing of "theoretical perfection"on a website such as this is all well and good and for all types of kilt-------and its is good to know what is good and what is not----so that those new to wearing kilt attire can set their sights high.

    However none of us can always achieve perfection in real life. You mention bespoke kilts, even then, they are not always the epitome of kilt attire perfection. For example, I have two kilts, both are bespoke, one must be at least 40 years old and one is probably 6/8 years old. Neither fit as the kilt maker intended as overtime my body shape has altered. They fit me still and on(rare) occasion they might still do, perfectly. So for those kilts to fit one of my sons perfectly is a forlorn hope, but they may fit.

    So what to do? Provided the kilt attire fits reasonably well, experience can help us camouflage the imperfect fit reasonably well, but only to a point. Nevertheless those traditional and experienced kilt wearers in Scotland might notice the obvious things like the kilt being worn too long, or the tweed argyll might need the sleeves shortened/lengthened, or the brogues could do with replacing and so on. But, BUT and I am not joking, the observer could well be having the same problems with their attire!!

    So yes, from the relative anonymity of the internet we can respectfully suggest attire improvements, tweaks and even polite criticsms too if we think they are being helpful to others, to what is a theoretical aim of perfection. However in real life we may see things in public that are not quite as right as they might be, with the attire of others, but good manners restrain us from making a comment. I suppose it is the way of the world really.
    An assessment both practical and kind. A generous balance well-said, old friend!
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

  12. #9
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    Appreciate Jock’s comments and guidance here.

    I have kilts that vary in fit (both circumference and length). My weight and shape is also not constant. It is easy to get hooked up on that rather than simply enjoy wearing them.

    It is also likely others find similar issues arise and that only a critical eye would notice whereas most comments to me are complimentary about seeing a kilt being worn, like that tartan etc.
    He aha te mea nui o te ao?
    What is the most important thing in the world?
    He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
    It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

  13. #10
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    Jock has mentioned from time to time the circumstance of being in a family in which vintage Highland Dress items are/have always been in the closet.

    Being an American who is a first-generation kilt wearer, and who had to acquire for myself everything I wear, Jock presented a fascinating window into something I'd not considered.

    Recently I was watching the BBC series Savile Row and a gentleman was discussing how yes 2,000 Pounds may seem expensive for a suit, but this suit will be worn for the buyer's lifetime and for several lifetimes thereafter.

    The gent began pulling suits from his closet purchased by his Father and Grandfather, which he wears, and which in turn will be worn by his son and beyond.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 30th July 19 at 08:18 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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