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  1. #1
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    Kilt jacket with trousers?

    My brother made a comment a while back about liking the cut of my kilt jackets. He doesn't wear a kilt, but was wondering if this style of jacket is appropriate with trousers (not tartan trews, just regular dress pants or khakis). My answer at the time was no, I'm not aware of this style jacket being worn outside the kilt/trews context. They are, of course, tailored specifically for the higher waist of a kilt or traditional trews, with a cutaway for a sporran. They are specific to that purpose and would look out-of-place with a plain old "Saxon" outfit.

    Indeed, the waistcoats on mine are way too short and would leave the back of my shirt exposed above my trouser waist. But the jackets themselves are certainly long enough to cover.

    But it did make me wonder. Considering the historic economic conditions of Highlanders and their necessary thriftiness, has there ever been a tradition of wearing kilt jackets with plain trousers? It would seem unlikely that the average Highlander could afford to keep a second jacket that can only be worn with the kilt. One would think that a "do-it-all" jacket would make more economic sense. But I can't say that I've ever seen it done. Is there any such precedent in Highland culture?

  2. #2
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    Kilt jacket with trousers

    I don't know what's traditional, but I would think that a kilt jacket could work with trousers. There are jacket styles that are waist cut, such as the Eisenhower jacket.

    Kilt jackets are usually unique so that style, not even considering the length, may or may not work for the wearer. I have Steve's Kilt Kut Suit Cut and Vest and think they could work with trousers.

    Dave S.

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  4. #3
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    I would think the Kilt jacket worn with trousers would appear to be a bad fit, would make the jacket look like its to short or small on the person wearing it. Trews and Kilts have a high rise, trousers do not. Look weird.
    Allan Collin MacDonald III
    Grandfather - Clan Donald, MacDonald (Clanranald) /MacBride, Antigonish, NS, 1791
    Grandmother - Clan Chisholm of Strathglass, West River, Antigonish, 1803
    Scottish Roots: Knoidart, Inverness, Scotland, then to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

  5. #4
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    Tobus, this doesn't address your question regarding frugal Scots, but I have noted over the past couple of years that there are shorter jackets popping up from time to time in the shops. Usually in the younger men's deptartments (at least younger than me) in which the body of the jacket is only an inch or so longer than the sleeves - which is the same proportion as a kilt jacket. They don't have the cut-away from a sporran, but there is at least one trend in regular men's fashion that is trending in this direction.

    Like this:

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  7. #5
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    I confess to a traditionalist's bias here, but I also admit that I keep wondering why people want to do something strange and unusual when there are so many beautiful sets of clothing that work well. Why is it important to do that which is "different" or "non-normal"? ("Abnormal"?)

    I think the "I'll-do-as-I-darned-well-please" trend is quite true inasmuch as these folks will do that... and they'll look really strange.

    Is that what they want? Attention-seeking? I'm always troubled by this.
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by plaid preacher View Post
    Tobus, this doesn't address your question regarding frugal Scots, but I have noted over the past couple of years that there are shorter jackets popping up from time to time in the shops. Usually in the younger men's deptartments (at least younger than me) in which the body of the jacket is only an inch or so longer than the sleeves - which is the same proportion as a kilt jacket. They don't have the cut-away from a sporran, but there is at least one trend in regular men's fashion that is trending in this direction.
    I think this may be why he asked me the question. He and I have very opposite views on fashion. He likes the modern cuts of shirts, jackets, etc. I prefer vintage styles and traditional cuts. Considering some of the shorter jackets on the market these days, he may have been thinking of kilt jackets as an alternative.

    But I don't necessarily want to steer this conversation towards modern fashion. I'm mainly looking for the traditionalist Highland perspective/experience on mixing kilt jackets with trousers. If it's "just not done", that's perfectly acceptable. I just don't know for sure at this point.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father Bill View Post
    I confess to a traditionalist's bias here, but I also admit that I keep wondering why people want to do something strange and unusual when there are so many beautiful sets of clothing that work well. Why is it important to do that which is "different" or "non-normal"? ("Abnormal"?)

    I think the "I'll-do-as-I-darned-well-please" trend is quite true inasmuch as these folks will do that... and they'll look really strange.

    Is that what they want? Attention-seeking? I'm always troubled by this.
    Yikes, that's a loaded subject! That's essentially what "fashion" is, in a nutshell. It's how clothing evolves, and requires people to dress differently than others. Most new fashions fail because people push the boundaries a little too far for comfort. I'm with you, though - I love the beauty of certain traditional looks.

    I think my brother's question wasn't necessarily coming from the mindset of "I'll do-as-I-darned-well-please". He just liked the style of the jacket but doesn't wear a kilt. I'm assuming his question was fairly honest, wondering if it was appropriate to wear this style jacket without having to wear a kilt. I'd like to give him a well-researched answer.

  10. #8
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    House of Labhran makes a trouser-length tweed jacket with the same features as a kilt jacket. This would work nicely with flannels or with trews.


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  12. #9
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    Makes sense to me, Tobus. What I'm referring to though, isn't the incremental shifts that are normal progress in fashion, it's the total abandonment of everything traditional for an in-your-face look almost like the rock band "Kiss" did, or the original response to the now relatively short hair of the Beatles when they started.

    I also see the societal deification of "casual" as if it's obviously far better than "nicely-dressed" which I prefer. A simple male example of that is the number of fellows who asked me, when I was a teacher and school administrator how I could possibly stand to wear a tie all the time, and didn't it choke me. The answer was deceptively simple: they were wearing shirts with a collar a half-size or even a full size too small, so of course doing it up or putting on a tie was uncomfortable for them.

    It reminds me, when I was almost ready for ordination. (I think I may have told this story before on XMarks,) I asked a female priest and friend about clerical collars. Her answer was "Same size or smaller than your normal dress suit makes an unhappy priest. Preaches hell and damnation. Half a size or a whole size larger makes a happy priest. Preaches love and salvation." Then jerking her thumb at her very skinny and incredibly laid back priest husband lounging in the adjacent door with a big and silly smile, she said, "Rob wears a collar two sizes too big," and there was Rob with his incredibly loose collar and big grin, silently nodding agreement.

    Yup.

    But he still looked good in it - just comfortable. And yes, Rob always preaches love and salvation.
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

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  14. #10
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    It might matter which trousers that fine tweed kilt cut jacket is worn with, and whether wanting to look well presented or somewhat avant-garde (think Eisenhower jacket worn casually open) . I've maybe a few trousers this might work with. Anything adored such as a BBSBA or 'higher' would be too much.

    From some of the great historic photos that get posted in here, perhaps it was more usual that a regular cut jacket be worn over the kilt, with the tailored for kilt jacket more likely on those with the resources to better afford it. On that presumption, wearing the kilt jacket over anything else would not be an economic necessity.

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