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  1. #1
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    traditional bonnet colors

    In my quest to decide on a color for a Mackie bonnet, I have begun to wonder what colors are most traditional?

    Black and dark blue seem to be the most traditional (also historic) as well as the lovat colors.

    I am considering a royal blue bonnet with red toorie (Robert Mackie has a pallet on their website here). Would this fall under the traditional umbrella? I like blue but do not care for the "so dark it looks black" navy bonnets I've seen. My primary fear is having people think that I'm trying to look like a neo-Jacobite (if that's even a thing).

    I'd appreciate insight from our traditionalists.
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

  2. #2
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    I have 2 Mackie Balmorals one in Lovat Green and another in Fawn, the Fawn gets worn with much more frequency as for traditional choices I can see that Blue would be a traditional choice.

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  4. #3
    PatrickHughes123 is offline This person has opted out of remaining active
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    The blue bonnet, the ancestor to the Balmoral, Glengarry and Feather Bonnet, was either worn in solid blue, solid grey or solid brown.

    So as for traditional, you have blue, grey and brown.

    Here is what a blue bonnet looked like!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	68cd151ccedb838ca992ea3aee3836ac--highlands-yearning.jpg 
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    This is found on Pinterest by Whitaker Rehm!
    Last edited by PatrickHughes123; 2nd August 18 at 08:52 PM.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by FossilHunter View Post
    (Robert Mackie has a pallet on their website here).
    They have other colors as well. They have a few shades of gray, khaki, other shades of blue to name a few. I am a kiltmaker and I source bonnets for people through Robert Mackie. That's how I know about the other colors.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnot View Post
    They have other colors as well. They have a few shades of gray, khaki, other shades of blue to name a few. I am a kiltmaker and I source bonnets for people through Robert Mackie. That's how I know about the other colors.
    Quite right Troy, Robert Mackie are a wonderfully obliging company and simply the best at what they do. They made my present bonnet with a slightly smaller crown than is usual these days and happily obliged in making my "fawn" bonnet slightly greener. Both at no extra cost.

    I suppose dark blue or blue/black may be historically correct, but I am not sure that those colours could be described as traditional. Personally I avoid dark blues and blacks as those colours, rather bizarrely, show up like neon lights out on the hill.
    " 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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  9. #6
    PatrickHughes123 is offline This person has opted out of remaining active
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Quite right Troy, Robert Mackie are a wonderfully obliging company and simply the best at what they do. They made my present bonnet with a slightly smaller crown than is usual these days and happily obliged in making my "fawn" bonnet slightly greener. Both at no extra cost.

    I suppose dark blue or blue/black may be historically correct, but I am not sure that those colours could be described as traditional. Personally I avoid dark blues and blacks as those colours, rather bizarrely, show up like neon lights out on the hill.
    They stand out down here in Glasgow too, during bright day time I mean. I still wear black bonnets.

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Quite right Troy, Robert Mackie are a wonderfully obliging company and simply the best at what they do. They made my present bonnet with a slightly smaller crown than is usual these days and happily obliged in making my "fawn" bonnet slightly greener. Both at no extra cost.

    I suppose dark blue or blue/black may be historically correct, but I am not sure that those colours could be described as traditional. Personally I avoid dark blues and blacks as those colours, rather bizarrely, show up like neon lights out on the hill.
    Iím not likely to wear a balmoral in the hill as hot and sunny as it is here. A brimmed hat is necessary.

    Iíve certainly seen pictures of modern highlanders in black balmorals at games and clan gatherings. What would you consider traditional if sporting use was not a consideration?
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

  11. #8
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    I have a royal blue Robert Mackie balmoral with white diced band and I love it but it is quite loud and definitely attracts attention moreso than wearing a bonnet in the first place where I live. I wear it not only with the kilt but with tweed in fall and winter and with a barbour jacket in rain and snow. In all cases it stands out thanks to the rich bright colour, but I'm happy to let the sun and weather fade it for me over the next few decades. Whichever colour you decide on I'd recommend a less saturated tone, its just easier to wear day to day.

  12. #9
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    IMHO if Mackie makes it (especially if it is in their stock color range) then I think it would be considered traditional enough for just about anyone to wear. I doubt you would find a single person in San Diego who would even mention Jacobites let along mistake you for one. I am a hat person, and balding, so almost never outside without some form of head-covering. I've a number of traditional Mackie Balmorals in a palette of colors (navy, black without and with dicing, fawn, creme-white, lovat green and blue, claret, very dark green -- probably the green equivalent of navy blue) as well as a few from a lesser brand (royal blue diced, diced and un-diced red, forest green, grey) and a number of tams, caubeens and dress berets in other colors. I even have a couple tweed tams. My favorites though are a couple hand knit and felted bonnets in mustard and grey made by Dixiecat (Beverly), one of our own (one of which I am wearing in my avatar photo).

    Unless it is fluorescent, floral, paisley, urban camouflage, or the like, just about anything goes in bonnets. But the Mackie range would almost all be considered traditional enough for about anyone's needs. And although I do have a number of bonnets in various colors, it is probably the one accessory that I am least likely to worry about "matching" my other attire. In my own Jock Scot approach (I call it whimsy) it is almost always whichever one jumps out to me when I open up the bin that holds them all and dump them on the bed to make my choice -- almost everything goes fine with everything else. (OK, with bonnets I know that Jock has one color, with an older identical back up, so maybe not the best analogy.)

    Although I may have overdone it with the purchasing of my headwear collection, I suggest you don't overthink this relatively small detail about your choice in headwear.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tweedhead View Post
    I have a royal blue Robert Mackie balmoral with white diced band and I love it but it is quite loud and definitely attracts attention moreso than wearing a bonnet in the first place where I live. I wear it not only with the kilt but with tweed in fall and winter and with a barbour jacket in rain and snow. In all cases it stands out thanks to the rich bright colour, but I'm happy to let the sun and weather fade it for me over the next few decades. Whichever colour you decide on I'd recommend a less saturated tone, its just easier to wear day to day.
    Thatís good to know. I think I will contact Mackie to see what unlisted colors I might like. Iíd like a dark blue but not a loud one.
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

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