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  1. #1
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    Appropriateness of sweater vest or cardigan in lieu of tweed jacket for day wedding

    I have a lot of time to think about this so it's mostly a thinking point for me.

    I have a wedding to attend (as a guest only, not in the party) in July of 2019 and I've been asked by the bride to wear my kilt. I don't yet know what time of day the wedding will be. I have evening jacket covered with the BBSBA but if it's a daytime wedding, I'll need something to wear over my shirt and tie that's less formal. Ideally, a light tweed jacket.

    However, I don't have one of those and they're pretty expensive. Given my recent profound lack of success in converting a regular tweed jacket into a kilt-length one, that's not a realistic option either. What I do have are sweater vests (dark and light) and cardigan sweaters (again, dark and light).

    How appropriate would either of those be for a daytime wedding in the 'states? I wouldn't button the cardigan if I did wear one. I never button them.
    Clans: Armstrong and Guthrie on Father's side.
    Other heritage: Mostly German and some Polish on Mother's side.
    Kilts: One badly-sewn Armstrong modern budget kilt.

  2. #2
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    How appropriate? It rather depends on the level of formality of the other guests. A cardigan could be fine or, completely inappropriate. There must be others in your area that you could perhaps borrow a day jacket from for the event?

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  4. #3
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    Agree with Peter, being a summer weather, you can be formal, suits, sports jacket, or shirt sleeves, depends upon how formal the Wedding is.
    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.

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  6. #4
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    Keep an eye out on Ebay for used and vintage tweed kilt jackets. You can often find really good deals. I'm sure by next July something will pop up in your size. Good luck!

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  8. #5
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    Agreed that it depends on level of dress, as you also alluded to.

    The eBay advice is good. Also, since you didn't have success on conversion, don't give up on the idea. A great deal at a second-hand shop and a seamstress is a good value alternative, if you don't know someone who is handy that way.

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  10. #6
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    I have had lots of success with EBay, local tartan shops and the for sale section of this forum for Argyll jackets and a good Argyll jacket in lovat green, lovat blue or charcoal would be my first choices in colour. Having said that, a sweater vest would work for a casual setting. The best advice I could give would be to make sure of the formality required before deciding on your outfit.

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  12. #7
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    If the bride says that it would be appropriate, I'd suggest a waistcoat (doesn't have to be tweed necessarily) or a v-neck pullover sweater rather than a cardigan.

    For me, I guess it's a question of how the other male guests will be dressed -- if they'll be in shirtsleeves, you could go with the waistcoat. If they'll be in jackets, you could get away with a dark v-neck sweater over a shirt and tie.

    And of course the location of the July wedding matters tremendously! If it's 100 degrees and humid .... enough said.
    Descended from Patiences of Avoch | McColls of Glasgow
    Member, Clan Mackenzie Society of the Americas | Clan Donald USA

    "We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul." (Heb. 6:19)

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  14. #8
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    As others have said, it's difficult to say whether a sweater vest or cardigan would be appropriate for the wedding. I don't see either of them as rising to the same level of day dress as a tweed jacket (or any jacket for that matter). Both are casual wear, in my view. They could be OK if that's the level others are wearing, but I just don't see them being in the same league as a jacket.

    If a jacket is beyond your means at this point, what about just a waistcoat? You can find those pretty cheap. And even if it's not cut for a kilt, it's much easier to modify than a jacket. Just give it a straight hem at the bottom, high enough to clear your sporran. It'll look 10 times better (my opinion) than a cardigan worn unbuttoned or a sweater vest.

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  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    As others have said, it's difficult to say whether a sweater vest or cardigan would be appropriate for the wedding. I don't see either of them as rising to the same level of day dress as a tweed jacket (or any jacket for that matter). Both are casual wear, in my view. They could be OK if that's the level others are wearing, but I just don't see them being in the same league as a jacket.
    I agree on this point, wholeheartedly. A day jacket would be ideal; that is why I'm asking the question about just how informal are said garments in comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    If a jacket is beyond your means at this point, what about just a waistcoat? You can find those pretty cheap. And even if it's not cut for a kilt, it's much easier to modify than a jacket. Just give it a straight hem at the bottom, high enough to clear your sporran. It'll look 10 times better (my opinion) than a cardigan worn unbuttoned or a sweater vest.
    Now there's a good idea! I do have a bunch of waistcoats that would work well with a kilt.
    Last edited by imbrius; 13th September 18 at 10:43 AM. Reason: Somehow forgot half a word.
    Clans: Armstrong and Guthrie on Father's side.
    Other heritage: Mostly German and some Polish on Mother's side.
    Kilts: One badly-sewn Armstrong modern budget kilt.

  17. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by imbrius View Post
    I agree on this point, wholeheartedly. A day jacket would be ideal; that is why I'm asking the question about just how informal are said garments in comparison.

    Now there's a good idea! I do have a bunch of waistcoats that would work well with a kilt.
    I'm sure everyone will have different opinions on where sweater vests and cardigans fall in the level of dress. Some people think a sweater vest is an upgrade from a plain shirt and tie. I personally think it's still at the same level as shirt and tie. The thing about sweater vests is that they tend to look lumpy, since everything prints through them (tie, kilt buckles, whatever), and the overall effect just doesn't seem to me like it's more dressy. The bottom tends to create a "muffin top" effect as well, which drives me crazy when I try to wear one. Again, just personal opinion.

    Cardigans are more of a loose fit than sweater vests, but because of the loose fit they tend to look less dressy and more "cozy" or casual. Some can look downright frumpy.

    The best rule of thumb is that anything with a fitted cut is going to be dressier than an item that has to stretch to fit, or that is designed to be loose. So while a waistcoat may still leave the shirtsleeves exposed, it tends to come off as being more dressy because of the material and the fit. Assuming it fits reasonably well, of course, and doesn't look like a potato sack.

    I should probably amend my earlier statement that a waistcoat needs to be altered for wearing with a kilt. It really just depends on how far the front comes down and how long your torso is. Below are two examples. The charcoal tweed one is a generic waistcoat I bought many years ago that wasn't made for kilt-wearing. It's just a smidge too long, and I have to wear my sporran slightly lower and let the points of the waistcoat bend out over it. But it works. The second is a heathery tweed that matches one of my kilt jackets and has flap pockets with staghorn buttons. Even though it's a kilt-specific waistcoat, it's still a little long in the front. And it seems to work just as well as the non-kilt-specific waistcoat.

    At any rate, if the wedding isn't too dressy, I would think this sort of look would be fine as the first step down from an actual jacket. You can dress up the waistcoat with a nice pocketwatch and chain.

    Last edited by Tobus; 13th September 18 at 11:20 AM.

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