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  1. #1
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    Transitioning from day to evening

    So this semiformal dinner event I have on the 27th of September. I plan to wear the kilt, shirt, and tie all day and just add the waistcoat and jacket for dinner.

    But what of the sporran? Surely a silver-cantled dress sporran is not appropriate office attire during the work day? But likewise, a plain leather day sporran isn't right for a semiformal dinner, either.

    Should I swap sporrans when I add the waistcoat and jacket? Or invest in a semi-dress sporran? A mask sporran isn't really an option because of (a) price and (b) a wife who doesn't relish the idea of me wearing the head of a dead fuzzy animal.
    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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    The term "semiformal" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, to the point where it is a vague and nearly useless term. Do you have more specifics on the level of dress expected?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    The term "semiformal" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, to the point where it is a vague and nearly useless term. Do you have more specifics on the level of dress expected?
    To quote WARPIPER: "Dress is dark jacket and tie. Kilts are encouraged." Since it starts after 6 PM, my take on that is dark suit-equivalent but not black tie, hence the nearest thing I came up with was a black argyll jacket and waistcoat.
    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.

  4. #4
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    Personally I'd say that if you're going to a daytime event (I guess it was a wedding?) which was going to transition into the evening then you should go dressed for the most formal aspect of that.

    For example when I got married at the church of a longstanding prestigious Scottish academic institution, I did so in the afternoon with an evening do. Therefore decided that it would be appropriate to wear my Grandfathers inherited Hunting Thomson Kilt, PC Jacket +waistcoat and Jabot with black sporran, brogues and the dreaded white hose (which were embroidered with a 3 legs of Man and bought as a present for the occasion).

    The rest of the party was also in PC and kilts, which had been rented for the occasion (on their decision despite owning their own kilts which they were welcome to wear) so they matched similarly to my kilt on my side of the Family (Hunting Manx for two reasons - one it was the one which was locally available and also because the Manx Tartans look very similar to Thomson to the untrained eye in both the respective Dress and Hunting Versions - although I believe an Aunty caught on and commented about it), the dresscode had been set as wearing Tartan (My Friend who did not wear the kilt wore a Manx Dress Tartan Waistcoat and Bow Tie) and my father's Cousin (ex Scots Guards) piping in Full Dress Doublet and plaid. Following the Wedding we had a procession to the Reception escorted by the Piper for those who were able to.

    The formality didn't seem over the top and no comments were passed about the choice of attire, plus it looked good for the photos and certainly suit the setting of the church.

    Had the choice been for a more rural type of wedding with a Ceildh then perhaps Tweeds would have been more appropriate. But you just judge by what the day makes seem more appropriate.

    At the end of the day most times nobody cares too much, and I'd say that generally if it is a church wedding then it is the service that is the most formal aspect of the occasion. Actually if one considers standards of dress as dictated by the level of formality, then for those weddings held in the morning, with both a family lunch and an evening reception, then actually the daytime event is of a higher level of formality than the let your hair down reception - so perhaps if the level of formality rather than the time of day dictates choice of dress then the converse to the norm it may be more appropriate if you have the choice to wear the formal 'evening' dress in the daytime' and the less formal tweed dress in the evening? I guess you have to use your common sense to dictate what you do.

    Of course I am aware that whilst I understand the rules and largely stick to them, I sometimes break them, and no doubt there would be someone who maybe thinks that I was unaware of them at times.... (certainly at times the family interpretation of the rules may be different from other's) the question is how important really are the rules compared to the actual occasion itself (not at all I'd say) and are you likely to cringe at your breach of 'etiquette' in years to come or just think actually that was a great day? The only thing I cringe about if I ever look at the wedding photos is how fat I think I looked!
    Last edited by Allan Thomson; 14th September 18 at 08:09 AM.

  5. #5
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    Sorry just realised I was talking about weddings when you are talking about work dos. I'd say just wear the most formal sporran and try not to worry too much as most don't spot the silver cantle anyway. If you're going for the Argyll Jacket with a waistcoat and tie then it has a level of formality which will do for dinner, but unlike the PC doesn't look too out of place for being smartly but possibly slightly overdressed for the office either. If it's a work do then all will understand why you are like that anyway....

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by imbrius View Post
    To quote WARPIPER: "Dress is dark jacket and tie. Kilts are encouraged." Since it starts after 6 PM, my take on that is dark suit-equivalent but not black tie, hence the nearest thing I came up with was a black argyll jacket and waistcoat.
    Ah, OK.

    I'm assuming you've seen this thread? Steve had a pretty decent and straightforward set of guidelines on the difference between day sporrans and formal sporrans.

    OC Richard also posted this thread with examples from a 1920s vintage catalog of sporran types and their uses.

    There are a lot of hybrid type sporrans which claim to be "semiformal" but seem really out of place for both day dress and evening dress. I do think that informal evening dress calls for something that's a step up from a day sporran (i.e. not just leather), but should stop well short of being the type of sporran one would wear with black tie (i.e. metal cantle with fur). Richard's post #4 in that thread has some interesting examples for perusal.

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  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    There are a lot of hybrid type sporrans which claim to be "semiformal" but seem really out of place for both day dress and evening dress. I do think that informal evening dress calls for something that's a step up from a day sporran (i.e. not just leather), but should stop well short of being the type of sporran one would wear with black tie (i.e. metal cantle with fur). Richard's post #4 in that thread has some interesting examples for perusal.
    After looking at his post, I've narrowed my options down to two, then. First, the ones I currently own are similar to the following.
    Daywear:
    S-AZDI_large__84223.1425416968.386.513.jpg

    Evening/formal:
    S-EW2B_large__91713.1425417268.386.513.jpg

    Since neither of those two were deemed appropriate, what about one of these, from J. Higgins, that are in my price range:

    s-ehstb_bi__90450.1425416056.386.513.jpg
    https://www.jhiggins.net/ehstbbk-sporran-w-chain-strap/

    S-AZFCB_large__61463.1425416434.386.513.jpg
    https://www.jhiggins.net/azfcb-semi-...udget-sporran/
    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.

  10. #8
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    IMO, swapping sporrans is a good idea. Yet, as I have done in the past, a good "but, dear, I NEED this sporran for this event" can be of some value later If purchasing for the occasion, I'd go for the semi-dress budget. From a practicality perspective, it can bridge the day/evening nicely and is sufficiently different from what you already have that it could expand your range of choice in future.

  11. #9
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    Female perspective:
    -Change your shirt eg: blue or tattersall at the office> clean, pressed, fresh white at the event.
    -As long as your sporran is tidy and polished it should be fine but if you can afford a new one why not?
    -Women change handbags all athe time from day to evening, itís a simple change over.
    - take a shoe kit and give your footwear a once over (same with the sporran if not changing)
    - add a pocket square in the evening.
    - add a sgian dubh or a dressier one (if allowable and appropriate)

    I think little touches like cleaned polished shoes and a pocket square lift your attire from office to evening .

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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by imbrius View Post
    To quote WARPIPER: "Dress is dark jacket and tie. Kilts are encouraged." Since it starts after 6 PM, my take on that is dark suit-equivalent but not black tie, hence the nearest thing I came up with was a black argyll jacket and waistcoat.
    In this case your plain black sporran is most appropriate. Itís not even a black tie event and Jock Scot wears a sporran of similar style to those.
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

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