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Thread: fly plaid?

  1. #1
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    fly plaid?

    On the advice of some of the folks on this forum, I bought a copy of "So You're Going To Wear The Kilt", by J. Charles Thompson. It is pretty good, but one thing that Mr. Thompson says I found rather surprising. He says (on page 77 of my edition):

    "This is one of the commonest mistakes made by American wearers of Scottish attire.
    One sees pictures of Americans at Highland Games accompanying visiting chiefs from
    Scotland. If the Scot has any tartan above the waist, it is the folded plaid laid over
    the shoulder. The American will have an evening plaid fastened at the shoulder by a
    "poached egg" brooch. The contrast is appalling. This time I am not expressing just
    a personal opinion. If anyone cares to confirm it, I suggest that he write to someone
    in Scotland who habitually wears the kilt. In my personal opinion (which anyone is
    free to disagree with) the evening plaid is even too dressy to go well with the Prince
    Charlie coatee. As I have said (and will say later at least once more -- sorry!), I like
    to see the Prince Charlie kept as simple as possible, saving the plaid, jabot, and
    dirk for full dress."

    So is he right? What think ye? Is it a faux-pas to wear the evening plaid with less than full dress??

  2. #2
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    Probably.

    Best use for a fly plaid? Give it to your lady as a shawl.
    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 Canadian Sinclair.

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  4. #3
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    I see you're in Virginia where it may not get cold enough to often need a fly plaid. A simple but elegant ensemble can be put together with fewer extra items to keep up with (ie. dirk, sword and baldrick, etc) and be acceptable to host even the best guests in a variety of settings.

  5. #4
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    I'm in agreement with Mr. Thompson on this one.
    "Touch not the cat bot a glove."

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  7. #5
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    I have not been to North America, so I have no personal experience there, but from what I have seen and read on this website over many years, then I cannot help but agree with Mr. Thompson.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 21st March 19 at 10:00 PM.
    " 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
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I see you're in Virginia where it may not get cold enough to often need a fly plaid. A simple but elegant ensemble can be put together with fewer extra items to keep up with (ie. dirk, sword and baldrick, etc) and be acceptable to host even the best guests in a variety of settings.
    In Scotland if one was meeting a VIP in an official civilian capacity at a Highland Games, for example, then a tweed argyll,shirt and tie, kilt of course, day sporran, plain coloured hose and black brogues are quite sufficient. The only slightly unusual addition that might be added could perhaps be a balmoral bonnet.

    All this swords, dirks, plaids and shiny baubles stuff,is nothing more than pure brigadoonary in most cases. However, I would not necessarily include the cromach in that category.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 22nd March 19 at 12:02 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. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    In Scotland if one was meeting a VIP in an official civilian capacity at a Highland Games, for example, then a tweed argyll,shirt and tie, kilt of course, day sporran, plain coloured hose and black brogues are quite sufficient. The only slightly unusual addition that might be added could perhaps be a balmoral bonnet.

    All this swords, dirks, plaids and shiny baubles stuff,is nothing more than pure brigadoonary in most cases. However, I would not necessarily include the cromach in that category.
    I agree completely Jock. I've never worn a Fly Plaid and cannot conceive of an event when I might. Itís a piece of Highland Revival frippery that has no practical use so far as Iím concerned. And year, apart from some of those dreadful Hire Shop outfits, is a rare beast in Scotland these days.

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  13. #8
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    Pipers maybe... otherwise I can't see the need or the desire to wear a fly plaid

  14. #9
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    An impractical accessory

    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    Itís a piece of Highland Revival frippery that has no practical use so far as Iím concerned.
    There's a USA Kilts video that convinced me that a fly plaid is a really impractical accessory.

    The key points I took away from the video:
    • It looks awesome in photos.
    • It's a pain to wear, because it pulls up on that corner of your jacket.
    • You shouldn't wear it as a guest to a wedding, because you'll upstage the groom.
    • Even at Rocky's wedding, he wore the fly plaid for the ceremony and the photos, then took it off for the rest of the evening.
    Trying to look good on a budget.

  15. #10
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    Were I asked to be the guest of honour at a black tie event where others would be kilted, I would remotely consider wearing an evening plaid. I probably would not consider it for very long, however, since it's an unneeded and fairly ostentatious accessory.

    I'd think for this day and age, a day plaid is nearing anachronism, even for Scottish armigers.
    Clans: Armstrong and Guthrie on Father's side.
    Other heritage: Mostly German and some Polish on Mother's side.
    Kilts: One five-yard semi-traditional in Armstrong Ancient 13oz from Lochcarron

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