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  1. #1
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    Argyll waistcoat with PC jacket

    I’m sure this has been asked before but I can’t find the answer- sorry!

    So, is there any serious reason that 5 button waistcoats shouldn’t be worn with PC jackets? Asides from tradition.
    It does seem to be something the hire places will do much more nowadays, and I personally much prefer it to 3-button waistcoats. Opens up the arena to Cravats and regular ties, asides from just bows.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Much appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pippin View Post
    So, is there any serious reason that 5 button waistcoats shouldn’t be worn with PC jackets? Asides from tradition.
    Various companies sell 5 button Prince Charlie waistcoats, so I assume it's a thing. I've also seen a number of photos of people wearing them.

    I believe (though I'm not 100% certain) that a 5 button Prince Charlie waistcoat is cut shorter than the traditional 5 button Argyll waistcoat, since they're intended to be worn with the shorter Prince Charlie jacket.
    Trying to look good on a budget.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl R View Post
    Various companies sell 5 button Prince Charlie waistcoats, so I assume it's a thing. I've also seen a number of photos of people wearing them.

    I believe (though I'm not 100% certain) that a 5 button Prince Charlie waistcoat is cut shorter than the traditional 5 button Argyll waistcoat, since they're intended to be worn with the shorter Prince Charlie jacket.
    They *should* be cut equally short, but to those with less of an eye for fit, it is much easier notice their waistcoat is too long when wearing a PC than with an Argyll, due to the short cut of the PC.
    In any case, if we are talking a regular Black Barathea Silver Button 5 Button Waistcoat, then it’s the exact same between an Argyll jacket and a PC.
    PATRIAE INSERVIENDO CONSVMOR

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pippin View Post
    I’m sure this has been asked before but I can’t find the answer- sorry!

    So, is there any serious reason that 5 button waistcoats shouldn’t be worn with PC jackets? Asides from tradition.
    It does seem to be something the hire places will do much more nowadays, and I personally much prefer it to 3-button waistcoats. Opens up the arena to Cravats and regular ties, asides from just bows.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Much appreciated!

    The biggest reason *is* tradition, which I might add is a ‘serious reason’.
    But, there are practical reasons. The main one is the low buttoning point of the prince Charlie. Now, I know that they aren’t designed to button up, but if you look at the bottom point of the lapel where it reaches its narrowest point and then ceases to be, it is relatively low compared to an Argyll or say a Balmoral Doublet.
    The problem with this is that a high-buttoning waistcoat, ie a 5 button Argyll or an Inverness, is that the appearance becomes quite incongruous. You want a low buttoning waistcoat to match a low buttoning jacket, and the same goes for a high buttoning one. Look at old photos or paintings, like the MacLeay illustrations, and you’ll see the extremely high waistcoats they wear have quite high buttoning jackets, often a four or five button jacket in a style precedent to the modern Argyll.

    Now, the idea with the low buttoning waistcoat is to show off a fancy evening (tuxedo) shirt with studs. To this end the shirt must be well starched or you end up with a wrinkly and perhaps even disheveled appearance so I understand not liking the three button waistcoat. However, these days, through such firms as the Darcy Clothing Co or RJW shirts from Australia, you can get permanently stiffened evening shirts which look VERY smart with a bow tie and three button waistcoat, and are still machine washable!

    In any case, as long as you do not commit the egregious sin of wearing a long necktie with a three button waistcoat, you’re probably alright.


    There is one other reason, which is that 99% of Prince Charlie’s have silk or satin lapels. These DO NOT go well. with long ties, and contrast with the plain wool of a 5 button waistcoat. That’s why we have the three buttoners, so that the edges of the waistcoat are hidden by the jacket when it is closed so you don’t have the wool-silk-wool-shirt-wool-silk-wool pattern, just wool-silk-shirt-silk-wool.

    In short: PCs should only be worn with 3 button waistcoats. 3 button waistcoats should only be worn with starched tux shirts and bow ties.
    Argyll jackets can be worn with both kinds of waistcoat. 5 button waistcoats can be worn with bow ties AND long ties. This is not only due to tradition but is also what visually and aesthetically looks best




    ...IMO.
    Hope this little essay helps lol.
    PATRIAE INSERVIENDO CONSVMOR

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  8. #5
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    Continuing the theme in my last post—

    The reason PCs have the low silk lapels in the first place is due to their imitation of the Saxon tailcoat, where they serve the same purpose. The silk just looks natty, but the shape of the lapels serves to dramatically emphasize the classic V-shape figure. They form triangles which draw the attention upwards and outwards, creating a look of broad shoulders, while the tips of the triangles also point towards the waist, creating the point of the “V” in the V shape. That is also why PCs and tailcoats are cut only to the natural waist.
    PATRIAE INSERVIENDO CONSVMOR

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by McCracken140 View Post
    Continuing the theme in my last post—

    The reason PCs have the low silk lapels in the first place is due to their imitation of the Saxon tailcoat, where they serve the same purpose. The silk just looks natty, but the shape of the lapels serves to dramatically emphasize the classic V-shape figure. They form triangles which draw the attention upwards and outwards, creating a look of broad shoulders, while the tips of the triangles also point towards the waist, creating the point of the “V” in the V shape. That is also why PCs and tailcoats are cut only to the natural waist.
    Man, well that answered all the questions I had with some more on the side! Thanks McCracken, an excellent in-depth answer.

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  12. #7
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    I made this diagram to illustrate my point but I forgot to post it lol.

    You can see how the three button vest accentuates the V shape as a PC is meant to but the five button doesn’t have the same effect. Also note the man with the three button waistcoat has both it and his jacket fitted perfectly, while the man with the 5 button waistcoat is wearing it to long for his body, and his PC isn’t as well tailored. Altogether it results in an unflattering appearance in comparison to the man with the green kilt.

    0B00CFA1-5193-47D5-B077-1E61F90A5A61.jpg
    PATRIAE INSERVIENDO CONSVMOR

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  14. #8
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    There's a reason why wearing a waistcoat with a high "V" with a PC looks out of place to those with an old eye: waistcoats with a low "V" were in style for Evening Dress at the time the PC was invented, meaning that the PC has had a low-cut waistcoat from the beginning.

    In the 2nd half of the 19th century waistcoats generally had a high "V". The only Evening jackets then were the Doublet and the Argyll. When the "V" dropped lower (post-1900) these low-cut waistcoats were worn with the Evening Doublet, the Evening Argyll, and (when it appeared around 1910) the "Coatee" (what we call a "Prince Charlie").

    For Evening Dress the "V" has stayed low. The high "V" has long been associated with tweed Day jackets.

    In other words black Argylls worn with Evening Dress would be traditionally be expected to be worn with low-cut Evening style waistcoats. Lovat tweed Day Dress Argylls would be expected to be worn with high-cut waistcoats.

    The wearing a high "V" waistcoat with the PC is quite recent, seems to me.

    Time for pictures!

    High Victorian Evening Dress, loads of accessories, a doublet with a waistcoat of middling height





    Around 1900 Evening Dress began shedding the accessories, and becoming more simple and sleek. Still the Doublet holds sway. Note the waistcoat's plunging neckline



    By the 1930s the old long-hair sporrans had given way to sleek small sealskin pocket-shaped sporrans, and nearly all accessories had been laid aside. Still the Doublet, now (for some unknown reason) sometimes called "regulation". This illustration is rare in that it shows "lace brogues" worn without decorative buckles.



    From the 1920s: a "Dress Argyll" with the waistcoat, shirt, and tie that would be expected in Evening Dress



    But that's just a drawing in a catalogue! People surely didn't wear Argylls for Evening Dress.

    They did.





    This is the milieu in which the "Coatee" appeared c1910 (left) to be followed c1930 by the "Montrose" (right) (from a 1936 catalogue)

    Last edited by OC Richard; 14th May 19 at 05:52 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  16. #9
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    Note how the Argyll worn in the evening had silk shawl or peak lapels while the daytime Argyll has self-faces wool notch lapels.
    PATRIAE INSERVIENDO CONSVMOR

  17. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Thank you for this Richard. Never seen a jabot with a low cut waistcoat. Interesting.
    Dduw Bendithia pob Celtiaid

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