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  1. #1
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    My thoughts on THCD

    I've been thinking a lot about the norms of traditional Highland dress, especially based on this thread. I've specifically been thinking of how I can apply it to my kilt-wearing in 21st century America, on my budget, with my body shape.

    Kilt: Five yards of Lochcarron Riever-weight, pleated to the sett.
    Deviations: None, other than it being a low-yardage kilt.

    Sporran: Brown leather with tassels on brown strap for daywear. Chrome-cantled black leather with rabbit fur front and tassels for evening.
    Deviations: I also wear a black fur-fronted leather day sporran with chromed tassels ("semi-dress") for times when a dark suit is called for.

    Hose: I own two pair of HoC hose.
    Deviations: I wear mostly knee-length cotton diamond weave socks from Sock Dreams, rolled over in the style of kilt hose. They're cooler in the summer and less expensive. I plan to phase them out as I acquire more actual kilt hose.

    Garters/Flashes: I tend to wear the self-coloured flashes that my lovely wife makes for me (so far in modern green, red, and black). I would like to augment these with garter ties eventually.
    Deviations: I wear the tartan flashes that came with my kilt with the matching Argyle-topped hose for black tie; it gives a similar overall impression to full tartan hose.

    Footwear: Black Oxfords for dressy but not black tie situations. Mirror gloss US Air Force dress uniform shoes for black tie.
    Deviations: I wear polished brown Derbys for daywear because I like the rich brown with my usual daywear sporran and colour set.

    Sgian dubh: For evening wear, a chrome prop blade with a dark-stained carved wood handle, finished with a silver nut.
    Deviations: For daywear, I wear a knife with a slightly longer-than-traditional blade and a handle made out of a found small mammal femur. I got it at an oddities show. I think it looks quite nice and still fits the daywear role.

    Shirts: For a while, I wore Gingham, check, pseudo-tattersall, etc. and my wife (and others) never really liked the look on me. I've since switched to wearing mostly solid colours, especially darker ones like navy, burgundy, dark grey, etc. and those around me highly approve of that. I wear almost exclusively white for dressier events. Always crisp, white, starched shirts with French cuffs and laydown collar for black tie.

    Neckwear: Same story as the shirts. I had some lovely fairly conservative striped ties but everyone around me said they clashed with everything. I've since switched to all solid-colour ties, even for Saxon dress. Black bowtie for black tie.

    Jackets: None for most daywear. If outdoors and it's cold-ish, a tweed for daywear or a black Barathea Argyll with silver buttons for dressier events. I tend to take the jacket off fairly quickly indoors as I overheat easily. PC for black tie, indoors or out.

    Waistcoat: Sometimes, depending on weather, etc. Always with black tie. I have a matching jacket/waistcoat set in lovat green tweed, a five button black Barathea waistcoat for the BBSBA, and the a three button black Barathea waistcoat for the PC.

    Headwear: Usually none, unless I'm going to be outdoors for an extended period. Then I'll choose either the fawn Balmoral or a wide-brimmed canvas hat I found. I like the look of the brown canvas hat for outdoor daywear, especially for hiking. I think it complements my beard colour.

    Plaid: None.

    Belt: I will wear a brown or black belt to match shoes and/or sporran, unless I'm wearing a waistcoat.
    Deviations: I find I need a belt for my body shape to look less overstuffed.

    Kilt pin:
    Deviations: I have two, both made by my lovely wife. One is a brass clock hand with a red rhinestone glued over the center hole. It evokes the classic shape of a kilt pin but a bit more whimsical. The other is an angular, heart-shaped piece of bismuth crystal. I prefer the clock hand.

    Outdoors:
    Deviations: I wear a black canvas long coat for winter weather.

    In general, I think I cut pretty close to THCD most times but I've adapted things to suit my circumstances. Overall, I feel like I'm learning a lot about myself and how what I wear (and how and where I wear it) affects how others see me.
    Last edited by imbrius; 24th September 19 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Missing an 'of' in the opening sentence.
    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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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by imbrius View Post
    I've been thinking a lot about the norms of traditional Highland dress, especially based on this thread. I've specifically been thinking of how I can apply it to my kilt-wearing in 21st century America, on my budget, with my body shape.

    Kilt: Five yards of Lochcarron Riever-weight, pleated to the sett.
    Deviations: None, other than it being a low-yardage kilt.

    Sporran: Brown leather with tassels on brown strap for daywear. Chrome-cantled black leather with rabbit fur front and tassels for evening.
    Deviations: I also wear a black fur-fronted leather day sporran with chromed tassels ("semi-dress") for times when a dark suit is called for.

    Hose: I own two pair of HoC hose.
    Deviations: I wear mostly knee-length cotton diamond weave socks from Sock Dreams, rolled over in the style of kilt hose. They're cooler in the summer and less expensive. I plan to phase them out as I acquire more actual kilt hose.

    Garters/Flashes: I tend to wear the self-coloured flashes that my lovely wife makes for me (so far in modern green, red, and black). I would like to augment these with garter ties eventually.
    Deviations: I wear the tartan flashes that came with my kilt with the matching Argyle-topped hose for black tie; it gives a similar overall impression to full tartan hose.

    Footwear: Black Oxfords for dressy but not black tie situations. Mirror gloss US Air Force dress uniform shoes for black tie.
    Deviations: I wear polished brown Derbys for daywear because I like the rich brown with my usual daywear sporran and colour set.

    Sgian dubh: For evening wear, a chrome prop blade with a dark-stained carved wood handle, finished with a silver nut.
    Deviations: For daywear, I wear a knife with a slightly longer-than-traditional blade and a handle made out of a found small mammal femur. I got it at an oddities show. I think it looks quite nice and still fits the daywear role.

    Shirts: For a while, I wore Gingham, check, pseudo-tattersall, etc. and my wife (and others) never really liked the look on me. I've since switched to wearing mostly solid colours, especially darker ones like navy, burgundy, dark grey, etc. and those around me highly approve of that. I wear almost exclusively white for dressier events. Always crisp, white, starched shirts with French cuffs and laydown collar for black tie.

    Neckwear: Same story as the shirts. I had some lovely fairly conservative striped ties but everyone around me said they clashed with everything. I've since switched to all solid-colour ties, even for Saxon dress. Black bowtie for black tie.

    Jackets: None for most daywear. If outdoors and it's cold-ish, a tweed for daywear or a black Barathea Argyll with silver buttons for dressier events. I tend to take the jacket off fairly quickly indoors as I overheat easily. PC for black tie, indoors or out.

    Waistcoat: Sometimes, depending on weather, etc. Always with black tie. I have a matching jacket/waistcoat set in lovat green tweed, a five button black Barathea waistcoat for the BBSBA, and the a three button black Barathea waistcoat for the PC.

    Headwear: Usually none, unless I'm going to be outdoors for an extended period. Then I'll choose either the fawn Balmoral or a wide-brimmed canvas hat I found. I like the look of the brown canvas hat for outdoor daywear, especially for hiking. I think it complements my beard colour.

    Plaid: None.

    Belt: I will wear a brown or black belt to match shoes and/or sporran, unless I'm wearing a waistcoat.
    Deviations: I find I need a belt for my body shape to look less overstuffed.

    Kilt pin:
    Deviations: I have two, both made by my lovely wife. One is a brass clock hand with a red rhinestone glued over the center hole. It evokes the classic shape of a kilt pin but a bit more whimsical. The other is an angular, heart-shaped piece of bismuth crystal. I prefer the clock hand.

    Outdoors:
    Deviations: I wear a black canvas long coat for winter weather.

    In general, I think I cut pretty close to THCD most times but I've adapted things to suit my circumstances. Overall, I feel like I'm learning a lot about myself and how what I wear (and how and where I wear it) affects how others see me.
    Let me first say that what you wear is entirely your own choice. However, I have a few gentle suggestions to keep you more in line with traditional kilt attire guidelines if that is what you wish.

    I think in general your take on traditional kilt attire is pretty good, however, I still think that you are still getting too wound up in this matching up of attire------leathers in particular---- and I think those dark coloured plain shirts need to go if you really want to be on the traditional road. Pale, very pale blue, for example, can work with THCD in some circumstances, as does white.

    Striped ties do seem a problem for some, particularly in North America, but they are absolutely acceptable, particularly if they have club, regimental, university, old school etc., connections. Particularly in those cases matching anything is not an issue.

    Just something to be aware of, the kilt tweed jacket IS the kilt equivalent of a suit----------NOT as many think, particularly in North America, a sports jacket-------so anywhere you would wear a lounge/business suit then the tweed kilt jacket and accompanying attire will do nicely.

    Personally I think that many outwith the Highlands of Scotland who are wearing the kilt are standing out in the crowd anyway, so why not wear ALL the proper attire instead of going at it half-heartedly? I hope these observations will give a gentle nudge to your confidence to fully grasping THCD.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 11th October 19 at 01:24 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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  5. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Let me first say that what you wear is entirely your own choice. However, I have are a few gentle suggestions to keep you more in line with traditional kilt attire guidelines if that is what you wish.
    Thank you very much!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    I think in general your take on traditional kilt attire is pretty good, however, I still think that you are still getting too wound up in this matching up of attire------leathers in particular---- and I think those dark coloured(apart from white) plain shirts need to go if you really want to be on the traditional road. Pale, very pale blue, for example, can work with THCD in some circumstances.
    You've given me much greater confidence to wear my black brogues with my brown day sporran, especially for indoor events. I think I will stick with the brown Derbys for outdoor events, if only because they're a bit sturdier and have gripped soles. Perhaps someday I will get some sturdier black brogues and solve that problem.

    Very pale blue sounds nice. I'll give it a try! My reasoning behind dark colours was that they have the effect of hiding my excess girth, but I'm not at all opposed to giving lighter colours another try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Striped ties do seem a problem for some, particularly in North America, but they are absolutely acceptable, particularly if they have club, regimental, university, old school etc., connections. Particularly in those cases matching anything is not an issue.
    Should I find a tie in my school's colours by happenstance (my school has no official tie as it was just the big, government-run university that doesn't go in for frills like ties or jackets), I will gladly wear it. My "club" would be Freemasonry, I guess, and Masonic ties are anything but subtle, generally plastered with large emblems (I'm omitting a rant about how it shouldn't be necessary to shout "I'M A MASON" to the world with one's tie).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Just something to be aware of, the kilt tweed jacket IS the kilt equivalent of a suit----------NOT as many think, particularly in North America, a sports jacket-------so anywhere you would wear a lounge/business suit then the tweed kilt jacket and accompanying attire will do nicely.
    THIS is excellent advice! I did not know this and it is not intuitive to me. I was under the false impression that tweed jacket = sports jacket and barathea jacket = suit jacket. Now I know better!


    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Personally I think that many outwith the Highlands of Scotland who are wearing the kilt are standing out in the crowd anyway, so why not wear ALL the proper attire instead of going at it half-heartedly? I hope these observations will give a gentle nudge to your confidence to fully grasping THCD.
    Absolutely! Thank you!
    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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  7. #4
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    Many here on this website choose to wear the ABF(Army Benevolent Fund) tie with their kilt, if they have limited choice. A British charity with obvious connections that anyone the world over can wear without treading on a toe. Just so you know an "old school tie" is not the tie that you wore at school, it is a special tie to denote the particular school that you went to.

    The ABF tie.Click to enlarge.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    A better picture of the ABF tie, perhaps.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Jock Scot; 7th October 19 at 10:34 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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  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Many here on this website choose to wear the ABF(Army Benevolent Fund) tie with their kilt, if they have limited choice. A British charity with obvious connections that anyone the world over can wear without treading on a toe. Just so you know an "old school tie" is not the tie that you wore at school, it is a special tie to denote the particular school that you went to.

    The ABF tie.Click to enlarge.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WGN_2676.jpg 
Views:	39 
Size:	108.5 KB 
ID:	37557

    A better picture of the ABF tie, perhaps.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wales.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	150.8 KB 
ID:	37558
    Jock,
    Sound, and accurate advice as always. Nice to see a 'longer'cut waistcoat with a cilt; something I am no adverse to myself - why waist a good tweed or moleskin waistcoat for the sake of an inch?! Thank you for supporting and publicising the ABF too; they do a lot of unsung, but great work. Finally, nice to see you in God's (dual nationality) country... Diolch!
    Dduw Bendithia pob Celtiaid

  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaidd View Post
    Jock,
    Sound, and accurate advice as always. Nice to see a 'longer'cut waistcoat with a cilt; something I am no adverse to myself - why waist a good tweed or moleskin waistcoat for the sake of an inch?! Thank you for supporting and publicising the ABF too; they do a lot of unsung, but great work. Finally, nice to see you in God's (dual nationality) country... Diolch!
    Actually that is Ben Nevis in the background! I had the honour of starting a "round the world" thing that a Welsh Xmarks member thought up. Lots of "Wales scarf with kilt" pictures from around the world on this website and a lot of goodwill was gathered. Sadly on the second or third trip around the world the Wales scarf went AWOL. Which was a shame.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Actually that is Ben Nevis in the background! I had the honour of starting a "round the world" thing that a Welsh Xmarks member thought up. Lots of "Wales scarf with kilt" pictures from around the world on this website and a lot of goodwill was gathered. Sadly on the second or third trip around the world the Wales scarf went AWOL. Which was a shame.
    A shame indeed....might have to reintroduce it To be honest, I hadn't studied the background scenery, having focused on the scarf! Now, I see that it is most definitely further North!
    Dduw Bendithia pob Celtiaid

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  13. #8
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    Just thought I'd mention that my one and only kilt is a 5 yard Riever-weight Lochcarron. It works very well in Texas summers. Despite being relatively "lightweight" the material feels substantial and of a certain quality.

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