X Marks the Scot - An on-line community of kilt wearers.

   X Marks Partners - (Go to the Partners Dedicated Forums )
USA Kilts website Freedom Kilts website Scotweb websiten Burnetts and Struth website Celtic Croft website
Xmarks advertising information Celtic Corner website Xmarks advertising information Houston Kiltmakers Xmarks advertising information

User Tag List

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    18th October 09
    Location
    Orange County California
    Posts
    9,430
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    The Kilt: A Manual of Scottish National Dress 1914

    This interesting, small, thin book came into my hands:

    THE KILT
    A Manual of Scottish National Dress


    Loudon MacQueen Douglas F.R.S.E., F.S.A. Scot.

    Edinburgh: Andrew Elliott 1914

    https://www.abebooks.com/first-editi...17132734886/bd

    It's fascinating for several reasons, for me mainly because it sheds light on the period of rapid change as Highland Dress was undergoing an almost complete transformation, from Victorian Highland Dress as exemplified in The Highlanders Of Scotland to our modern Traditional Civilian Highland Dress which stabilised by around 1920, and is still current.

    First one is struck by the title, in which the kilt is labelled "Scottish National Dress".

    The book begins with a brief overview of the history of Highland Dress as it was understood at that time.

    His mention of the Highland regiments contains this puzzling paragraph:

    The Black Watch has been linked up with the Gordon Highlanders: the 71st and 74th are now the Highland Light Infantry; the 72nd and 78th are known as the Seaforth Highlanders; the 75th and 92nd, the Gordon Highlanders; the 91st and 93rd, the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, whereas the 79th remains the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders.

    It's the familiar list of the 1881 Cardwell reforms, when the old numbered regiments were paired to create the new named regiments, except for saying that the Black Watch has been "linked up" with the Gordon Highlanders. I do wonder what was going on in the immediate pre-WWI era.

    Now on to

    Hints on Scottish National Dress...which indicate the manner in which it should be worn at the present day.

    He begins with "Evening Dress".

    The kilt should be worn at the centre of the knee-cap.

    The Doublet "should have lapels and gauntlets on the sleeves" and "silver diamond-shaped buttons".

    The vest should be the same cloth as the Doublet and "should have lapels over the lower pockets". "Colored vests are quite in order" but the scarlet vest is "more worn by men-servants than by others".

    The Coatee is "quite optional" and "entirely modern". (He's referring to the Prince Charlie Coatee.)

    The plaid "should always be worn with Evening Dress" with "the lower end fastened around the waist with a band". The brooch must be circular.

    Lace jabots are "quite optional" and are "generally worn with velvet doublets".

    About undergarments, he states that "short trews should always be worn with Evening Dress."

    About stockings he mentions that they are knitted and "can be obtained in any pattern". He says the "most convenient" style has a fold which turns down over the garters "to which are attached tartan ribbons of the same tartan as the stockings". He mentions "brogues preferably with silver buckles".

    He states that "there should be a Dirk...which should be suspended from a broad belt...the belt is fastened around the waist under the vest..."

    "The sporran for Evening Dress should be of goat's hair with tassels, and the lower fringe should fall below the edge of the kilt about an inch...small circular sporrans are more suited to Morning Wear than otherwise."

    He then addresses the fact that the Victorian habit of wearing all sorts of impedimenta is passe: "Sometimes other ornaments are worn, such as a brooch in the jabot, a broad belt round the waist, which was used for the carrying of pistols...these belts have large rectangular silver buckles, but are seldom seen at the present day."

    "Similar broad belts...are occasionally worn over the shoulder...meant for carrying the claymore, which obviously is not a portion of Evening Dress."

    The then goes onto the dress which by the 1920s was being called Outdoor, Field, or Day Dress:

    "Morning Dress is a very simple affair which consists of Balmoral and tweed jacket and vest with plain horn buttons.

    The kilt should be made of heavier material than that worn for Evening Dress, but that is a matter of choice.

    The sporran should be either of plain leather, or badger, but in any case should be of the small round pattern.

    Stockings should be of ordinary hose material and should not be tartan.

    Footwear should consist of thick-soled brogues with gaiters to match the stockings.

    Collar and tie should be of the ordinary pattern, the bow tie being the most becoming for this style of dress."

    Here is the author in "Morning Dress"



    Several observations, one is that, as can be seen from the old catalogues, the new small pocket-shaped "round" sporrans first appeared in Day Dress, while the Victorian long hair sporrans continued in Evening Dress for a time.

    Not until the post-WWII era did the new small sealskin Evening sporrans oust the former style.

    The wearing of fine Saxony kilts for Evening and heavy worsted for Day is attested in most of the catalogues from the 1920s and 1930s.

    Interesting that he states that spats/gaiters should match the hose. From this I imply that Day hose were generally grey, the standard colour in Victorian times. (By 1920s the spats had mostly disappeared, and the catalogues suggest matching the hose and tweed jacket colours, such as Lovat Green etc.)

    He also suggests bow ties for Morning Dress (Day/Outdoor/Field Dress).

    In Evening Dress he stipulates tartan ribbons on the garters to match the hose.

    Note that in Evening most of the Victorian ornaments have ceased to be worn, but the dirk continued for a time. By 1920 dirks had been jettisoned as well.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 23rd November 21 at 04:42 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  2. The Following 4 Users say 'Aye' to OC Richard For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Join Date
    29th July 19
    Location
    West of Scotland
    Posts
    63
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is interesting.

    I think this shows that defining fashion is like trying to command the tide.

  4. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Nemuragh For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Join Date
    10th December 06
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    14,248
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is an interesting read. I find the detail of the advice rather funny almost like he is describing a uniform.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    2nd January 10
    Location
    Crieff, Perthshire
    Posts
    4,156
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It reminds me of Scotty Thompson's later So You're Going To Wear The Kilt. Lots of 'shoulds' and like Glen says, almost a uniform manual rather than advice and guidance.

    Given the penchant for them by some today, I found this amusing but the scarlet vest is "more worn by men-servants than by others".

    Richard, no mention of wearing a sgian dubh, or did you not include it?

  7. #5
    Join Date
    18th October 09
    Location
    Orange County California
    Posts
    9,430
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sorry, yes, I didn't include everything.

    Under Evening Dress he also states

    The Skean Dhu (sic) is a small dagger which should be placed under the garter of the right leg, being worn on the outside.

    He has a third category of dress, Scottish National Dress for Levees.

    The following are the directions issued by the Lord Chamberlain's Office, St James Palace, London for the Scottish National Dress for Levees.
    Black silk velvet full dress Doublet. Silk lined.
    Set of silver Celtic or crest buttons for Doublet.
    Superfine tartan full dress kilt.
    Short trews.
    Full dress tartan stockings.
    Full dress long shoulder plaid.
    (What we call a "pipers plaid" today.)
    Full dress white hair sporran. Silver mounted, and tassels.
    Patent leather and silver chain strap for sporran.
    Full dress silver-mounted dirk with knife and fork.
    Full dress silver-mounted skean dhu.
    Patent leather shoulder-belt, silver-mounted.
    Patent leather waist-belt, silver clasp.
    Silver-mounted shoulder brooch.
    Silver kilt pin.
    Lace Jabot.
    One pair of buckles for instep of shoes.
    Once pair of small ankle buckles for shoes.
    Full dress brogues.
    Highland claymore.
    Glengarry or Balmoral, crest or ornament.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  8. #6
    Join Date
    2nd January 10
    Location
    Crieff, Perthshire
    Posts
    4,156
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Sorry, yes, I didn't include everything.

    Under Evening Dress he also states

    The Skean Dhu (sic) is a small dagger which should be placed under the garter of the right leg, being worn on the outside.
    Scotty Thompson said the same. I remember my father saying to him "bit what if I'm left-handed".

  9. #7
    Join Date
    18th October 09
    Location
    Orange County California
    Posts
    9,430
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by McMurdo View Post
    This is an interesting read. I find the detail of the advice rather funny almost like he is describing a uniform.
    I'm often struck by how clothing, perhaps especially men's clothing, is more or less like a uniform.

    In Highland Dress, I've been to Burns Suppers where every kilted gent is dressed in a black Prince Charlie, white hose and Ghillies sans buckles

    I came across a photo, which I've lost somehow, of a Highland Games in Scotland in the 1940s or 1950s. It's a group photo of a dozen or so men, and every one is wearing a Lovat tweed jacket.

    Outside of Highland Dress, one sees functions where every man is in a nearly identical tuxedo. Here, New York 1938



    And it goes for non-formal attire oftentimes! I used to teach High School, and one day I saw four teenage guys I had in one of my classes, hanging outside chatting. They all were wearing plaid flannel shirts over black t-shirts, black jeans, and black shoes. I asked "Did you guys co-ordinate your outfits today?"

    "We're not dressed alike." (Then they look at their outfits.) "Hey we ARE all dressed alike! No way!"

    Seems most teenagers, in effect, wear uniforms. Each "fashion culture" declares what sort of music they listen to etc.

    Back to Loudon MacQueen Douglas, here he is with the rest of his Scottish Society of Edinburgh mates. You can see that indeed they're pretty much identical in dress
    -doublet
    -lace jabot
    -plaid with brooch
    -white long hair sporran with two black tassels
    -dirk
    -tartan hose (one pair castellated)
    -buckled brogues (our standard modern style with strap over the instep)
    -sgian dubh

    The gent with the castellated hose wears his dirk belt over his vest (sic).



    His photo of himself in Day Dress isn't clear, but he might be wearing a sporran like this, but with a different tassel arrangement

    Last edited by OC Richard; 23rd November 21 at 04:56 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.0