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  1. #21
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    My apologies that my previous post has a couple of minor errors within . I am wrestling with a mobile phone and the combination of small keys, large fingers and poor signal is not helping my efforts to tidy up and clarify my previous post. Grrrrrrr!

    I will try to try to tidy things up when I can .

    The "tidying up" has now been done!
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 8th July 24 at 06:24 AM. Reason: tidying up.
    " 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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  3. #22
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    Sounds rather like the experience I had. Fifth generation kilt-wearer, third generation kilt-maker, and purveyor of variouis accessories. After that, I broadened out with help from X-Marks.

    I know, Jock, that you think I over-dress, but Iím often in company with men in dinner jackets or even white tie and tails, so it gets to be a pleasure. Youíve also seen me in kilt and jumper, so you know itís not the only way I wear the kilt.

    Iím a big booster of having the one who measures you also be the one who puts the needle through the cloth.
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster. Lover of God, dogs, most people, joy, tradition, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Canadian Sinclair.

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  5. #23
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    Actually Bill, from what you "say",well actually write, I really don't think we differ much with our(yours and mine) attire choices. If at all. Photographs can be misleading to an extent as they don't always show, or explain the circumstance of the event or the reasoning behind the choices of attire that is shown in the picture, which can be many and various and not always obvious to those reading a post.

    Pictures are often useful to illustrate something within a discussion and that is perfectly fine and often helpful, but ALL pictures should come with a "health warning" as the unknowing-------who knows it all? I certainly don't!---------can and do draw the wrong conclusion, as some posts in this thread most certainly illustrate. I hasten to add that these posts are made available with the best of intention, but...........
    " 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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  7. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    Spot on here, Jock.

    Highland dress, with all the how, why and when it is worn in its homeland seems to be an unitelligble concept to some, it would seem.

    And 'kilt Kulture' has become little more than fancy-dress for many, and the likes of Highland Games are regarded as costume events to show off the latest acquisitions.

    -----------------------------------------------------



    To us the kilt and its attire, it's not a dressing-up costume, but a form of clothing that we wear naturally in various ways according to circumstances. Expectations there may be, but rules there are none, I woud say.

    I recently had the delighful experience of going to see a certain gentleman of a paticular clan (in which he ranks near the top, and is known by the name of his estate) whose base is in Newtonmore (any guesses who that might be?) and found him going about his usual business dressed in a faded Rugby jersey from his youth, a dreadfully mis-shapen kilt with no sporran, and plastic Croc shoes.

    What he was doing made his attire clearly logical to me, and no surprise, but I have wondered since what effect his outfit would have had on certain overseas visitors.

    To me, it was just another form of 'traditional' Highland dress - the kilt being worn in its historic homeland in its simplest way for everyday chores, and the other garments met immediate practical need. But the style is a far cry from the 1930s catalogue ideal that seems to have become the benchmark look.

    --------------
    Exactly so.

    What is described above is a perfectly normal state of kilt attire in the circumstances and is quite unremarkable.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 8th July 24 at 07:04 AM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  8. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    You are also making a huge mistake in thinking that Scots kilt attire was bought from catalogues, the local tailor was the first and only port of call.

    I am about to venture into tricky territory here that those outwith the UK will have difficulty understanding, but it would help if you tried! It comes down to the dreadful term of “social standing” and how it worked.

    Anyone who was anyone would never buy from a catalogue...one just went to one’s tailor and had one’s kilt attire made and the accessories, if needed, were acquired from the same source.

    It was the only way to acquire new one’s attire without the then, not inconsiderable inconvenience of heading to a big city, which in those days required a major effort and unnecessary expense. I should add the not inconsiderable expense of new kilt attire in those days made kilt attire out of reach for many.
    That's perfectly understandable. The aristocracy had their Savile Row bespoke tailors, and I would think that there would be small-shop local tailors scattered across the Highlands.

    But these, unfortunately for the historian, leave little or no written trace. Historians require evidence.

    There are adverts in some of the old Highland Games programmes of tailors in Inverness, Aberdeen, etc who either didn't produce catalogues, or did in such small numbers that they're very rarely seen.

    The bulk of the evidence comes from the large-scale Edinburgh and Glasgow shops. Here's an advert from one of them.



    These shops produced catalogues which were sent to distant places but I imagine that the bulk of their trade was walk-in customers. If true, what follows is that the situation wasn't one of people dressing out of catalogues, but people dressing out of shops which happened to also produce catalogues for prospective distant customers.

    These early-to-mid 20th century big-city shops were the Amazon of their day. They stayed in business by selling things, and presumably the people who bought things wore them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    The catalogue terminology was never used, so it would not be altogether correct to use such terminology as being in general use.
    To find out, let's take a look at a list of British-printed books on clothing using the term "costume" to mean "style of dress" from the bibliography of The Kilt: A Manual of Scottish National Dress (1914).

    We can see the consistent use of "costume" right up till The Kilt was published.

    I should mention that "costume" is the most-used term for clothing/dress in the book-titles appearing in this bibliography, with "dress" coming in 2nd and "garb" "clothing" and "fashion" only appearing once each.

    The Costume of the Ancients. London, 1809

    Ancient Costume of Great Britain and Ireland from the 7th to the 16th Century. London, 1814

    The Costumes of the Original Inhabitants of British Islands from the Earliest Period to the 6th Century. London, 1821

    The Ancient Costume of the Irish. Dublin, 1838

    The Book of Costume or Annals of Fashion. London, 1846

    The History of British Costume. London, 1874

    Encyclopaedia of Costume. London, 1876

    Notes on Civil Costume in England from the Conquest to the Regency. London, 1884

    The Costume of the Clans. Edinburgh, 1892

    Chats on Costume. London, 1906

    British Costume. London and Edinburgh, 1910

    Old English Costumes. Victoria and Albert Museum, 1913

    History of Feminine Costume. (No city or date)
    Last edited by OC Richard; 9th July 24 at 04:37 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  9. #26
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    Well you are probably correct with the theory OCR , but in reality I have never seen or heard of the books you mention. We just wear our kilt attire as we have always done and have dressed by eye and example not by theory. It was more like , and still is , “ you make it and I will fly it” type of thing and the theory and construction and general kilt attire terminology has always been the same when discussing things with the tailor, --------who by the way, was local and Savile Row trained------ and was not an issue or real interest to the client.

    I have no real idea how tartan, or, a kilt is made and I have no interest in knowing and I cannot recall in a fairly long life, ever having discussions about kilt attire construction with anyone apart from the tailor in brief outline and members on this website . I honestly think most of us kilt wearers around here have actually ever considered it. Why would we?

    I will enquire around the locality and see what they say. Oh dear, I can see another “ Jock Survey” coming up!
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 10th July 24 at 03:58 AM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  10. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    That's perfectly understandable. The aristocracy had their Savile Row bespoke tailors, and I would think that there would be small-shop local tailors scattered across the Highlands.
    There were hundreds, if not thousands of them.

    Even as late as the 1990s (or really until the dress-as-you-would-for-a-day-in-the-park-for-every-occasion style took hold) almost every high street in every town in the UK had a selection of gents' outfitters offering bespoke, or at least made-to-measure tailoring.

    Within living memory, itinerant tailors would cycle around the farms in their locality, taking order for bespoke-made tweed suits - considered a rich man's luxury today, but the work-wear of the labourer a generation or so ago. The high demand and competition did the usual thing and kept prices low and affordable.

    Savile Row is what most people think of in terms of bespoke tailoring, but outside London the tailors learning the same skills at the same technical colleges would apprentice in the provinces, and even set up in business in a village. Even now, I know of a number operating from their front room at home.

    In Scotland, virtually every town would have a kilt-maker, and the cities would have any number that also traded as general outfitters also. It's sad to see just how many kilt-makers in provincial towns have retired in the past 20 years, not to be replaced except by the large on-line retailers of standard generic garments.

    About 25 years ago, work had me based in Yorkshire, in England, and would frequently find myself in the old Mill Towns where the cloth merchants and 'tweed mercers' were located - I passed Marton Mills daily. I would sometimes take myself into their stores and buy an end-of-bolt in something suitable and take it to one or other of the tailors I used.

    Now. this is not bragging in any way but just said to show how fast things have changed: I could buy a length of cloth and have a three-peice bespoke suit made-up at cost - I never spent more than £250 all-in. I had the same suit costed in Savile Row, and at the time it would have cost in excess of £2,000.

    The large sporting estates with their own tweeds still provide 'work-wear' for their keepers and ghillies, but the economies of scale have gone with falling demand and competition. Campbells of Beauly still operate in the old way but custom clothing is no longer viable for the common man.

    I once had the chance to discuss my cloth-buying and tailoring trick with the head of retail giant Marks and Spencer, and he secretly admitted my way was right and cheaper in terms of cost-per-wear. But, like all retail chainstores, M&S works the market to give the customer what they want to sell, and not necessarily what the customers wants to buy.

    I think that is now true with Highland dress, but a few outfitters like Duncan Chisholm in Inverness still work in the old way. But Chisholms is a dying breed, if not nearly extinct.

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  12. #28
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    Thankyou “Trog”! You have put into words exactly what I should have tried to explain is the situation.

    It’s too early in the day for my ancient and seemingly addled brain to get up to speed. Perhaps it’s time for me to retire from the fray? Well, perhaps not , but the time is getting close!
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 10th July 24 at 07:29 AM. Reason: Found my glasses
    " 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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    JPS

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Thankyou ď Perhaps itís time for me to retire from the fray? Well, perhaps not , but the time is getting close!
    Don't! You've got too much left to teach us.
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

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  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCampbell16B View Post
    Don't! You've got too much left to teach us.
    You are so kind. I am afraid that I am not as sharp mentally as I was and I don't like that. Realistically, my time is inevitably going to run out. I hasten to add that I am not working to any particular schedule though!
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 10th July 24 at 03:56 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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