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Thread: Highland Dress

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    Highland Dress

    Now I am rather surprised that they do not mention the flask of whisky in the sporran! Without the whisky, the Highland Dress is not complete!

    Highland Dress

    Highland dress describes the traditional costume worn by Scotsmen at various functions and social events. It has been observed by several individuals now that Scotsmen seem to wear skirts. Whilst not entirely inaccurate the correct name for this 'skirt' is a kilt. In addition to the kilt are several other items which are equally important to complete the outfit. Full highland dress is often worn in place of formal wear such as a tuxedo, and in my opinion gives much more individuality to the wearer than the standard 'penguin suit'.


    The Kilt

    The centerpiece of any Highland wardrobe, the kilt is the 'skirt' that non-natives refer to. It is an intricately patterned piece of material, tartan cloth, folded and pleated to form the kilt as it is now displayed. The sign of professionally tailored kilt is one that sits high on the waist, with a well balanced apron (the flat front bit), a continuation of the tartan pattern across the pleats, and a hem that just clears the floor when the wearer kneels on the ground.


    Full Dress Kilt

    (see attachment #1)


    Semi Dress Kilt


    (see attachent #2)


    The Sporran

    To replace the lack of pockets of the kilt (and to protect the wearer's modesty if he is genetically blessed), the kilt is complemented with the sporran, a form of purse. whether it is a casual, semi dress sporran (as pictured) or a full dress sporran that resembles a ZZ-Top member, depends upon the occasion. Generally a semi-dress sporran will be suitable for all occasions.


    The Skean Dhu

    Harking back to traditional times, the Skean Dhu is a 6" long sheath knife that is worn in the right sock with the handle showing. Used ceremoniously to serve the Haggis on special occasions, this knife is now redundant for most occasions, and blunted or plastic imitations are now common for safety's sake. Needless to say mine is sharpened just in case.


    The Belt

    Although it may sound self explanatory, the Belt is worn to add detail to the top of the kilt. The buckle may be chosen with a Celtic or Highland motif to match the Sporran and Skean Dhu handle. Note: the belt is not worn with the Bonnie Prince Charlie Jacket.


    The Brogues

    The brogues are the shoes worn to complete the lower half of the outfit. The long laces cross back and forth as they are wrapped up the leg and tied halfway up the calf. Kept ridiculously shiny, these shoes often feature metal heels to produce a loud tap noise when Highland Dancing


    The Jacket

    The choice of jacket is determined by the formality of the occasion. A day jacket may be any colour to suit the tartan, looking rather like a standard blazer. For dress and formal occasions, the choice is between the full length Argyll and Crail jackets or the short Bonnie Prince Charlie jacket which features tails and requires a waistcoat.

    Source
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    My prom pictures from a year ago might be some help in this thread :p



    Scottish dress is still common in Nova Scotia for formal events and you'd be hard pressed to find an occasion where kilt and jacket isn't accepted as equivalent to suit or tuxedo.

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    HomeLander

    I am living in Amerika now,but was born in the Highlands(BenLomand area to be more precise ...I just wanted to say well done sir you're obviously familiar with the history and your presentation was excellent as well as well read! I'm wearing my kilt (skirt right now...) I swear Americans ignorance on the subject is quite amusing and often causes me to laugh. Hootsman brother

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhreac View Post
    ... I swear Americans ignorance on the subject is quite amusing and often causes me to laugh. Hootsman brother
    With myself being a junior officer in Clan Donald U.S.A. and my daughter competing in various Highland Dance competitions, much of my Spring-Autumn period is spent coming from or going to Highland games/Celtic festivals. I am almost always attired in some form of Highland Dress for these occasions. I usually have a bout of fun before leaving by walking around the neighborhood before departing. It never fails to attract attention. Rarely have I ever encountered any outright hostility, but I've sure gotten more than a few sideways glances. It is kind of amusing.
    "It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."
    — Samuel Adams

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    In Highland dancing, we were required to wear a kilt for dances such as The Highland Fling, the Sword Dance and the Strathspey. For the Flora, we wore a Flora skirt and sash and for the Hoolahan, a knee-length white dress and a sash, too. Aswell as our knee-high socks and Highland dancing shoes.

    More Info:

    Dress

    In Highland dancing competitions, female dancers wear a velvet jacket with gold or silver braid edging and gold or silver buttons, over a white shirt with lace ruffles at the neck. They wear a kilt and tartan hose, and black laced gillies, or dancing shoes. Men wear the kilt and sporran, with a jacket and bonnet, with tartan hose with a sgian dhubh. For the National dances either a national costume is worn, or the costume appropriate to the dance such as the hornpipe costume, or the Irish Jig costume, which is worn with jig shoes. The national costume consists of a tartan style gathered skirt, a velvet jacket of a different style, laced up the front with silver laces and decorated with silver buttons. There is a plaid which is attached at the waistband at the back, and then comes up and over the right shoulder and is fastened with a brooch onto the shoulder of the jacket. Men wear the kilt and sporran, with a jacket and bonnet, with tartan hose with a sgian dhubh. They can wear tartan trews or Highland dress for national dances, and the hornpipe outfit, and a male version of the Irish Jig costume.

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    I have a friend who's daughter is a very accomplished Highland dancer. It is becoming very sad how Americanized many traditional dance styles are becoming. It's becoming harder to enjoy the real thing in America. Everything is becoming so watered down.

    http://www.highlanddancer.ca/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_highland_dance




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    To be honest I think that having a skirt on with no undies in a country whose national emblem is a thistle and whose armies of midgies could bring an elephant down should show people how brave they are ( or stupid )
    By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

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    Wearing a kilt gives you definetely more space on whatever you do at parties or any kind of social gatherings.

    What do you think of non-scottish persons wearing a complete Highland dress?

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    I've never had the occasion to wear full Highland dress but I suppose I could at my upcoming wedding. I wear casual and semi casual kilts fairly regularly, much more comfortable than any bifurcated garment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombiehunter View Post
    What do you think of non-scottish persons wearing a complete Highland dress?

    I'm not very fond of the idea. It's in poor taste, in my opinion. Most countries have some form of their own traditional dress, so they should stick to it.

    The only instances I can think of where it'd be acceptable was if someone of compatible ancestry was adopted in by a Scottish family and adapted to our culture or if said compatible person was widely accepted by the locals as something of an honorary Scotsman.

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