In Scotland black will be least obtrusive.
Once Upon a Plaid: Spirit of the Highlands #2 by Mia Marlowe
For those on a tight budget, these are ideal for wearing with a kilt as they can equally well be worn with street clothes. There are more elaborate brogues available on the market from dealers in Highland dress which have a more open lacing, allowing the longer tasselled laces to be worn cross-tied about the calf. The kilt should have pleats all the way round the back and sides with only the front apron of both ends being unpleated. Men who hold the ends of their kilt in each hand with the pleats behind them should fold the right hand end about them first, the left and end folding over the apron of the right.
This leaves the edge of the end which started in the left hand lying along the right side of the right thigh. Ladies' tartan skirts fold the opposite way. Civilian and officer's kilts are made with straps, military other ranks kilts use pins at the waist as they must fit many sizes of waist. In Scotland a heavier material is generally used for day kilts and a lighter for evening, although if too light, kiltmakers sometimes sew elastic along the inside of the pleats about 6' above the bottom hem to avoid over-exposure during a dance swing.
Your kilt should hang an inch free of the ground in front of your knee when you kneel down. Adjusting this length using a belt if necessary is highly important as kilts worn too long or too short can make you look ridiculous. When first wearing a kilt you must learn to cross your legs or keep the knees together when seated. For evening wear the belt should be of black leather and the buckle silver. The buckle gives a chance to display ornamental work, particularly of heraldic design. Skian Dubhs pronounced skian doo , the sheathed knife worn on the right side of the right leg in the top of the stocking, are always handsome and even useful but rember that when dancing they need to be firmly secured by tighter garters.
Lawmen in the United States with limited sophistication have been known to consider it a concealed weapon and so illegal. With both dirks and skians the more gaudy and over-large Cairngorm stones garnets in the tops can upset the balance of the knife. The skian should be worn with the top of the sheath just above the garter. Ebony and silver Dirks with black leather sheaths are worn by pipers as day dress but by civilians only as evening dress, however other belt-hung sheath knives may be useful with day dress when hunting or camping.
Again, check the local laws. The innovation of including knife and fork in the dirk seems first to have appeared in the middle of the t century. Dirks were originally worn immediately to the right of the sporran. However military custom now has them worn on the side of the right buttock in the position used for a bayonet. With the recent rise in urban misunderstanding of rural customs and environmental issues, care should be taken in selecting fur or animal head sporrans which avoid infringement of import or interstate laws.
Day sporrans made of the Skins of small fur bearing animals had been know earlier but became popular in Scotland in the early 19th century, otters, seals and badgers being favorites. Previously the bag type of sporran of cured leather with a metal half-moon clasp at the top was common. This came back into use in the Highland regiments recently with an interest in historical dress. The metal clasp gives opportunity for decorative or heraldic emblems. The standard all-leather sporran is perfectly adequate for day dress and some have adopted the regimental custom of inserting a small silver heraldic crest or emblem in the center of the smooth panel.
The leather for evening sporrans is most often black, rather than the brown more often used for day wear.
- Plaid to the Bone (Spirit of the Highlands) by Mia Marlowe;
- Le Décaméron: édition intégrale (Nouvelles) (French Edition).
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- Plaid to the Bone.
- Somebody Told Me.
The strap can be either a leather strap or a strap with a center section of silvered chain to show on either side of the sporran, the latter being particularly apt for evening wear. Again, black with silver buckle and chain in most used with evening dress. Similarly the weight of tweed for kilt jackets should be lighter for use in the warmer situations. Some Highland gentry still wear checked tweed kilt jackets, however in the United States the convention about not mixing checks means that in general plain unpatterned cloth is preferred for kilt jackets. This does not hold in Britain. Again, the color should compliment that of the tartan worn, certain muted browns, blues and greens being handsome with Campbell tartan.
If you are going to wear a jacket with your kilt it is best to buy or borrow a kilt jacket as normal sports jackets are too long and do not do a kilt justice. If you can afford a second day kilt jacket, a dark charcoal gray tweed jacket and waistcoat look exceptionally well at weddings and particularly at funerals. The traditional Highland bonnet was and is based upon the old blue bonnet of the Scots which can be found in 16th century drawings of Highlanders.
The folding "Glengarry" was invented in Victorian times as convenient for military use and has now come back into general use in Highland regiments. Today the civilian style of bonnet is almost identical to that worn in the first half ofthe 20th century by some Highland regiments. The civilian style bonnets worn with Scottish National Dress are most often of the same cut as those formerly worn by officers and may be of pale tan, light blue, dark blue or Lovat green.
Some have dicing and others do not. The use of the dark blue bonnet with dicing may be more appropriate for evening use perhaps, but that is a matter of taste. The slit and ribbons go at the back of the head, the badge over and behind the left eye and then the top is pulled down to the right front. The bonnets look best when worn slightly over the front of the head, perhaps a finger's width above the eyebrow, never on the back of the head and never with hair showing under the front band.
Bonnets should be worn for parades but must always be taken off when entering a church or private house although not necessarily a tent. In Scotland the custom of taking off one's hat to a lady was awkward with a bonnet, due to messing the hair, and so it became more customary to touch the bonnet in a salute when out of doors.
The Chiefs of clans have, by customary courtesy, allowed their followers to use the Chief's heraldic crest as a cap or bonnet badge when worn within a buckled strap with the Chief's motto and all combined as a silver badge. Members of armigerous families those whose Chieftains have been granted arms may have different crests from the Chief, so that you will see a Campbell of Airds wearing a swan, or a Campbell of Inverawe wearing a deer's head crest. Those who have not traced their ancestry to some armigerous family or received a grant of arms themselves, wear the Chief's crest badge.
Officially the rule is; a Chief wears three feathers, a chieftain wears two, and an armigerous gentleman one who has a right to heraldic arms wears one. However the wearing of bonnet feathers by those who are not chiefs is generally considered presumptuous in Scotland.
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As with the heraldry of Clan Campbell, in one sense these rules do not extend outside Scotland. At the same time it is in the interest of overseas Campbells to uphold customs which add to the dignity of their chiefs. Voluntarily observing the rule and custom of the Scots in the matter of bonnet feathers is one way to strengthen the unity of the clan and to reinforce the genuine and traditional in Highland dress.
Hackles' or short thick bunches of feather about -- cm 2" long are worn by some Highland regiments but are not currently seen in civilian Highland dress in Scotland. Some among the once Jacobite clans are currently interested in reviving the custom of the white cockade, a rather divisive concept rooted in complete misunderstanding of the consequences of Jacobite success.
The long stick with a curved top used by both stockmen and shepherds in Scotland is, on more well dressed occasions such as Highland Games there, used by men with daytime Highland dress. Its use is equally appropriate in North America. The cromach pron. But use of the cromach is in no way limited to those in authority. The making of fine cromachs is a craft much admired in Scotland and they are generally made of hazel and sometimes with a horn handle with a carved finial.
Some makers bend twigs on the tree and wait years for them to grow thick enough to cut for a cromach with the hook grown in. There is another style of stick, sometimes seen at Games in North America, which is a twisted or club-like stick. Highland evening dress is more formal than day dress.
There is a misconception among some people in America that the British are more formal than the Americans. This is only true among limited number of more cosmopolitan Britons for whom making some occasions more formal than others adds to the quality, dignity and variety of life.
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The same can be found among Americans of a more traditional background who like a change of pace now and again. There are even a few in the United States and Britain who find any vestige of formality to be somehow anti-democratic, tending towards the Chinese who for a time dressed everyone the same in a forced equality. There was a time up to WWII in Scotland where plaids were worn to balls, sometimes even with sword belts, dirks, hunting horns, silver dag pistols and the keys of the castle.
To some, these all vied with military decorations to create an impression of a hardware store in motion, handsome though the effect undoubtedly was. Today the silver belt buckles, miniature in the United States military medals, silver buttons and silver-headed hair sporrans create quite enough dazzle without causing too much danger to the opposite sex and to their dresses, which can all too easily catch on sharp objects.
The recognized formal evening dress for Highland ladies is to wear a dress in the fashion of the time or of their choosing. A fairly recent custom has developed of wearing a silk or similar tartan sash. Obviously the choice of color of dress should be compatible with the tartan to be worn. Like the bonnet feathers for the men, the shoulder on which the sash is worn is important for ladies.
Lady Chiefs, the wives of Chiefs and the wives of the Colonel of the Regiment of Scottish regiments, all wear the sash over the left shoulder. All others wear the sash pinned on the right shoulder. This is one of those conventions which ad spice to ladies' Highland dress. Evening dresses designed of tartan have been worn at times to great effect. Some absolutely stunning evening dresses have been made from the darker Campbell or Black Watch dress material, when it can be found.
With a tartan dress the sash need not necessarily be worn. In general, in the evening Highland dress for men everything tends to be of finer or thinner material. This is true of the dancing brogues or pumps, the stockings, kilts, shirts, waistcoats and jackets. The items of day dress above are outlined in the order they would be put on and the same order applies for evening dress. The area of widest variety in acceptable evening dress can be found above the belt. There are a number of styles of jacket to chose from and these fall into two categories.
In the first category are jackets with waistcoats which allow for wearing a bow tie, and in the second are those which involve the wearing of a jabot or lace collar and ruffle. Jabot is originally a French word and so pronounced ja-BO. The former are generally of dark material similar to that used for a dinner jacket or tuxedo and the latter generally of velvet or velveteen.
Since the latter style fits closer to the waist, those with any tendency to a portly disposition may find the former more appropriate. Silver buttons are the norm for both styles. Smooth, slightly domed, square buttons often look best unless you have inherited family buttons. For those occasions where black tie is required but where the climate makes jackets uncomfortable, the Highland regiments adopted what the British Services term "Red Sea Rig" for officers mess dinners in the tropics. Tartan trews are worn with an evening long sleeved shirt and black bow tie.
The top of the trews are hidden not by a belt but by a silk cummerbund. The cummerbunds were of regimental tartan but with the dark Campbell tartan a red, green or blue cummerbund could be effective. British miniature decorations were not normally worn with this less formal rig. Your complete outfit can be bought at once or in stages. There is always the initial choice between trews tartan dress slacks and a kilt. But given the ambition and self-confidence to wear a kilt in public, the first purchases can be phased as follows:.
The shirt you use for evening wear will depend upon the style of the jacket. That ring signifies the title and estate of Bonniebroch, which is better than cash. Now throw down. Alex laid them down one at a time, four eights in a lovely row, which handily beat three queens. Then he picked up the signet ring and slipped it on his forefinger. It was much heavier than he expected. Scottish titles at the rank of baron weren't dependent upon bloodlines.
They could be bought, sold, or won in a game of chance, as Alex had just done. The estate at Bonniebroch would give him the pretext he needed to remain in Scotland till the royal visit next August. And would mask his true purpose for being there. Sir Darren stared at the cards in disbelief. Then he rose shakily to his feet, his eyes narrowing. Do you feel yourself ill-used? If it's satisfaction you crave, as soon as we reach dry land, I'm at your disposal. Alex chuckled. Is the 'tidy barony' nothing but a tumbled down croft with sheep grazing on the roof?
You won't be laughing after you've spent a few nights with the weeping woman. You may not believe in Scottish curses, but I promise you, they are real. Clarindon, I bid you good day. Farquhar, sir, are ye all right? Lyttle stood frozen in place, wringing his hands with fervor. While few people could actually see Farquhar, the old steward of Bonniebroch Castle made sure the butler of the estate was one of them.
Over the centuries, Farquhar had learned to approximate the normal motion of the living to an uncanny degree.
When he moved across the room, one had to look very closely to see that his high-heeled boots didn't quite touch the broad plank floor. Ye faded so I feared ye were about to wink out entire. Even though Farquhar was a ghost, he was still the steward of the castle. Barons came and went, but since , Farquhar had remained. Lyttle and the rest of Bonniebroch's residents depended upon him for daily direction in the running of the place.
We didna even have a chance to get used to the old one. What does this mean? Will he still come for Christmas? Lyttle shifted his weight from one foot to the other like a squirrel on a slender branch, not certain it would hold him. Let me think. Farquhar had pinned his last hope on Sir Darren MacMartin. He had Scottish roots, but his family had moved south when he was a child and he'd lived as an Englishman all his life.
He met the curse's requirements on the surface. But now the man had somehow let the castle and the title slip from his index finger. A new name formed in Farquhar's mind. Then, quick as lightning, Farquhar shot across the room and passed through the silvered glass of a long mirror as if it were water.
The surface wavered for a heartbeat after his passage, and then went still as a becalmed sea. She and her sisters, Aileen and Mary, huddled under an oversized umbrella waiting at the quay with the assembled gentry. The trifling drizzle wasn't enough to send them inside. The chance to see a king's envoys, even an English king's envoys, was too delicious to pass up over a few raindrops.
Lucinda resisted the urge to tell Brodie MacIver to be quiet, but she held her tongue. It wasn't as if anyone else could hear him and she didn't fancy letting her sisters know she could. Besides, the poor ghost had enough to worry about what with the wind threatening to blow him into the next shire. Would ye take my shawl then? It wasn't the soft rain that chilled her.
It was Brodie MacIver's invisible hand on her shoulder, cold as naked iron in January, which was only natural since one couldn't expect a ghost to be warm. She really ought to be used to it since the specter had been her companion since she was a child. When she was six, her brother Dougal and his friends had locked her in the cellar because she wouldn't stop dogging them. In the dark and damp, Lucinda had cried herself hoarse, but no one came to free her. Then just when she was about to go wild with fear, a soft burr of a voice whispered, "Och, little lassie.
Ye dinna have to cry so. Ol' Brodie's here wi' ye. When Dougal finally came to set her free he'd expected to find her thoroughly cowed, but she and Brodie had passed a tolerable time together there in the dark. The spirit had been with her ever since. His presence was sometimes annoying, sometimes a comfort, but just now his spectral hand on her was merely cold.
She shivered again. Lucy hated to cover her pale blue muslin gown and rabbit-trimmed pelisse with Aileen's garish red shawl, but she accepted it.
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Her sister's redingote was of thick wool so she could spare the shawl. Lucinda should have been warm without it from sheer excitement. Today she'd meet her betrothed for the first time. He was a passenger on the Agatha May along with the English envoys.