All Knotted Up at One

Published: June 30, 2008
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After a few months’ hiatus, The Style Guy returns to tackle your sartorial uncertainties, including the ongoing question of what to do with long hair, civilians wearing military attire and, of course, waistcoats. Let’s see what’s in the post-box this time!

Dear Style Guy:

Long hair in a pipe band is not only the province of women. I wear my hair quite long, as do two other current male members of the Lyon College Pipe Band. When wearing a Glengarry, it is definitely more fashionable, and tidier, to tie the hair back in some way. My two band-mates both choose to wear long pony-tails, and my personal preference is braids, although I often wear the braids even when not piping. My braids have on occasion been mistaken for part of the bonnet, and they have also become somewhat of a trademark of mine.

With regard to belts and waistcoats, I have always worn a belt, vest or no. I have also noted Bob Worrall wearing a belt with a vest, and he’s always a fashionable enough guy in my book. I will continue.

K.

Okay, okay, K.:

Ach, aye, Jummy!I agree with you and the male-hair issue. As with long-locked women, men sporting flowing tresses should go with the tied-back look. Don’t try to hide it up under your hat as in that Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show lyric. What you must avoid is the “Jimmy-Hat” appearance: you know, those tartan bunnets with the fake tufty ginger hair sewn in, popular with Scottish footba’ fans when travelling to foreign countries. Keep it neat.

Braids? Unless you’re that strangely attractive Prime Minister of Ukraine, I don’t like that idea at all. And unless your braids are dyed to match, they will completely clash with your drone-cords. Ick!

Now, then, I will wrestle once more with the waistcoat-waistbelt constant conundrum. I have not seen Mr. Worrall recently, but I gather he’s a natty dresser. Perhaps he is a Highland fashion trend-setter, and I’m all for that. Scottish dress, like all other fashion, changes, and it takes mavericks to prompt those changes.

But some things are just static. One does not wear shoes on the hands or a hat on a foot or a belt with a vest. It is a no-no. Designers of men’s clothing will occasionally make a statement by doing things like putting a brown belt with black shoes or one pant-leg shorter than the other or a neck-tie cut off at the knot. But these things never catch on and just look plain dorky.

So it goes with belts and waistcoats. The kilt should fit, and should not need a belt to keep it up. If it doesn’t stay up, then a set of braces / suspenders under the vest / waistcoat will do the job. I don’t know what more I can say on this topic. You can take my advice or continue to be a braided-belt-wearing-waistcoater. I really don’t care. I am simply trying to save you and the rest of the piping and drumming world from the ridicule that is most certainly occurring behind you back.

So, with that, I shall divest myself from the topic of belts and vests. It’s up to you if you want to be laughed at.

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  1. dawvid

    I think I met the Scots Guard Guy this year. FYI he told me that he had been a student of PM Dixie Ingram, former of Scots Guards, 2nd Battalion. Can you imagine how it feels to be beaten in a piping competition by a guy wearing trews?

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