As an employee of an ancient and venerable school of business in Boston, I have been involved in just the kind of work one would expect whilst the economy implodes and eyes are cast heavenward (the latter less an act of imploring the divine than a way to avoid plummeting investors); making a rubber-band ball and reading your column. After reading through many excellent questions and answers, I come to you with a query of my own.
Over the course of my piping career, I’ve tried to follow the rule that the only thing garish about a piper’s kit should be the expense. As such, I’ve become a proponent hand-knit kilt hose (in subdued shades, of course), and have a few pairs that are well constructed, subtly patterned, and carry the added benefit of putting a coin in the pocket of a crone. I can hardly think of a reason to pull on a pair of white or bottle green nylon hose unless, of course, they are part some lewd act.
Recently, however, I’ve been considering the adoption of tartan hose, especially at indoor events. I have a pair for more formal performances (in Lindsay, matching my kilt), and even went so far as to wear them to the games along with black jacket/vest, rep striped tie, blue shirt, studded black sporran, and polished black ghillies. Some of my peers derided the choice, suggesting that black or charcoal hose were more appropriate. While I agreed that those options were acceptable (black, in my opinion, a little over-done these days), I didn’t think that eliminated the option of tartan, especially as I feel that my choice was also intended to reflect the formality I attach to competition. I wanted to check in with an authority in order to obtain a more formal pronouncement. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Beguiled by Argyle
Mssr. BBA – first, I applaud your courage and your sense of Highland style adventure. Second, what on God’s tartan earth are you thinking?! Tartan hose really only suit a formal suit, which means evening dress of Prince Charlie, military doublet or, for the truly foppish, Montrose doublet. Tartan socks also work with a variation of the military “number-one,” but be careful there.
While there are certainly worse Highland crimes of fashion, wearing tartan hose with a daywear ensemble should be avoided. Your friends are right: stick with the solid, simple colour. Round the games, unless you’re in the military, keep the spotlight on the kilt, rather than your calves.