Good day, Highland fashionistas. I, The Style Guy, shall now peer inside my Victoria-era sporran, reputedly once owned by that well-endowed ghillie, John Brown, and which was reportedly rummaged in by none other than Queen Victoria herself, to ponder the latest missives from mystified readers.
Let’s see now . . .
Dear Style Guy:
For parade purposes, where should the line be drawn on informal dress with respect to an appropriate shirt for parade/performance (in July/August). My band will – once or twice a year – succumb to wearing golf shirts for parades. I usually “forget” mine and wear a short-sleeved dress shirt with a collar, but the quartermaster seems to have a never ending supply of the hated golf shirt to “lend” me (I think I have four at this point). Am I being too stodgy (if that is possible), or should I continue to wage my lonely battle for more formal wear?
John (the despairing stodgy guy)
A very good series of questions. First, no matter what your band wears, you should, too. The only thing that looks worse than a band with a bad uniform, is a band with everyone wearing the uniform except for one rebel who insists on wearing something he/she thinks is “right.” That’s like playing a different reel because you personally hate the band’s rendition of “Jenny Dang the Weaver.”
You may be surprised, but I think golf shirts are okay, but only in climates and cultures that are accustomed to seeing them. I am a big believer in comfortable style while playing our very physical instruments. Golf shirts just seem to work well in, say, Australia or Florida, provided they are neutral in colour and go well with the tartan. If the shirts distract from the kilts, they’re wrong.
All that said, I don’t see why a band can’t just break out the short-sleeved white cotton collared shirts, dispense the vests and jackets and get on with it. I would agree that that’s “more formal wear” than golf shirts, so keep up the good fight.