Style Guy
November 12, 2016

The Style Guy: for better or for worsted

Dear Style (can I call you by your first name?),

Hope you’re well, since we haven’t heard from you in a while. My question to you is this: who on earth do you think is the best-dressed piper or drummer there is? I’m talking when he or she is competing or judging.

Is there one person who you would single out as sartorially best?



Well, Howie, since we’re going by first-names, this is an excellent question. The God of Immaculate Perception is and probably always will be the great John David Burgess. His was an impeccable style, sparing no expense, taking the time to work with a tailor to gain that perfect Highland look. I prostrate myself at the altar of JDB every evening at 5, when I look to the west and rinse my hands with malt whisky and think about taking up smoking Silk Cut cigarettes.

Sadly, our God is no longer with us. Memories of curly-haired sporrans and powder horns will remain forever.

But, who today carries the title? I love the great Pipe-Major Gordon Walker’s military look. Always gleaming, to match the smile and good cheer he perpetually sports. Or maybe it’s the natty Robert Worrall, who’s as tastefully adventurous with colour as they come, seemingly willing to try anything once. Quite the dandy.

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But you might not be surprised that my choice for World’s Best-Dressed Piper goes to Burgess’s long-time pupil and understudy, Brian Donaldson. Mr. Donaldson carries off his look with Burgess-like ease and grace. Regardless whether in a competition, on the bench or teaching at a workshop, he is immaculately turned-out. Pencil moustache trimmed perfectly. Every hair on his head in pomaded place. And the kilt pressed to perfection, and landing exactly at the right point of the knee. Just like his mentor, Mr. Donaldson loves his tweed, and sports an amazing array of stylishly different bespoke jackets. His military background as a Scots Guardsman in the ilk of the also-perfectly-turned-out Pipe-Major Angus MacDonald, combined with the influence of the God of Immaculate Perception, JDB, Brian Donaldson is the perfect combination of elegance and taste, wrapping a totally authentic, no-nonsense and often hilarious personality.

Brian Donaldson: the World’s Best-Dressed.

Worn out wondering what to wear? Think they might be laughing at your flashes under tops? Uncertain about that famous blue raincape? Just send your questions and a photo if you have one to The Style Guy, and he’ll give you his always impeccable opinion as he guides you to your first Best-Dressed prize.





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