Published: February 01, 2014

The Style Guy: of brown brogues and tweeds and flashing white sergeants

Dear Mr. Style Guy,

First of all … happy New Year from all of us h” in Belgium.

Now, my question/problem: recently we’ve changed our band uniform a bit, going from white socks to grey, and from white shirts also to light grey ones. But lately I noticed that the other bands I come across have quite flashy flashes on their socks.

So my question is, how do you choose flashes? What are the flash rules? And what would you suggest for our band? For your info we wear the Ancient MacKenzie tartan.

Best Belgian regards,

Yannick

Alas, poor Yannick. I knew flashes would eventually hold up more than socks. Flashes are funny things. They’re a piece of the outfit that serves no real function, since they in themselves don’t hold up the hose. They just stick out and are a nuisance to keep straight and evenly matched. But they’re a traditional piece in the puzzle, so we’ll make the most of them.

Truth be told, no one would notice if flashes were not there, so that tells you something: keep them fairly discreet. Err on the side of conservative so that they don’t draw attention away from the most important item, that lovely Ancient MacKenzie sett.

Since your socks are grey, perhaps a darker shade of grey would work. Or pick up one of the main colours of the tartan – the blue, or even the black. I’m also a fan of the tartan flash, but again, keep them simply, and display no more than an inch of flash.

Avoid the red from the tartan, and certainly the introduction of some sudden colour like yellow. And by all means, no “randing” on the flashes – something that seems to be creeping in as yet another thing to sell from the makers of Highland dress. Let’s keep the logos to a minimum, and the bag cover, tie and cap badge are quite enough.And happy New Year to you, too.

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