The Style Guy’s resolutions for a stylish 2018

Published: December 27, 2017
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The Style Guy notes that more than three-quarters of us prefer to wear proper Highland dress in competition, eschewing “Smart but casual everyday clothing.” This tells me that we want to continue to look the part, even if it means that we won’t be as comfortable. (I doubt any one of you slips into your band kit when you get home from a long day at the office . . . ) So with the New Year at hand, here are some style resolutions intended to help you look and act your best when doing your piping and drumming thing.

Resolution: first band back to jackets and no vests wins style points.

The Style Guy is hoping that 2018 will be the year when bands replace the horrible waistcoats/vests with jackets. Just jackets. It’s a clean and modern retro look. And I don’t mean that you have to wear your jackets in competition. They’re conducive to staying warm, but destructive to good playing because of being restrictive on the arms for pipers and snare drummers, not to mention the tenors who need the range of motion of a gymnast. I’d love to see a band out there with jackets on, but it would be just as great to see a full complement of crisp long-sleeved shirts. That’s all. Just one band that finally leaves their cheap and ill-fitting waistcoats on the bus will make a statement that they’re looking forward by looking back.

Sharp and clean (never mind the rogue sporrans and tie and missing waist-belt . . . )

Resolve never to wear ridiculous ties

You might think you’re being funny when you wear that ridiculous necktie, but, in truth, you’re looking like a fool. And you’re not really a fool. You’re actually pulling attention away from your good playing. You’re communicating that your tie is more engaging than your performance as a piper, drummer or adjudicator. You can make sartorial statements in tasteful ways, though. Start a style trend with a taste in clothing that reflects your good taste in music. No, you don’t need to look like everyone else, just as you don’t need to be the umpteenth piper to play “Susan MacLeod,” as great a tune as it is. You can play tastefully different tunes, and you can wear tastefully different items. That yellow Mickey Mouse tie? Well, it Disney work.


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  1. Lou Henningsen

    Great points with a minor hiccup when I saw that there may be some rule about leaving sunglasses at the band tent. Even in my military career, multiple doctors felt strongly enough about eye protection that they wrote scripts for photo-gray lenses, or even for permanently dark lenses that don’t adapt to light conditions. Maybe some leeway on this one?

  2. j.m.fogelman

    I’m keeping the sunglasses on. I’ll gladly take being slightly less stylish if it means being able to see the PM.


    If you can give me gray overcast skies or indoor games then I’ll ditch the sunglasses……otherwise the shades stay on…..protecting your eyes from cataracts is no different then this fair-skinned Scot wearing sun-block and using ear plugs for hearing protection…..not a question of “style” here…

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Don’t practice what you don’t know. If you are unsure about something seek advice rather then play and practice something that could turn out to be wrong. It will be harder to correct.
Euan Anderson, Edinburgh