Style Guy
December 27, 2017

The Style Guy’s resolutions for a stylish 2018

Decided: no more matchy-matchy in 2018

I’ve seen a rise in pipers and drummers and judges working too hard to have matching tartan everything – waistcoats same as the kilt, and even sporrans and shoes customized with swatches of the same tartan, trying to match everything. I like this for non-competition events, like recitals, Burns Suppers and Halloween, but when it creeps on to the contest field one must declare that enough is enough. The all tartan thing might have been cool when Queen Victoria strutted her stuff at Balmoral, or when The Style Guy’s muse, John D. Burgess, could pull off the feat at the big events, but today it just misses the sartorial mark for all but the most judicious folk. In general, Style Guy recommends avoiding direct matching tartan. Just like a piper with a bag-cover that matches a kilt immediately suggests “Bad player,” so, too, can a matchy-matchy Highland wear ensemble. Complementing, not copying, is what sharp style’s all about.


Be it resolved never to wear sunglasses while competing.

The Style Guy can’t stop saying this but many pipers and drummers still appear blind to the no shades rule. I still see players in bands and soloists compete wearing sunglasses. It might be blazing sunshine, and you might think sunglasses are medically necessary, but surely you can live without them for a few minutes. There are few things more style-destroying than a well-turned-out band looking immaculate on the field, but then there’s that one member out there who “forgot” to take off his/her sunglasses. It’s a fashion blooter that pulls down the performance with a single suggestion of arrogance. It’s an early E of style. Sunglasses are an ensemble clanger.



  1. 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. 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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