Published: October 31, 2012

Who wears the pants in your Highland hoose?

Mr. Guy:

Much like the web page dedicated to researching and commenting on teams uniforms/logos in sports, do you in particular keep watch and take note of the bands or individuals who roam the circuits?   Are there any individuals who you make you think they would be as a big a  hit on the catwalk as they are on the boards? Is there a band or two that makes you want to go to the band treasurer and ask for new uniforms right away?   Also, are waist-coats falling out of style? Or have so many bands bought into the idea of having them that it we now have too many people wearing them in all the wrong sizes?  

Take care, and I would love to see you approach the idea of having your own “uni-watch.”

Cheers,

Mr. Wishes-He-Could-Get-Away-with-Wearing-Trews-in-the-Circle

Well, Mr. WHCGAWWTITC, so many questions; so little time! My short answers, in order: Yes, Yes, Yes, Hope so, and Yes.

I do keep close watch of pipe band style, but, truth be known, so many bands look the same (just swap out the tartan) that they have become right boring twats, if I may be so crass. Soloists, as mentioned above, are increasingly looking for that fashionable differentiator. Some of them are taking such risks with their ensembles that they’re clearly trying to set themselves apart and be memorable by what they look like, just in case their music doesn’t do the job. When a judge is left with a barrage of performances that, for all purposes, are pretty much the same sound and quality, then at least he/she might recall that guy with the funny hat or unique socks. Good tactic.

As for the 20-year waist-coat trend, I’ve actually heard from young professional-grade pipers who have admitted that they have never performed without one. They believe that these ill-fitting and predictable vests are a required part of Highland dress for all competitors. True story. And, as with everything, even the finest clothes look terrible when they don’t fit. Hand-me-down waist-coats and kilts eventually make a band look like a team of tartan clowns. Let’s hope they soon become waste-coats.

And, regarding your desire to wear trews with a band, here’s my prediction: an entire (non-Breton, non-military) Grade 1 band will sport tartan trousers in competition in 2013. My money is on either ScottishPower, perhaps the best kitted-out band in the world, or House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead, a band always looking for ways to promote the sponsor’s textiles. My advice to your pining for pants in the Florida sunshine: keep begging – – that is, don’t zip it.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I wish I could take full credit for the cardigan. There’s a video on YouTube of Donald MacPherson performing at the Piping Centre in 1999 wearing a sweater. If you can’t imitate the King, who can you imitate?

  2. I wish I could take full credit for the cardigan. There’s a video on YouTube of Donald MacPherson performing at the Piping Centre in 1999 wearing a sweater. If you can’t imitate the King, who can you imitate?

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