View Full Version : What constitutes "highland dress" for competition
04-10-2002, 05:18 PM
I guess the subject says it all. I'm looking to begin competition in a local (NH) event and the entry indicates the requirement for "highland dress".
I'm waiting for comment from some of the organizers, but I wanted to pitch this question here to see what other have to say. I could find nothing on the EUSPBA site about the subject. Are we talking the whole schmeer or is simply wearing a kilt enough? I'm starting a bit late in life (44), but I'm quite devoted to the history, tradition and technique of the music and instrument, less so in "highland dress".
Thanks, as always.
04-10-2002, 06:38 PM
Every competition I have ever seen had the competitors dressed in jacket, tie, white shirt, kilt, hose, yadda yadda. I have also seen others compete in short sleeve shirts of any color, ie Robert Malcolm Memorial and their blue shirts. Definietly check with the organizers and make sure their is no stipulation as to dress. All out full military dress is probably too much. :D I would assume if you are dressed neatly and respectably, there should be no problem.
04-10-2002, 06:44 PM
04-10-2002, 08:29 PM
The 'minimum' required highland dress varies according to region, but you should be able to get away with: kilt, sporran, hose, and flashes, with jacket, belt waistcoat, ghillies, bonnet, and sgian optional. Black or brown wingtips can sub for ghillies; you don't HAVE to have a sgian; jackets and ties are usually optional in summer; you could even wear tartan trews and be correct.
As you get more and more into it, you'll acquire more kit - hose, dirk, belts, bonnets, badges, and all the other flashy stuff we're prone to....but the basics are the same all over. Save up your money and buy good quality stuff, not the junk you usually find at the games. Get your jacket made-to-measure; get hose that compliment the sett of your kilt, rather than going with 'band white.' Avoid military looks - unless you're military. It's insulting to those who actually serve in the units, and especially to veterans.
And this is from a highland dress outfitter!
04-11-2002, 04:20 AM
I know in the MWPBA a kilt, kilt hose, shoes normally dark leather,any kind of collared shirt and a glengary or balmoral is enough
04-11-2002, 07:33 AM
"The 'minimum' required highland dress varies according to region, but you should be able to get away with: kilt, sporran, hose, and flashes, with jacket, belt waistcoat, ghillies, bonnet, and sgian optional."
This is fine for both men and women. But for solos, women can wear the "female" non-band attire. This is a kilted skirt, nice blouse, nylon stockings or white stockings, and flat black shoes. No sporran, no hat. I usually wear a vest as well.
04-11-2002, 10:23 AM
It's interesting to see the opinions, as listed here, but since you're interested in a New Hampshire contest, and seem to want the EUSPBA's perspective, I thought I'd emphasize the link that John posted:
For anyone interested, it is a great little resource called, "So, You Want to Compete?" and provides some very practical advice for the beginning EUSPBA competitor. The section on 'Appropriate Apparel' is similar, but bears some difference to, the above comments, and might provide the more 'official' angle you're looking for.
04-11-2002, 03:42 PM
Thanks to all for the replies. I'll have to dwell on this some, but at first blush this all seems a bit of a barrier to competing - assuming that it is the music that is the priority. I can easily see how band or solo performances would benefit from the "show" of appropriate traditional dress, but in competition performance between you and a judge, I would assume that it would be the music that was important.
Am I missing something? Would (or should) I be allowed to compete in GR4 (or any grade for that matter) wearing a kilt of modern non-tartan material, hose, reasonable shoes and a dress shirt?
04-11-2002, 08:56 PM
If you're of a small-to-reasonable size you could get away with a used military kilt, available from several reenactor outfitters. Or just find one off the peg at a games - outfitters usually have several 'duds' on their racks that were never delivered.
You don't need a jacket; you could even go for the 'historical reenactor' look with a feilidh-mhor and blousy shirt - but some organisers are prejudiced against that type of highland dress.
04-11-2002, 09:26 PM
You can also check with suppliers that RENT kilts....they usually sell the kilts at a certain age....Can usually get good price...but tend to be Black Watch or Royal Stewart Tartans.
Graeme J W Smith
04-13-2002, 03:09 PM
Who am I to comment? I don't even play but if New York last weekend was anything to go by......
There is a HUGE range of what is considered acceptable. Let's face it - most "Highland Dress" is a developing tradition of the last 160 years since Queen Victoria took over all "Scottish" and it had to be dug back out of the peat where it had been buried since 1745 and the proscription of the tartan. It had - of course - rotted and there was no one in living memory who could say what to do with it or how it ever really looked. I suspect if you turned up in pre 1745 dress of a plaid or Great Kilt - no one would recognise you as being in highland dress :)
There is nothing like a bit of variety to help evolution along.
Go with the advice in here - ask at the competition you are going to.