View Full Version : Uniform Ideas
12-30-2005, 07:21 AM
Ok, I have pieced together a semi-military uniform over the last couple of years. I am the only piper in the fire department, so it is pretty much up to me what I want to wear. I am looking for ideas on how I can improve my uniform or what I might purchase next. Thanks!
W. F. Morrison
12-30-2005, 07:41 AM
Plaids are a royal pain...looks like the only other thing you're missing is a crossbelt. How hot is it in Sugar Land? Might want to consider light weight white doublet, poly-cotton blend. Plenty of taylors available in India. I don't recommend a feather bonnet if you're not in a band that wears them.
Warren Morrison, DM, principal bass drummer, Loch Norman Pipe Band, Huntersville NC
12-30-2005, 07:41 AM
Lose the horse hair sporran and spats for starters....unless the military look is what you are going for. I just think hose with gillies looks way more hip. Just my opinion. Maybe some new cords and bag cover to match a little better as well. :smokin:
12-30-2005, 07:43 AM
Your kilt is far too long. Plain hose look terrible with spats. If you're going for the semi-Gordon look get a pair of red and white diced hose tops. They also have red flashes (garters) with the loops in them. You need to take the spats in around the legs. They're too big for you. I assume they're the velcro type. Just move the under portion of the velcro toward the rear of the spats. You'll need a cross belt, Gordon plaid and plaid brooch. To top it all off get a set of collar dogs, a cockfeather and maybe even some drone ribbons.
Oh, and tighten up your waist belt. You look like John Wayne in a western movie.
W. F. Morrison
12-30-2005, 07:43 AM
Forgot diced hose-tops usually worn with the spats.
Warren Morrison, Loch Norman Pipe Band
12-30-2005, 07:59 AM
I like the fire engine red cords and bag trim. What could be a better color for a fire department. I love spats with black buttons, very sharp looking. Crossed trumpets collor dogs would be nice. How about a picture with out the pipes?
12-30-2005, 07:59 AM
mike o posted: "Lose the horse hair sporran and spats for starters....unless the military look is what you are going for." I believe he is going for that, Mike. In which case, those belong. I agree pretty much with Spunky's observations (except for the diced hose...I'd go tartan hose, instead).
What's good, Rob, is that you're starting out clean and unencumbered, needing just a few minor additions, as Spunky pointed out. Many start out the other way...over the top and needing to jettison things.
12-30-2005, 08:09 AM
Wow Spunky, nothing like some brutal honesty first thing in the morning. My kilt actually comes right across my knee caps which is hard to see in the photo. Is that too long? The spats are velcro so I should be able to tighten them a bit without too much trouble. The picture was right after strike in, so my left shoulder is a bit high, when I settle in, the shoulder comes down, along with the doublet and belt so I think the john wayne thing is just a timing issue with the picture, will check the belt though. What are collar dogs?
I prefer the military look, it does get hot down here in sugar land, but I can put up with it. Been thinking about diced hose, but thought they would have to match the kilt, didn't know that the red diced hose would work. Will also add a cross belt to my list. Thanks for the input, keep it coming.....
12-30-2005, 09:03 AM
And the diced hose, Red and White, Red and Black, or Red and Green?
12-30-2005, 09:35 AM
Rob, I don't know how you are checking your kilt length but to be sure, kneel on the floor and the kilt should fall about an inch above the floor. Have someone else check this for you so you will be erect... Err, standing up straight.
The reasson I suggest this is that I'm with Spunky. Your kilt looks far too long. It may be because of the camera angle but...
12-30-2005, 10:23 AM
Phil, that's why I like the Red chords too, goes with the FD. I think it will tie in even better if I go with Red diced hose.
Thanks for the tip Ken. I kneeled and my wife measured. 1 inch on the right knee, 3/4 of an inch on the left. Perhaps I am a bit crooked. I agree the kilt looks long in the picture. This is the first time I have worn the doublet and I am guessing with the belt on the doublet and not the kilt, the kilt slid down a bit. I'll just have to tighten the straps a bit I think to solve that problem. Or, maybe a better idea, I'll just start drinking more beer so my natural body shape will hold it up!
12-30-2005, 11:11 AM
Yes, Rob, belt on the doublet. In fact, many doublets have a wire thingy (that's technical uniform talk) on both sides into which the waist belt to fits.
Regarding the hose, everyone will differ, of course. With the military dress in our band, the drummers where diced hose; the pipers wear tartan, obviously matching (or complementary to) the kilt. Given the subtle, clean look of your kit, I'd go with the tartan. Your call, naturally.
12-30-2005, 11:56 AM
Right, that is where I wear the belt, on the doublet. My comment was regarding the kilt being too long. I think having the belt on the doublet wire thingies may have caused my kilt to slide down a bit. I have a thin build, so without a belt to help, I think I will have to wear my kilt tighter to keep it from slipping.
12-30-2005, 01:04 PM
Right, Rob. Or you could wear suspenders. :smokin:
12-30-2005, 01:50 PM
Not a bad idea....... Could be a big seller at the next highland games, Kilt Suspenders!
12-30-2005, 02:13 PM
My PM wears them now whenever we wear vests as part of uniform. I'm thinking real hard about it myself.
Randy J. Homer
12-30-2005, 02:26 PM
If you wear suspenders with a kilt, then for cryin' out loud keep 'em covered! Suspenders with a kilt is every bit as gauche as sneakers with a tux.
12-30-2005, 03:50 PM
Looking good buddy. I'd say throw some dept. patches on! Nothing wrong with a little dept. pride. And I'd go with red and black hose!
Stay low, PTB-EGH!
12-30-2005, 04:17 PM
Nothing wrong with braces for a kilt...all the old army ones have buttons for them...Get some surplus braces....military ones with the leather attachments..stitch some buttons on the inside of the kilt and away you go. Far more comfortable and accurate than adjusting the loops on your kilt!
12-30-2005, 04:21 PM
What are collar dogs?
Those are the little pins worn on the stand up collars.
There is a picture Here (http://www.calgaryhighlanders.com/tartans.htm) Scroll down to the bottom and you will see them on the two uniforms.
12-30-2005, 04:22 PM
I agree with the FD patches.
Maybe a FD uniform shirt as an option.
Oh and Sugarland is essentially a suburb of Houston!
Randy J. Homer
12-30-2005, 08:15 PM
Doogie, I'll defer to you on matters of army piping - I believe that you have more direct experience than me. But aren't the buttons on all the old army kilts for the battledress blouse? It's the same short-waisted jacket as what buttoned to the trousers, no?
And Rob, if you PM a mailing address, I'll send you some Gordon collar dogs and a proper 3-D Gordon's cap badge for a piper.
12-31-2005, 01:30 AM
The next thing you'll see is people sewing belt loops on the back of their kilts and putting their waste belts through them. I hope to never see that day........
Get a kilt that fits. When they fit properly they look great...except on big fat people.
12-31-2005, 03:49 AM
Erm...kilts do have loops on the back!!! And whilst the buttons may have been used to attach the BD jacket they are ideal for heavy braces.....but its true to say get a kilt that fits and it looks great.
The preference for the height of the kilt is discussed all over the forums!! But I prefer to see it at the top of the knee..any lower and it looks like a skirt!!
I never liked the spats with velcro..they never look right. I used to wear the button up ones and after Id shrunk em they were so tight they looked like they grew there...you need a button hook to get em on though!
Looking at your picture..heres all my observations!!
glengarry would look good with a red and blue hackle in it.
Jacket looks excellent..
Need ribbons for the pipes
Your waistbelt is too loose.
Your sporran is too low. Should be about 2 inches below your waistbelt
Your kilt is too low!!
If you look at the picture and imagined you hoisted everything up..then it would look ok.
I think you definitely need some tartan hose..or diced hose tops..altho I think the sett youve chosen is probably one of the least attractive!!! ( sorry..just my opinion )
Try to find some button up spats and shrink em by doing the hot cold water thing, they look so much smarter, but be aware that you will need to add at least half an hour to your dressing time!!
Finally...get some nice military brogues so you can click along the street and ruin peoples parquet flooring!!
12-31-2005, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by DoogieG:
Erm...kilts do have loops on the back!!! Dougie,
That's exactly my point. Why are they there? They were never necessary before. I have a few army kilts that don't have them and they fit great and my waist belt is never a problem.
My tight little but also does a fine jub keeping my sporran up.
12-31-2005, 02:38 PM
Ever the fashion police we're becoming.
Rob, try some white popcorn socks :68dance:
01-01-2006, 04:48 AM
Dont start with the popcorn socks!!!!
To be honest I dont know why some kilts have belt loops.......the only reason I use the loops is because if I put my belt over it its uncomfortable!!
I used to have a tight little but..but its traveling south......
01-01-2006, 09:34 AM
Spunky, your "tight little butt" comment almost made me spew water all over my keyboard and monitor!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I should know not to drink water while reading threads on this forum!! :lol:!!!
You guys crack me up!!!
Oh, and Rob, I agree that FD patches would look great, maybe a small IAFF pin on the front of your jacket, too. I know you've heard enough about your kilt length and hose, so I won't comment on those. I like the red chords and bag trim, especially since you play for the fire dept. Personally, I can't stand spats, but it fits with the rest of your kit and is more in line with military style. Glengarry would be nice, too... just to "top" it off.
01-01-2006, 11:54 AM
I think the outfit looks great as is, with the kilt and sporran hitched up a bit.
I like the idea of the Gordon tartan hose with red flashes.
01-01-2006, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by EquusRacer:
Regarding the hose, everyone will differ, of course. With the military dress in our band, the drummers where diced hose; the pipers wear tartan, obviously matching (or complementary to) the kilt. Given the subtle, clean look of your kit, I'd go with the tartan. Your call, naturally. I think with Rob's dark tunic, that tartan hose tops would look nicer. In Equus Racer's band, the drummers wear Hunting Stewart kilts (dark green) with red tunics, so the red and white diced hose tops look sharp. With only red in the trim on his pipes, diced hose tops may be more distracting (too much white on the feet) than complimentary in his case. Plus a plaid would look good since you're pretty much headed in that direction uniform-wise.
01-01-2006, 08:32 PM
Rob, I'm firmly in the suspender (braces) camp. I had the same problem back in the day when I shifted the waist belt to the doublet. Don't worry about drinking extra beer, the waistline will come along in time (whether you want it to or not). I agree about hose tops & tightening up the spats.
BTW, Spunky, I think you're about half full of s**t, but if you're ever in the DC area, let me know and I'll buy you a beer or three.
01-02-2006, 07:24 AM
Thanks for the input all!
FD patches are easy enough. I'm pretty sure tightening the straps on my kilt will solve that problem. Spats should be an easy fix too. Those will be some quick easy changes that won't cost me a dime. I am wearing a glengarry btw.
As far as the crossbelt, kilt hose, plaid and other suggestions, I'm doing my reasearch and trying to decide what will look best! I'll be sure and post a follow up picture after I make some changes!
01-02-2006, 07:34 AM
Whatever you decide Rob...Im sure you will look as smart as a new pin what!!
01-02-2006, 11:34 AM
Here is a marketable idea http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00003IEG2.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg just adapt it to designing uniforms for pipebands.
01-02-2006, 12:55 PM