Archives for : scottish

Tweeds are back in Highland Jackets

Tweeds, a return to traditional men’s clothing. When it comes to kilts a tweed jacket precedes everything else that the industry currently offers. The cut may have been different, but today’s tweed takes you back to a era that was filled with noble gentlemen and ladies of the manor. The current tweed jacket is based on the Argyle Jacket that is available off the rack in black. For many I need to cover some jacket basics. There are three basic jackets available to a gentleman kilt wearer. The best way to explain them is that a Prince Charlie is the Tuxedo jacket, the Argyle is the suit coat, and the tweed jacket is the sport coat of the three. The one that everyone thinks they need to own is the Prince Charlie, the tuxedo of the three jackets. I say the Tuxedo because it is for White Tie and Tails, or where you would wear a tuxedo. Rule of thumb here: If you would not wear a tuxedo at the event you are going to then just because your wearing a kilt does not make the Prince Charlie any more acceptable. When you tell most shops that you want a Prince Charlie, they just sell it to you without question. Not at the Kilt & Thistle, all of our staff is aware that asking you questions about where, and to what event, are you going to wear the jacket you are wanting to purchase. We ask this of all accessories, but a jacket can be an expensive mistake. Rather than go over every possible scenario , I will just go over the jackets in detail. The Prince Charlie, the tuxedo jacket is worn to very formal events. I can only think of a few places on the West Coast that a Prince Charlie would be required. The Prince Charlie is available in a smooth wool fabric known as Barathea. Colors are black , off the rack and any number of options like Navy, Dark Greens, called Bottle green and an even darker Rifle green. The lapels should always be a satin, as a cloth lapel looks unfinished. The Argyle jackets named after the cuff design , three buttons arranged around the cuff at an angle along with a material, like a gauntlet , also know as the gauntlet cuff, to make it a dashing look. This is the suit coat of jackets and is the most versatile. The material is also the same smooth wool Barathea and the same color palette is available.Lapels on this should be the cloth of the jacket. Now here is where there is confusion amongst many and I hope I can explain it to your satisfaction. There are two other jackets based on the Argyle and they are called the Braemar and the Crail. The body of the jacket and the fabric options are the same with the cuff treatment being the options. The Breamar has three buttons placed up the sleeve identical to the Prince Charlie and the Crail has no buttons on the cuff or sleeve. I will try to have a link for you to our site with pictures. The third jacket is commonly referred to as The Tweed or the casual , day jacket. Back in the day when people wore a Dinner Jacket for dinner every night, you could have referred to this one as the casual jacket, but no more. And at one time before the Prince Charlie or the Argyle the Tweed was, arguably the only Highland jacket. Here again is where it is a bit confusing. The tweed is designed and roughly the same shell as the Argyle and comes with the same cuff options. There are however dozens of tweed fabrics to match up with any tartan. All three jackets deserve their very own column. So look for one for each of the jackets. If you are unclear about any of this or just want more information, email or call me at the store. That is why we are here.

Kilt Hose Wash and Worn

I have worn our premium kilt hose, our Piper hose, and the new high end Cheviot Hose.  I will try to cover all three separately. Below is an older post about our kilt hose in general.

The Kilt & Thistle has now been serving you, our Scottish friends and loyal customers for fourteen years. From the start Cheryl and I knew that quality and consistency would be the benchmark of the values that we held dear. It would also become a very important part of our business model.
With that in mind we use and or give every product we handle a fair testing to make sure it meets your needs.
Our new Kilt & Thistle hose , the second wearing. Cheryl refuses to let me near the laundry equipment , as a bachelor of many years I acquired a unique way to do laundry. Frankly it scares Cheryl when I even get near the washing machine. So Cheryl was nice enough to wash my new kilt hose. Washing machine on warm water and cold rinse, and the hose wear hung to dry. In my original post I mention the slight extended length, which as a fellow of six foot tall is a welcome feature of any kilt hose. This hose will work well for much taller fellows as well without comprising the look of the hose. The washed version of our new kilt hose looked as good as they were coming out of the package. They did not seem to shrink any at all and retained that little extra length that I like.
Duncan’s Tip: For any hose new or not is to stretch the hose length wise before putting them on. This lengthens those other hose that don’t quite measure up and it relaxes the fibers to go around those of us with more desirable husky calves.
My daily walk is about thirty minutes to the shop on a average day, and about a mile by foot. Since I walk this nearly everyday, I get a chance to put wear on a product and test it before you have to. The sock held up very well during my walk. It kept it’s shape all day and without any sagging. Walking home that night they felt as good as they did that morning. I am confident that if you are looking for a mid weight kilt hose that will work in most North American climates , that the new Kilt and Thistle kilt hose is an excellent value.

Cheviot Hose Update

Most of you are not going to wear your kilt as often as I do. That’s where my experience helps you, so you don’t have the awkward experience of having your kilt fly over your head or having your ghillie brogue laces caught in the elevator door. Not that either one has happened to me.

My point is that hopefully I can help you by the experience I have with the products we sell, and even a few that we don’t and keep you rock’in your kilt.

We started selling Cheviot Hose this fall, after the research we do on any product, that includes knowledge of the company and the way they do business. Cheviot Hose is woven in Scotland in Haywick and their dedication to quality is amazing. They have a strong product line that includes hose for Country Gentlemen for wellies and plus fours, along with a very attractive Ladies line.

I have now worn two models of the Cheviot Kilt Hose , the Glenmore and the Harris. I have worn them both now more than once which includes the important feature of how they do after they are washed. Surprisingly they wear a little different in performance , even though they are made from the same blend of 3 ply Marino Wool and Acrylic.

The Glenmore has a cooler feel and seems a better fit for summer wear, he odd thing is that the sock stayed up on my calf easier and with less care. I have stout calves and had a little trouble keeping my hose up with the Harris model of hose. I walk a great deal, ten blocks either way to our Salem store and just about every where I go, I prefer to walk. The other morning I was on my way to the train station, wearing the Harris model of the Cheviot Hose. They are built for fuller calves. With the weight of the sgian dubh , that sock fell while I was walking. The other fell withing blocks. The best option was to tighten up the elastic on my flashes. The smoothness of the Merino wool and the fullness design in the hose attributed to them falling down. I have had any number of kilt hose from hand knits to a dozen different manufacturers. I have never had a better kilt hose that the Cheviot Hose.