I just came back from the Gatlinburg (TN) Scottish Festival and Highland Games. Had a great time -- the weather was perfect and the crowds came out to enjoy the Scottish music, athletics, and shopping.
Being a kilt aficionado however means that I (often without thinking about it) judge how other people are wearing their kilt. I see first of all how the kilt was made, and second of all, how they are accessorizing it.
You always see a great variety at these games. Some people seem to think that a Scottish event like this is an excuse to wear whatever crazy thing they have in their closet. I still recall one gentleman from a games some years ago wearing a perfectly nice kilt, with a black leather biker vest covered in patches (no shirt underneath), enough chains around his neck to make Mr. T jealous, a viking helm complete with horns, and on his feet.... large green furry dinosaur-feet bedroom slippers.
This guy was obviously trying to look ridiculous, and he succeeded. But some people manage to look that way purely by accadent. Examples abouneded this weekend.
One older gentleman looked dashing in his kilt and Prince Charlie jacket. For those of you who don't know, the PC jacket is the Scottish equivalent of a tuxedo. It is usually black, with silver buttons, and has a very formal cut. It is meant to be worn with a vest, or a cummerbund, with a formal shirt and bow tie. This gentleman, however, was wearing it around the feild that day with a t-shirt printed with his clan crest. Perfect evidence that just because two peices of clothing are "Scottish" does not mean they go together.
Then there was the fellow with his kilt too long -- hiding both his knees and the top of his kilt hose. It must have been 28" long or so, and the gentleman was well under 6' tall. Men, please, do not be afraid to show your knees!
But lest I get a reputation as a fashion cermudgeon, it was not all bad news. Most of the men I saw looked dashing in their kilts. Kudos especially to Pat McCabe who turned out in his MacLeod kilt (box pleated), a patterned shirt, a patterned tie, and a patterned tweed jacket. Here is a man not afraid to wear patterns with a tartan kilt -- and all the patterns were different! And they looked splendid together. Pat was easily the best dressed man there that day. I should have taken a photo to show people just how good mixing patterns can be in Highland Dress if you have an eye for it. Pat says he learned in horticulture design how to best match colors and patterns for landscaping, and his skill is doing him well in Highland Dress, as well.
Hats off to you!