Monday, April 7, 2008

A new style of kilt jacket!

You'll remember my opinion on the 'off-the-rack' kilt jackets available today: they are depressingly 'uniform' and, no matter how many you go through in your size, they will all fit differently and few if any will fit well.

Furthermore, I think that shiny buttons and epaulettes have no place in civilian dress.

Epaulettes were designed for only two purposes: to keep your webb equipment on your shoulders and to display your rank badges, and the combination of these and shiny buttons reduces the most beautifully-cut jacket from an exponent of taste and style to a mere ritual object. Having vented my spleen about epaulettes, I reluctantly admit that there IS one valid use for them in modern Highland Dress: If you wear a formal plaid, you'll need an epaulette to hold the plaid properly on the left shoulder as any plaid brooch isn't quite up to the job.

A customer recently introduced me to his family's tailor: Angelo Tailor, 1501 Commercial Drive.

Although he had not made a kilt-jacket before, Angelo listened to my requirements and produced the jacket and weskit (also spelled 'waistcoat', but still pronounced 'weskit') you see here.

Ignore the medals and wings - I was on my way to the Regimental Reunion, where I was promptly labelled "The Highland CEO" - which is exactly the reaction to my standard of dress that I want!

You might already have a preferred tailor, so here are the specifics:

1. The bottom hem of the jacket should be within about 1 1/2" of the widest point of the seat, but MUST NOT be any lower than that point (which point is also the lower edge of the 'fell' - the sewn portion of the pleats).

2. A centre back vent will gape open, so select either 2 side vents or no vent.

3. The radius of the 'cut-away' portion of the front of the coat must be such that they do not catch or tuck behind the sporran.

4. The lowest points of the weskit at the front must not be so long that they interfere with the sporran.

5. Wear your kilt to the tailor's shop, so that he may properly measure you. You also need the kilt so that you may 'match colours' as you select your fabric.

6. Wear your kilt and sporran for any subsequent fittings, so the tailor may check for proper fit and clearance of the cut-away.

This jacket cost a third of the price of an equivalent 'off-the-rack' jacket from the better men's-wear stores in town.

The combination of being 'made-to-measure' after my having selected the material and the style of lapels plus the 'feel' of tailored clothing represents 3 times the value.


Raphael said...

Did you wear that jacket to the last kilts night? Beautiful Jacket!

Angus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
West Coast Kilts said...

"Chacon a son gout" - to each his own tastes.

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