Alexander Scott founded Alex Scott in Aberdeen on 6th August 1925. Since then our shop has been proudly sourcing and producing Highland wear and all things Scottish. Proving our commitment to great customer service I’m passing on some of our extensive product knowledge in our new series of guides. Here is the first of my Buyer’s Guides:
Buyer’s Guide – Jackets
One aspect of Highland wear that confuses many people is the choice of jackets available. There are many styles of jacket available and no hard and fast rules as to when and where you can wear them. There is however, an etiquette that is generally observed and in this section we will describe social situations and advise you which jacket or jackets are suitable.
Formal Occasions – Prince Charlie Jacket & Waistcoat
Many people attend functions in the evening where the invitation implies that a certain level of dress is required to attend. These types of functions are more commonly referred to as formal functions or occasions. The correct jacket to wear in this instance is the Prince Charlie jacket and vest. The Prince Charlie jacket is the most formal of all the kilt jackets and is the Highland equivalent of a dinner jacket. It has satin lapels and silver plated buttons, making it a very decorative jacket.
Formal and Semi-formal Occasions – Argyll Jacket
Some functions are less strict on level of dress. For example you may be invited to a work function that is set in the afternoon and into the evening. On this occasion it may be the case that you wish to dress smartly but not as formal as a Prince Charlie outfit. The Argyll jacket is the ideal garment to wear on this type of occasion. It has silver plated buttons like the Prince Charlie jacket but has plain lapels and a plain back with a double vent, much like a blazer. The Argyll jacket is also more versatile than the Prince Charlie as it can be worn as an alternative at formal occasions when worn with a bow tie and formal shirt. It is just as useful as a day jacket when worn with a plain standard collar shirt and tie.
The Argyll jacket can be worn on its own or with a matching five-button waistcoat in place of the belt and buckle.
Informal Day Functions – Tweed jackets
For those who wear the kilt on a daily basis, or those who are attending a very informal day event, the tweed jacket is the best option. These jackets are made in the same style as the Argyll jacket but, are made from tweeds and the buttons are usually imitation stag horn. This style of jacket is available in different tweeds and like the Argyll can be worn with or without a waistcoat.
Highlandwear Jackets in the 21st Century
As kilts and Highland outfits have grown in popularity, traditional etiquette has become blurred and fashion now plays a big part. Kilts and jackets are being worn in new and interesting ways. For example, the tweed jacket made with charcoal grey cloth is very popular for weddings in place of the Argyll. Some people also wear their Prince Charlie jacket to the day service of a wedding so that they do not need to change to an evening jacket for the reception.
When choosing a jacket, the best approach is to think about the kind of functions you go to most often or will be going to in future years. If you are of an age where your children and other family members are married but, you work for a company that has three evening functions a year, you may find the Prince Charlie is the best option. If you can foresee a future peppered with weddings and a variety of other day and evening events, you might be best to buy an Argyll jacket.
There is of course no reason to limit yourself to buying just one jacket.
New guides are added regularly. All our buyers guides are available in our Buyer’s Guide section. We strongly encourage your comments and feedback: