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So You're Going to Wear the Kilt!: All You Need to Know About Highland Dress and How to Find Your Tartan Paperback – February 28, 1989
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Interesting, detailed, and informative! Author J Charles Thompson's discussion of how the kilt and accessories are to be worn. A terrific guide and reference manual for the beginner or experienced wearer of kilts. Keep in mind though, that Thompson admits to being very ridge in his opinions and recommendations (see quote below). Most American readers are going to take a more relaxed attitude about the rules, restrictions, and protocols. (Kilt freedom!) Excerpt from Preface: "Do not take any of my opinions as authoritative, but feel free to disagree with any or all of them!...I am not a purist in matters of Scottish dress, but I have been careful to include the opinion of those who tend to that extreme."
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Top Customer Reviews
(And yes, the author is VERY "proper" and a stickler for tradition. Even if you're a punkrocker with a UtiliKilt(TM) you should still get this - learn the rules before you break them, so you can break them with style.
I suspect that this will appeal to a rather limited market, namely those people who are interested in the "proper" way to wear highland dress. It gives short and well explained chapters on just about every aspect of traditional dress and has a little more besides. The author is straightforward in describing things and does so in a matter that is quite enjoyable. He is careful to distinguish between his personal preferences and those of "purists". Illustrations help to explain nuances and differences and also help to explain more difficult things like tying certain knows and making some accoutraments. Some of them could stand be be a little larger but they get the job done.
It serves its purpose and does so well and with a bit of humor.
Speaking in a first-person tone, relating his experiences growing up in kilture, Thompson freely dispenses advice and how-to notes with humor. If you're going to wear the kilt, or you want to learn how, this is probably the first book you ought to read.
Having said that, let's mention the books shortcomings: the writing and editing give the book a dated, tinny tone. The illustrations are minimal, and what is there is pretty poorly done. There's little context to flesh out an interesting topic.
But it's still the book you ought to read first. Unless I write a better one.
Still, I think anyone who enjoys the fruit of such a revered and ritualized attire owes it to themselves and to the tradition to learn that tradition and how it evolved. There are those who do take this very seriously and are apt to take extreme offense to it being abused.
I also recommend the site "X marks the Scot" to anyone who has or is considering a kilt.
The most ridiculous thing about this book is that the author says you should wear your kilt at least three inches above the knee or you'll look foolish. I have NEVER seen a kilt worn this way. Most kilts are worn at the top of the knee or the middle of the knee, and this guy says that's wrong. He is obviously out of touch with modern kilt reality.The only usefull info I got from this book was the sketch he included on how to make your own flashes.
I gave this book one star because I couldn't give it zero stars.