Manolo for the Men Fashion and Lifestyle Advice for Men

June 16, 2008

Pattern Recognition

Filed under: Celebrity,Formal Wear,Men's Fashion,Socks,Trousers — Izzy @ 10:12 pm

Prince Charles in kilt

Izzy gives Prince Charles credit for being, er, ballsy enough to wear kilts in celebration of the union of Scotland and England, but he erred royally in combining a loud tartan with a bold argyle.  Either the kilt or socks ought to have been muted or plain, as the Scottish nationalist Sean Connery demonstrates.


  1. MY EYESSSSS!!! Sorry.. Does Chuck have a comb over? And could Camillia have at least tried to compliment instead of picking the socks to color coordinate with? If we must go with a kilt, could we not go with the true traditional kilt? The longer one that was kind of like a roman toga? The short kilts were imposed when the Scots were required to work for the English. They couldn’t hide swords or weapons in the short kilts.

    Comment by Jennie — June 16, 2008 @ 11:28 pm

  2. Actually, no. HRH is wearing evening wear, and to wear solid muted hose with a “Prince Charlie” coat and black tie would be as wrong as to wear a cummerbund with a business suit. The hose should be diced or argyle. It would be more pleasing to the eye, however, had the ground color on his hose been red to match his kilt. Red and white, red and green, green and white, or black and white dicing would all be proper. The seal sporran and patent leather shoes round out his black tie kit nicely.

    As for Sir Sean, in the first photo he should be wearing either diced hose or argyle socks, as are the piper and bandleader beside him. (Note their uniform hose match their kilts.) This would meet the level of formality of his jacket (note the collar: it’s formalwear).

    In the second picture, he is wearing a tweed jacket, which is informal or “daywear” and his hose are perfect, though he forgoes the opportunity to put in some color by keeping with green flashes instead of a contrasting color.

    Note also that the Prince is wearing a belt with his vest, which isn’t quite right in highland dress or a business suit; either or, please. Sir Sean has got that quite right.

    Comment by CJ — June 16, 2008 @ 11:48 pm

  3. The short kilts were imposed when the Scots were required to work for the English. They couldn’t hide swords or weapons in the short kilts.

    Actually the short kilts were imposed by the English and Scots upperclass, but it was to adapt the garment for the industrial revolution. The great kilt is a practical garment if you’re out on the highlands and need both clothes and a blanket, but not if you’re inside a textile mill with lots of moving machinery that can catch loose clothing. It’s like wearing baggy sweaters in woodshop, don’t do it. So they cut the great kilt in half. It worked.

    HRH is wearing evening wear, and to wear solid muted hose with a “Prince Charlie” coat and black tie would be as wrong as to wear a cummerbund with a business suit.

    Nope. There is nothing wrong with diced or argyle mind you, but solid colored hose is still perfectly fine with formal wear. It isn’t as formal as the others, but it is still ok. Just don’t wear white or off-white. The rental shops say it’s formal but it isn’t. It should match which unfortunately the prince’s doesn’t.

    Note also that the Prince is wearing a belt with his vest

    HRH isn’t wearing a vest or a Prince Charlie coat. I thought he was too, but then I took a closer look. He’s actually wearing a formal shirt with a single breasted doublet left open at the neck. You just can’t tell that’s what he’s doing very well because the doublet is black and the belt is black. Doublets are worn with belts over them. That shiny bit to the right of his belt buckle is probably some sort of device on the belt itself.

    As for Connery, I don’t know what pictures CJ is looking at, but Connery is wearing the exact same outfit in both right down to the lapel flower. I’m betting they were shot on the same day.

    Comment by Jeff the Baptist — June 17, 2008 @ 9:09 am

  4. I have seen many photos of Prince Charles in Full Highland Dress, but never one where colours clash so badly.

    I would have preferred him wearing cream coloured hose with that kilt, and I would have to agree with CJ that the kilt belt shouldn’t be worn with a Prince Charlie jacket.

    Perhaps he should take a look at my site, to get some pointers on how Highland Dress should be worn.

    Kind Regards,


    Comment by David — June 17, 2008 @ 4:31 pm

  5. Sack the stylist is what I would suggest. I do not like any of the outfits. It is too old fashion for me. They should try to modernise the attire.


    Comment by Chichi — June 19, 2008 @ 3:16 am

  6. I expect, actually, that by now Prince Charles is absolutely conversant with the proper way in which to wear a kilt, in its many permutations, whatever the time of day or night, whatever the degree of formality.

    And I confess, I do not actually see any need to “modernise” either outfit; in what way are they not appropriate exactly as is? Should they be made of steel and spandex? Should Charles and Camilla be wearing matching Utili-kilts to a formal event? I think not. And let us not pretend for one moment that if Camilla had based her colours upon the dominant colour in the kilt that Charles is wearing, she would then be accused of being “too matchy,” with the concomitant suggestion that she should have picked up the “edgier,” subtler colour in her outfit.

    I find them adult, attractive, and utterly charming, in that they both look so happy, as well as elegant.

    Comment by La BellaDonna — June 25, 2008 @ 1:08 pm

  7. Sorry to sound the buzzer here but there is no one more likely to wear “correct” dress than the Prince of Wales, or any other member of the British Royal Family. They may be considered stuffy these days by many but no one can ever accuse them of being incorrectly addressed for any event. Following conventions of dress is their stock-in-trade although it should be noted that Princes of Wales have been setting the standards for male dress for at least the last 250 years.

    Furthermore, the Prince is wearing the Royal Stewart tartan, which only members of the Royal Family are entitled to wear. In fact, it was George, Prince of Wales, later George IV, who caused the revival of tartan as it is worn today. I’m fairly sure there are depictions of him wearing a combination much as Prince Charles is wearing in the photo.

    From a personal standpoint, I rather like the combination of socks and kilt and the socks do indeed pick out the same colors found in the ground of the Prince’s kilt.

    Comment by W — June 27, 2008 @ 7:09 pm

  8. This has inspired me to buy a kilt!

    Comment by Matthew Kimel — July 8, 2008 @ 10:49 pm

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    Comment by — November 24, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  10. I’d say that Izzy doesn’t know jack as to what is right or wrong in the category of highland dress. In the above photograph, Prince Charles is wearing the appropriate diced hose with his kilt — which is right for evening dress.

    Charles demonstrates a far greater knowledge of these matters than Sir Sean Connery — not to mention a higher level of style and execution.

    Izzy needs to pick up a few books on the subject before he offers such authoritative commentary. edward

    Comment by Edward A. Schimmelpfennig — February 20, 2009 @ 2:02 am

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