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Video: HOW TO TIE AND WEAR A PLAID FOR THE SCOTTISH DRUM MAJOR

The following video demonstrates how to correctly wear the Pipers plaid which is also worn by drum majors when wearing the full dress uniform. How a drum major is to tie and wear a plaid is explained by D/M Alistair Pether, drum major for the RAF Halton Pipes and Drums. Drum Major Pether is a graduate of Edinburgh Castle’s drum major’s course and has performed in the Edinburgh Tattoo held in Scotland several times. He has also competed in drum major contests held through out the U.K. and has place at the Drum Major World Championships several times. Drum Major Pether is the founder of www.drummajor.co.uk
an educational site for pipe band drum majors.


UNIFORMS

#2 Dress Day Wear

Grooming

Men

Men must always have a fresh haircut and shave. Facial hair should be neat and trimmed. Nose and ear hair should also be trimmed. Hair bangs should not be seen under the front of your head gear, but combed back or to the side.

Women:

Women’s hair must be trimmed and neatly combed. Long hair should be either pinned up, pulled back, or braided (French Braids are common). The goal is to convey a disciplined and professional appearance. The hair should not interfere with the fit of your hat. Flamboyant nail polish or make-up is not recommended. If nail polish is worn at all, muted colors are best.(beige, clear, white etc.) Make-up should be kept simple and modest.

When wearing a feather bonnet, it is recommended that long hair be pulled up into the bonnet and out of sight.

Both:

Personal hygiene is very important. Teeth should be clean and free of unsightly debris. Colognes or perfumes are permissible as long as they don’t asphyxiate the judge. Visible pearcings should all be removed except for simple stud earrings on women. Jewelry is discouraged except for the most modest types (simple bracelets, wedding rings, etc). Necklaces should be tucked out of sight under the shirt. Men should NOT wear earrings during competition. Remember, you want to convey a military appearance.

Glengarry

Clean and neat with no lint. Tails neatly pressed. Worn with point of Glengarry in line with your nose, one inch above the left eyebrow, and half an inch above the right eyebrow.

Balmoral

Clean and neat with no lint. Ribbons and tails neatly pressed. The bottom edge of the balmoral must sit evenly around the head, with the front edge at 3/4″ above the eyebrows. The fold of the balmoral must hang over the right eye. Ribbons on the balmoral must be centered on the back of the head.

Hackle/ Feathers

Neat and clean in good condition. Attached securely to head gear with the cap badge.

Cap Badge/ Headgear Badges

Clean and polished. Firmly attached to the head gear. With insignia correctly aligned.

Sporran

Must be worn centered on the front of the kilt. The cantle (top of the sporran) should hang below the waist belt buckle at one-hand’s width. Sporran must be clean, polished, and neatly brushed. And don’t forget to polish the badge.

 

Shirt

Collared button down shirt, clean and pressed. White or light blue is acceptable.

Jacket

A Scottish style-cut jacket is required. A military waistcoat such as an “Ike” jacket is also acceptable. The jacket must be clean, pressed and completely free of lint. Buttons should match and be firmly attached, and the button pattern should be aligned correctly. NO regular suit or sport coats.

Tie

Clean and pressed. The tie is centered vertically on the front of shirt. Tie clip is acceptable. The tie must not hang past the top edge of the waist belt.

Tip:

A full Windsor tie knot is often used. If your tie is too long, then it should be tucked into your kilt.

Mace

Clean with the head and ferrule (tip of the mace) polished. Cords should be clean with no frays. Chains must be polished. Cords and chains should be securely attached. No extreme amount of dents or scratches on a mace head or ferrule. The ferrule should be vertically straight. Malaccan cane maces should be free of extreme bowing or warps.

Brogues

Preferably black brogues, but black oxford type shoes are acceptable. Wing tip shoes and military dress shoes work too. No sport shoes. Brown brogues or shoes are also acceptable if the belt and sporran are brown. Suede shoes are not acceptable. Shoes MUST be clean and polished.

Tip:

The shinier the better.

Laces

Laces should match the shoes, black or brown, and be clean with no frays. Brogue long laces should be worn wrapped around the ankle at equal length, horizontally level on all sides of the ankle. Laces on both legs should be tied identically with twists and bow loops tied the same on each leg. Lace twists on the back and front of the leg should be centered vertically.

Kilt

Clean and neatly pressed. Leather straps and buckles should be clean and polished. Inside and outside aprons must be securely fastened by buckle and resting just above the half way mark of the knee cap. The hem should be even all the way around. The kilt pattern must be centered at the front of the body. The inside apron bottom edge must not hang below the outside apron edge.

Tip:

Do not pull your kilt buckles so tight that the front pattern is pulled to one side. The pattern should be vertically straight and centered.

To make sure your kilt is the proper length, the hem should just brush the ground when you are kneeling on both knees.

Your under garment should be a nice plain, dark color. (Red polka-dotted boxers are NOT a good idea.)

Kilt Hose

Clean and neat. The top of the hose should sit below the bone on the outside knee about three fingers down. Patterns and seams should be vertically straight on the front and back of the leg. Both hose should be identical. Both top turn-overs must be of equal length and do not turn the hose past the horizontal seam at the base of the turn-over. The top edge must be horizontally level on all sides of the leg.

Flashes

Flashes should be clean and pressed. Both flashes are worn under the hose turn-overs with the loops and ribbons extending from under the turn-over. The garter should not be visible. The ribbons from both flashes should hang at the same length on both legs. The leading edge of the front ribbon should be vertically centered on the front of the leg. If the hose has a pattern, the leading edge of the ribbon should line up with the pattern. Flashes should look identical on both legs.

Sgian Dhu(small knife in hose)

Clean and polished, worn tucked inside the hose on the right leg. Centered in the front-right quarter of the leg with only the handle showing. The scabbard should be completely concealed by the hose.


#1 Dress – Full Highland Dress with Piper’s Plaid

Mace

Clean with the head and ferrule (tip of the mace) polished. Cords should be clean with no frays. Chains must be polished. Cords and chains should be securely attached. No extreme amount of dents or scratches on a mace head or ferrule. The ferrule should be vertically straight. Malaccan cane maces should be free of extreme bowing or warps.

Spats

Worn tight to the legs, with the top “rear point” aligned with the hose seam. The entire spat must be clean and polished with no threads showing.

Brogues

Preferably black. But black closed-toe shoes such as wing tips are also acceptable.. The entire shoe must be clean and polished. No athletic or swede shoes.

Hose Tops

Hose tops are worn under the spats. They must be clean and tidy with the top edge worn three fingers down from the bone on the outside of the knee. Patterns must be vertically straight and square. The rear seam is vertically centered and straight on the back of the leg and vertically aligned with the rear point of the spat.

Flashes

Flashes should be clean and pressed. Both flashes are worn under the hose turn-overs with the loops and ribbons extending from under the turn-over. The garter should not be visible. The ribbons from both flashes should hang at the same length on both legs. The leading edge of the front ribbon should be vertically centered on the front of the leg. If the hose has a pattern, the leading edge of the ribbon should line up with the pattern. Flashes should look identical on both legs.

Sgian Dhu(small knife in hose)

Clean and polished, worn tucked inside the hose on the right leg. Centered in the front-right quarter of the leg with only the handle showing. The scabbard should be completely concealed by the hose.

Kilt

Clean and neatly pressed. Leather straps and buckles must be clean and polished. Inside and outside aprons (non-pleated parts) must be securely fastened by buckles. The bottom edge of the kilt must hang just above the middle of the knee cap. The hem should be even all the way around. The pattern must be centered at the front of the body. The inside apron hem must not hang below the outside apron hem.

Tip:

Do not pull your kilt buckles so tight that the front pattern is pulled to one side. You want the pattern to look vertically straight as well as centered.

One way to make sure your kilt is the proper length, the hem should just brush the ground when you are kneeling on both knees.

If you wear anything under your kilt, please be sure it is a nice plain dark color. Red polka-dotted boxers are NOT a good idea.

Hair Sporran

All parts must be clean and polished, with hair neatly brushed. Worn at the center over the front apron of the kilt so that the cantle(top of the sporran) is one hands-width below the waistbelt buckle. Center of cantle must line up vertically with the buttons on the front of the tunic.

Kilt Pin and Rosettes

Kilt pin should be clean and polished. Rosettes should be neatly pressed with no loose threads. Both must be worn approximately 4 inches up from the hem, and 3 inches in from the right side of the front apron. Both should sit neatly in line with the tartan pattern.

Red Sash

Clean and tidy, with no loose threads. Worn on the right shoulder, under the epaulet, to the left waist. Worn over the waistbelt in the front and under waistbelt in the back. The sash tassels are at the rear of the left hand when standing “at attention.” The sash is worn under the crossbelt, baldrick and full plaid.

Crossbelt

Clean and polished, with the buckle and other metal fittings shined. Worn over the red sash, from the right shoulder, under the epaulet, down to the left waist. The crossbelt is worn over the waistbelt in front, and under the waistbelt in the back (same as the red sash). It is worn under the baldrick and the plaid, with the lower edge of the buckle over the upper edge of the plaid, and the slider pushed up to the lower edge of the plaid.

Baldrick (decorated drum major’s sash)

Clean and tidy with no loose threads. Worn over the left shoulder, under the epaulet, down to the right waist, over the red sash, crossbelt, and waistbelt, under the full plaid.

Tunic/Jacket

Clean and pressed. All buttons present and firmly attached, with their designs properly aligned. The belt should not extend below the front edge of the tunic( the lower edge of the belt should be even with the the waist area of the tunic). Shoulder epaulets on military tunics must be firmly attached, with the small trim pointing forward. Collar badges must be clean, polished, and located one inche from the front of the collar.

Insignia/Chevrons

Drum Major and/or Unit insignia must be on the left arm at four fingers below the shoulder seam and centered on the sleeve. Chevrons must on the right forearm about an inch below the elbow. Insignia must be firmly attached with no loose threads showing.

Waist Belt

Clean and polished with buckle and fittings also polished. Worn snug over the tunic so that only a single finger can fit between the belt and the body. Belt should be even around the waist and sit OVER the red sash and crossbelt in the back, but UNDER them in the front. The buckle should be centered on the front of the body.

The buttons on the front of the tunic should be aligned to the center of the buckle. Runners (belt loops) on the belt should be pushed against the belt buckle. The belt should not cover the buttons on the back of the tunic.

Dirk

Clean, with all fittings and items polished. Attached to the waist belt on the right hip, 2-3 inches forward from the side of the hip, OR the dirk is centered between the waist belt retaining hook (if present) and the belt buckle.

Broad Sword

Clean and polished. Worn in a cross belt or with a sword belt. Sword belt should also be clean and polished with the basket hilt worn to the rear.

Piper’s Plaid

Clean, neatly pleated, pressed, and free of creases. Worn with the stitched pleated end throne over the left shoulder from the front and under the epaulet. Then wrapped around the front and under the right arm, and over the left shoulder from the back, then pulled firm to the body and button the epaulet. The loose pleated end of the plaid is then folded back over the left shoulder and pinned in place on the front with a Plaid Brooch. The bottom edge of the plaid is level with the top rear point of the left spat. With the fringe hanging below. The lower edge of the plaid is to be horizontally level and parallel to the ground.

Note: This just one of many ways to wrap a full plaid. As long as it is wrapped from the left shoulder under the right arm, snug to the body, and the bottom edge is correct, you can wrap it however works for you or your organisation.

Plaid Broach

Clean and polished, worn on the front of the left shoulder, tightly securing the plaid, with the design upright , the upper edge of the brooch not to be above the top of the shoulder.

Feather Bonnet

Clean and tidy with the ribbons neatly pressed, not creased. All tails showing at the side of bonnet. Worn level on the forehead 3/4″ above the eyebrows. Ribbons centered on the rear of the head, chin strap worn on the point of the chin with no loose straps.

Hackles/Cap Badges

Both clean and tidy. Hackle should be firmly attached to the bonnet with the clean and polished cap badge.


#1 Dress Full Highland Dress with Drummer’s Plaid

Drummer’s Plaid

Clean and tidy, neatly pressed with no loose threads or creases. Worn over the left shoulder, secured with a plaid brooch at the front. Secured around the waist at the rear and hanging so that the pleats match the set of the kilt.

Plaid Broach

Clean and polished, worn on the front of the left shoulder, tightly securing the plaid, with the design upright. The upper edge of the brooch should NOT be above the shoulder.

These rules, drawn from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, are used at WUSPBA sanctioned Drum Major competitions.