There are several styles of hose
and hose tops worn with the various orders of dress.
Diced Hose Tops
|All soldiers in the Regiment, with the
exception of pipers, wear the standard red and white hose top with the higher orders of
dress. These hose tops are also referred to as "diced hose" in reference
to their pattern. The diced hose are always worn in conjunction with spats (with the
exception of Officers and Senior NCOs wearing the approved Regimental Mess Dress, when
full diced hose are worn with mess shoes).
|Pipers in the Regiment traditionally wear a
red and black pattern of hosetop, officially known as "Rob Roy Tartan".
The Pipes and Drums also have their own pattern of hose top flashes, based on that worn by
the Gordon Highlanders, with an additional "loop" of material sewn to the front
of each flash. Drummers wear the standard diced hose with the band pattern flash.
The seam of the
hose is always worn directly on the back of the leg; when worn properly, a red diamond
will be at the top of the hose directly on the front of the leg.
Spats (an abbreviation of
the older, archaic term "spatter-dashers") were originally worn by soldiers on
campaign to keep dirt and debris out of their boots, and were either whitened or, as khaki
uniforms began to be issued in the late 1800s, a natural tan colour. Their use today
is chiefly ceremonial and they are only worn with the diced hose tops described above.
The spats are issued in left and
right pairs; the regimental pattern properly has 9 buttons down the outside, with a
rounded toe (some spats may be seen with a "notch" cut in the toe, this is the
pattern worn by The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada).
Spats are worn ironed and
whitened; there is no such thing as "wash and wear" spats; even those spats sewn
from quality white material need to be whitened with white shoe polish before every
parade. They should be machine washed to remove the build up of old polish being
careful not to shrink or damage the spats. DO NOT USE BLEACH.
When ironing, there should be a
cross-shaped set of creases on the back of each spat.
Spats are properly worn with
black shoes (Oxfords with plain toe caps for NCMs; officers and Senior NCOs are permitted
brogues). The front edge of the spat should just reach the toe cap on the shoe.
The strap underneath the spat
should be black.
Some spats are
velcro; nonetheless, all buttons regardless of closure style should be securely sewn to
the spat with white thread. Dental floss also appears to be a good method of sewing
buttons on securely, especially for those spats that have functional buttons.
Rear View of Spats
Lovat Hose are produced in a
variety of colours; the Calgary Highlanders utilize a drab green shade. These are
always issued in "full" style and are worn for Walking Out Dress. They are
not worn in conjunction with spats, only with the appropriate shoe (oxfords for NCMs or
Brogues for Senior NCOs and Officers as directed) and the red Hose Top Flashes.
Lovat Hose are worn in the same
manner as the Hose Tops; the top of the Lovat Hose should be in approximately the same
location as the top of the Hose Tops when worn, with the top of the hose folded over and
secured by the Hose Top Flashes, which are also worn as with the Hose Tops (ie, with the
outer inside edge of the flash bisecting the front of the shin.)
Lovat Hose are not considered
appropriate for evening wear.
Hose Top Flashes
The Hose Top Flashes are a
decorative device but also serve the purpose of holding the hose up on parade and are
properly placed as described above. Soldiers are advised to obtain extra elastics,
"trouser blousers" or other methods of keeping the hose tops securely in place
as the elastic on the flashes are generally considered too weak to remain in place for a
lengthy parade. CWO Walters also advises that "The Wool Is The Way" and
suggests the use of wool for this purpose....more details to follow.
Full hose in various colours are
utilized within the Regiment, primarily for use with Mess Dress, and also by Highland
The Sgian Dubh (also spelled
Skean Dubh and a variety of other ways) is a ceremonial dagger; the Gaelic term translates
into English as "black knife." Two main styles of Sgian Dubh may be found,
a black handled pattern with either silvered top or a mounted cairngorm stone. The
second pattern has a handle carved out of bone. There is at present no Regimental
pattern of Sgian Dubh. Officers, Senior NCOs, Pipers and Drummers are permitted to
wear privately purchased Sgian Dubhs when in uniform. The Sgian Dubh is worn tucked
into the right hosetop on the outside of the leg.