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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). hosetops.gif (1445 bytes)
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. hosetops2.gif (1408 bytes)

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.gif (9149 bytes)

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 constructed with 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.

spatrear.gif (4140 bytes)
Rear View of Spats
showing creases

Lovat Hose

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

Full hose in various colours are utilized within the Regiment, primarily for use with Mess Dress, and also by Highland Dancers.

Sgian Dubh

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.

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