Traditional Scottish clothing is characterised by the use of tartan patterns, consisting of horizontal and vertical bands of multiple colours. Originally each highland tartan was associated with specific regions and was more influenced by the dyes available locally, than from any clan influence, although certain clans did come to be associated with certain patterns. Today Scottish pride runs as deep as ever, and many variations on the basic theme remain available and worn by Scottish men and women for many different occasions.
From Casual to Full Formal Dress
One aspect of highland dress is to be found in every level of dress code, from casual to the fully formal and that is of course the kilt. Originally recorded in the 1600’s the kilt was what is now termed the great kilt, which is a knee length skirt like garment, with pleats at the back, whose upper half could be used as a cloak. The kilt we see more often today is the small kilt, which became common in the 1800’s and was effectively the bottom half only, of the great kilt. Although the kilt is most often seen at formal occasions, its use as an informal item of clothing has been growing in recent years.
The casual use of Scottish dress will include a kilt with belt and buckle, a Jacobite shirt, kilt pin, sporran and socks, known as kilt hose. White or off white socks should be avoided. These are the basics, though many more accessories can be added. Taking a step up the shirt would become a kilt shirt accompanied by an Argyle Jacket along with traditional footwear known as ghillie brogues. These are thick soled shoes with no tongue and long laces. The ghillie used to be an estates gamekeeper and with the often damp nature of the local weather, he needed a pair of shoes that allowed his feet to dry quickly.
The full formal attire is visually very impressive and would make one of the best possible Scottish gifts for men. With the kilt and kilt shirt, we have a Prince Charlie Jacket, a flash looking sporran, flashes and possibly a Sgian Dubh, a small sheathed knife in the top of the hose.
Scottish clothing has become quite popular for casual wear as well as for formal occasions and traditional wear is widely available in the marketplace and while historically it associated its wearer with a particular area or region, today, while it may be worn as a declaration of belonging to a particular clan or family, it is just as often used simply as a declaration of National pride. Today it is not difficult to find a full range of traditional clothing for children and ladies, as well as for men. The range of different tartans available is staggering, with many places able to find you a particular variety (if you are tracing your roots back to an historical clan), and in some cases even have it custom made for you, if it isn’t immediately available.
Regardless of if you are looking for something for just wearing casually around the house or garden, or for something more formal, every Scotsman should have at least one set of proper Scottish attire.
Cute and Comfortable Wardrobe Options for Work
Finding work clothes that are both comfortable and stylish can be challenging. It seems like you always have to sacrifice one or the other, but there are actually options out there that meet all of your needs. Next time you go shopping, try looking for some of these options.
While stilettos are really cute, they aren’t always the best option for jobs that require you to be on your feet for a large portion of the day. Many companies, such as Toms NYC, that originally marketed comfortable footwear are now making more work appropriate options without giving up the comfort factor. These allow teachers and other workers to be able to look cute without experiencing foot pain at the end of each day.
Did you know that there are now dress pants that fit like yoga pants? You can find these online or at different retail locations. You always want to make sure that they look appropriate, but you could end up going to work and feeling like you are wearing your pajamas all day. Just be careful because you might end up so comfortable that you don’t feel like working!
Dresses are always a good and easy choice to throw on in the mornings. There are actually a ton of different options for you to choose from depending on the season. During the warmer months, sundresses can keep you cool and comfortable. Just be sure to bring a sweater if you office stays chilly. In the fall and winter, you can wear sweater dresses, which pair great with different types of boots.
Before you go buying a whole new wardrobe, make sure you consult your company’s dress code policy. Never pick something that you aren’t completely satisfied with as it will either make you feel bad or end up sitting in your closet until the next spring cleaning.
5 Tips on How to Look Good in a Swimsuit
The summer season has finally arrived. With the warmer weather, many men and women are looking for effective ways to tone up their bodies and eliminate flab. The following guide provides five simple tips that can help create rock-hard abs, sexy biceps and a fabulous butt.
1. Plan Ahead
It’s a good idea to start planning for summer excursions several months in advance. While some people may use a “crash diet” to lose weight, most of the water lost through fasting and rapid weight loss is simply water. In addition, very rapid weight loss can cause muscle loss and weaknesses.
Instead, try getting ready for the summer months starting in January. By exercising every day during the winter, it’s possible to have a great body when summer finally arrives. In addition, winter exercise can be a great way to break the monotony of cold weather.
2. Eat Right and Look Great
It’s important to understand how different foods can impact one’s appearance. While the occasional cheeseburger or milkshake isn’t harmful, a diet high in saturated fat and refined sugars can have a variety of significant health consequences.
Several research studies have shown that people with a high sugar intake have worse skin than people who maintain a healthy diet. When people eat lots of sugar, blood glucose levels in the body rise. This is like putting rocket fuel in a regular car.
When blood sugar levels are very high, specialized cellular structures in the skin can be damaged. This damage will reduce the elasticity of skin. Over time, people who consume excessive amounts of sugar will experience premature aging of their skin. While this effect won’t be as pronounced as people who smoke, it can still have a very negative impact on one’s appearance.
It’s a good idea to eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy meats and grains. While fried foods are acceptable in moderation, it’s important to avoid eating more of them than necessary. In addition, it’s important to avoid processed meats. Several research studies have shown that nitrates, a common preservative in processed meats, can have serious health consequences.
3. Exercises to Eliminate Flab and Build Muscle
It’s easy to build a beach body by following the right type of exercise program. While exercises like cycling can be a good choice for some people, it can cause an individual to develop very large calf muscles. For men, this usually isn’t a problem. However, large calf muscles may not be very desirable for a woman.
Running is one of the best ways to tone the entire body and get an excellent cardiovascular workout. While many people know that running can help improve heart health and can help an individual lose weight, few people know that running can also tone muscles.
The body uses almost 400 different muscles when running. This includes ab muscles, butt muscles, biceps, triceps and many other muscle groups. By running at least two miles every day, it’s possible to build lean muscle in the body.
Yoga can also be a great way to tone muscles and improve overall health. During a yoga session, an individual holds different poses that put stress on various muscle groups. In addition to improving posture and muscle tone, yoga can be an excellent way to achieve peace of mind.
4. Getting Fit at the Pool
If summer has already arrived, there are still a number of last-minute steps an individual can take to help create that perfect swimsuit body. One of the best forms of exercise for building muscle and reducing fat is swimming.
Swimming uses almost all the muscles in the body. As the body adjusts to different to different positions in the pool, it uses a variety of muscle groups. While a regular swim stroke can be a great way to promote cardiovascular health, there are also a number of exercises one can do that use the natural resistance of water. If you’re not that comfortable in the water, summer is the best time to learn how to swim. There are a number of swimming equipment that can help you get started.
5. Setting Goals
It’s essential to set goals for maintaining one’s health. Without a set of goals, it won’t be possible for an individual to achieve that perfect beach body. By exercising every day, it’s possible to have a great body, great health and a positive mental attitude.
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Hoodies: A California Clothing Classic
Today, the humble hoodie is considered to be an indispensable piece of clothing and most Americans have at least one for wearing during the spring and fall, or for layering when the weather gets extra nippy. While it may not have been invented in California, we largely have 1970s California youth culture to thank for its massive popularity today.
Hooded tops have been in use for thousands of years by outdoorsmen and travelers as a way to cope with the elements. Priests and monks also used them to block out distractions and keep themselves warm in the days before central heating.
Otherwise though, hooded tops haven’t always been mainstream. Hoods gave privacy and anonymity – which is great. Unless perhaps unsavory types starting wearing them, which is why the word “hoodlum” exists today. In any case, the hoodie has mostly shed its reputation with hoodlums and is now a classic piece of Americana today.
Hoodies As Workwear
The hoodie as we know it today was originally invented in the 1930s to help East Coast meatpackers and other laborers working in freezers and cold outdoor conditions. Compared to traditional wool and fur coats, hoodies provided a greater range of movement, were easier to clean, and easier to stow or tie around the waist should worker feel a little warm. Around this time, these items were still called “hooded sweatshirts”.
Hoodies As Statement Pieces
Printed and embroidered hoodies later became popular in university and school campuses throughout the United States from the 1940s-1960s and became somewhat an intellectual symbol. However, since not a lot of people sought higher education back then as today, its popularity remained rather niche. Still, hoodies that showed school or city pride started to appear and these still are popular today.
Hoodies As Counterculture Items
It wasn’t until hoodies were adopted by California surfers and skaters in the 70s and 80s that hoodies really came into their own. They later became adopted by the emergent hip-hop scene on both coasts as well, which took the public profile of the hoodie even further. It was no longer a practical piece of clothing for those who enjoyed their creature comforts – it also became a symbol of rebellion.
They were perfect for the mild California climate and were convenient and versatile enough for nearly every type of weather one would encounter in the Golden State. When zip-up hoodies later became available, they became a popular way of keeping warm while still showing of the increasingly elaborate and far out prints that were starting to show up on t-shirts.
By the time hoodies earned the name “hoodie” in the 1990s, they were already a standard piece of apparel in California for people of all ages and walks of life. Today, In both the cutting-edge San Francisco and Los Angeles streetwear scenes, designers are pushing the boundaries of what’s really possible with hoodies. California-based designers are always creating cuts and using fresh new materials and contexts that redefine what’s possible with this piece of classic workwear.
But for the rest of us folks, normal pullover and zip-up hoodies are still awesome. We don’t really have the stats for it, but we’re willing to bet Californians own the most hoodies per capita of any region on earth. You will literally see hoodies on avant-garde fashionistas in cities and on farmers and laborers in the countryside. You’ll sometimes even see them being worn in the summer. To each their own.
And that’s the beauty of hoodies. They’re super versatile, democratic, practical, — and uniquely evocative of California.
Zip-ups or pullovers? Which type of hoodie do you prefer? Drop us a line. We’d love to know!