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Highland Laddie

Scotch outfit has a great deal to be said for it. If you want to dress little boys in something which is not merely a man's suit seen through the wrong end of a telescope, you are more likely to get a pleasing effect by copying some picturesque costume than by trying to invent the kind of thing which I see at children's parties. One unfortunate kid of perhaps eight years old came to play with my children in a silk shirt, with no collar doubtless worn over a woolen union suit. He had knickerbockers so short that there can hardly be said to have been any legs to them at all, merely a couple of perfectly round and very loose ends forming two circles at the crotch, through which the boy's bare legs descended, with plenty of room for the wind to blow up and chill the body. Low strap-shoes and white silk socks complete the outfit. The knickerbockers had four large and unsightly tabs, containing buttonholes to engage an equal number of enormous pearl buttons sewn to the shirt. Naturally this dragged horribly from the shoulders.

This is a typical "design" such as shivering youngsters; are made to get into. If it is really believed that letting the air play about a little boy's thighs is good for him. The Highland kilt outfit is ever so much better. It does at least keep the calves warm. The Kilt, being a kind of petticoat, offers a compromise to mothers who do not wish to "breech" their boys too early. Being a grown-up costume made more familiar than ever by Highland Regiments during the war, it is not resented by the growing boy. Of course you know what it is: a pleated skirt in any kind of tartan that you like to choose, with a sort of small fur apron in front, called the sporran, a jacket, which can be of velvet for evening wear, with large pentagonal tabs of a castellated sort of appearance and (by day) a tartan plaid over one shoulder and under the other. The sporran has a silver ornament on it usually set with a cairngorm-a Scotch stone of the rhinestone type, which comes in orange, yellow, red, or purple rather like an amethyst. A similar stone or some colored pieces of carnelian flash in the hilt of a small dirk, tucked into the top of one stocking. The latter are knitted in a tartan design, with turn-over tops. Small trunk drawers, like bathing trunks, are worn; and of course any kind of undershirt that does not come too low down.

These Highland outfits are made in a good many grades. Like the sailor suits mentioned in a previous letter, they show their grade by the accuracy with which they reproduce the authentic model. And. by the way, this "correct" sailor outfit is another pleasing alternative to the hideous and revolting "fancy dress" to which objection has so rightly been made.
Editorial in The Boy's Outfitter



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