Trousers & Trews
The trouser scene is fairly straightforward in that there are
only two types - those with the conventional waistband and those
with the high-waisted fishtail back, suitable for wearing
with the Prince Charlie (coatee) and waistcoat. Photo Kinloch
Conventional. These can be worn on all
occasions where plain trousers would be worn. As with normal
day-to-day trousers, there's a great variety of special features
than can be incorporated - pleats at the front, buttons for braces
(suspenders in the US), stitched-in creases etc., pockets . . . no
pockets, standard belt loops or the wider loops for a kilt
belt. Alternatively they can just have side tabs for
tightening the waistband.
Tartan trousers can be can be worn with a variety of informal and
semiformal Highland outfits or just as another pair of
Left. Trews (from the Gaelic truibhas)
differ from trousers in that they're designed for evening wear in
place of a kilt. The style is military and the Argyll trews have
high 3 inch (7.6cm) waistband, with 3 inch wide belt loops for a
kilt belt. Trews offer an extremely smart alternative to the kilt
and are usually worn with a short jacket such as the Prince
Charlie. Photo courtesy Kinloch Anderson.
The normal kilt belt can be worn but if a waistcoat (a vest to
our north American friends) is worn, then the belt can be dispensed
Trews are often tighter in the leg than trousers but nowadays it
does depend upon individual preference. Because they sit higher on
the waist than normal trousers, they're usually worn with braces
(suspenders) and the back is in a fishtail shape as shown.
Ordinary dress shoes or boots can be worn with trews rather than
the conventional brogues.
Trews make a very useful addition to a Highland outfit in that the
wearer can ring the changes if attending a series of evening
functions - alternating kilt and trews. We wouldn't want to be seen
in the same Highland outfit on two consecutive nights now . . .
Not recommended unless you've had a good-taste bypass or are
under 20 and in a punk band.