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  • Chris Collin

    Chris Collin June 13, 2006, 8:30 p.m. (Message 45541)

    Re: sashes - traditionally and in practice

    Eike Albert-Unt wrote:
    >Hi, just a quick question.
    With many, not so quick, answers!
    >Is there a rule, how wide a sash should be and HOW it should be worn? Do
    >demo groups always wear it in a similar way? There are many websites and
    >among them I found this one:
    >- which seems to be very strict.
    Well, you have to understand how society worked years ago.  People had a 
    civil "rank" - a man was not always (nor even usually) a gentleman, and 
    a woman was not the same thing as a lady.  The terms "lady" and 
    "gentleman" had a meaning that is now mostly lost.  A "normal" man would 
    be a yeoman, while his superior would be a gentleman, typically someone 
    of good education, and often, but not always, of some means as well.  
    Above these people would be those with more formal titles (the peers). 
    Nowadays, these distinctions between people have all but disappeared.  
    It is still seen in the UK, and some countries preserve titles, and 
    others heraldic bearings.  But, most democracies treat everyone as 
    equal, and these class distinctions of old no longer hold sway.
    Thus, in earlier times, people would wear clothing appropriate to their 
    rank, as the website cited shows.  This extended to ladies as well, as 
    the chart shows.  But, how many even know how to recognize a clan chief, 
    let alone his wife?  (The answer - 3 feathers behind his badge, which is 
    also not encircled by a belt).
    So, what do we do?  Well, if you wish to preserve the forms of old, you 
    would wear the sash on the right shoulder, unless you are a country 
    dancer, where you wear it on the left.  If you do not care about such 
    things, you could wear them any which way you wish, which seems to be 
    the advice of the majority.  Those, whom I suspect might wear feathers 
    in their bonnets, without realizing what they mean. 
    >Does this mean that it is bad manners for non-members (as of yet) to wear a
    >sash on the left shoulder?
    Some would say yes, others no.  It is much like those whom wear a tuxedo 
    to a wedding held in the morning.  There is no rule that says they 
    cannot, but custom suggests that it is inappropriate.  Customs suggests 
    wearing a sash in an appropriate manner as well, IMHO.  You can never be 
    faulted for wearing it correctly, and while most simply do not care, 
    there are those "anal-retentive" people out there (like ME!  :) who will 
    notice, even if they may say nothing.
    Now, as for women wearing kilts....
    Chris Collin
    Ottawa, Canada

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