The contrast between the way style is represented to those within an ingroup and those who view that group from the outside is striking. If someone not of Scottish heritage sees one of the subjects of this video, the distinctiveness of the tartan-clad – one could say his “personal style” – would be clear, as it is often the differences in what we put on our bodies that define our style. Yet we may feel compelled to link all of those who wear tartans into one unified group that appears to dress very similarly to one another, thus lacking in personal style or even more importantly, an individualized identity – this couldn’t be farther from the truth. On the contrary, something that is undeniably clear to each member of the tartan ingroup is that each of them, each individualized pattern, comes with a unique meaning, heritage and story, thus adding a very important and personalized element and meaning to the kilt. The clans associated with each tartan may adhere to beliefs or value systems that differ greatly from another clan. As Dougal R. Munro says, tartans provide “a sense of where you belong in a sociological sense, what your heritage is, who your forebears are.” We’re fascinated by the ways that personal history can be represented through style, a common thread with all subjects that have appeared on StyleLikeU, uniformed or otherwise. For more, watch the video above.
Our last Uniforms segment featured two groups of nuns, the Daughters of St. Paul and Sisters of Saint John the Baptist – learn from them here.