Heaven: 2021 Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • My medical friends tell me that gynaecologists were always advised to wear bow ties.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    A doctor of my acquaintance always used to have his tie tucked in between the buttons of his shirt. Now I know why ...

    Re: gentlemen's formal attire, D. at one point acquired* what I'd call a penguin suit - a tail-coat with a short front and trousers with a double satin strip on the outside leg. He wore it for certain concerts (usually the more frivolous sort) with a dress shirt (double cuffs with cufflinks), a red bow-tie** with musical notes on it and a red cummerbund.

    I have to say, he looked rather well in it. :)

    * His father was an auctioneer, and it turned up in the sale-room

    ** ready-tied, pace @TheOrganist
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Re: gentlemen's formal attire, D. at one point acquired* what I'd call a penguin suit - a tail-coat with a short front and trousers with a double satin strip on the outside leg. He wore it for certain concerts (usually the more frivolous sort) with a dress shirt (double cuffs with cufflinks), a red bow-tie** with musical notes on it and a red cummerbund.

    I have to say, he looked rather well in it. :)

    ** ready-tied, pace @TheOrganist

    In some parts of Scotland that would be known as a claw hammer suit, and I have a rather tedious story of one I borrowed for a daughter's wedding.
  • then when you get on to Scottish "formal" attire, including a kilt, you get into a whole nother mess of Jacket styles, whether or not a belt is worn, or a waistcoat, and what type of tie and... and.....

    I have a normal length black woolen jacket, with epaulets and shiny buttons including on the shoulders and the cuffs. No Waistcoat underneath. Dress shirt is white, with 4 or 5 plain pleats down the middle, buttons hidden. Black bow tie.
    like this

    the shorter jacket, which has a tail and usually worn with a waistcoat underneath can be seen here:

    I also have a normal length tweed/wool jacket of a greeny/bluey colour. Horn coloured buttons. worn with a waistcoat of matching colour. Apparently i "shouldn't" wear a belt underneath but do so to help the kilt stay up. Worn with a "normal" white shirt, and a long tie of a matching colour (though some will deliberately contrast, or have a tie of matching tartan to the kilt)
    like this
  • Wet Kipper wrote: »
    then when you get on to Scottish "formal" attire, including a kilt...
    But you know that the question everyone wants to ask isn't what you wear above kilts, but what you wear underneath.
    :wink:

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited November 2019
    Kilt hose, a sgian dubh* and ghillie brogues. :mrgreen:
    (*autocorrect gave me a very hard time over the Gaelic.)
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    I had an elderly Scottish lecturer at theological college. When asked if anything was worn under the kilt, he would reply, "Och no, it's all in perfect working order!".
  • I once took a wedding with a far-too-young flower girl (about 2). During the ceremony she suddenly ducked under the best man’s kilt and emerged to say, quietly and wonderingly, “That man’s not wearing any pants.” Collapse of wedding party!
  • I've seen a hilarious wedding photo where a bloke in a kilt is kneeling in the front row unaware that the garment has ridden up to reveal ...
  • I have lowered the tone.

    I've not been back in this thread for a while and apologise unreservedly for my earlier scatological comments and stress that I am a Francophile and not a Francophobe.

    I wasn't agreeing with the 'rumours' but can see how my comments were out of order.

    I apologise.
  • edited November 2019
    Wet Kipper wrote: »
    then when you get on to Scottish "formal" attire, including a kilt, you get into a whole nother mess of Jacket styles, whether or not a belt is worn, or a waistcoat, and what type of tie and... and.....
    Scottish formal attire is extremely common in Saskatchewan, though it is part of performance art. They must play bagpipes at every curling event, Legion, many funerals, many public events. Well loved by the large Ukrainian and German descended population.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    The worst wedding story I ever heard involved a bride marrying a Scot. The groom, best man and ushers all wore kilts as a result. It was a lovely sunny day, so the photographer could take lots of extra pictures, including one of the bride sitting on the grass, with groom and best man on her dress. The latter was dressed correctly - and left a skid mark on the dress when he stood up....

    20 years later she still wasn't talking to him.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Sellotape is also a brand name but it is also the normal generic word for the ordinary sticky tape. There isn't really any other word that means that here.

    IIRC, Blue Peter used to call it "sticky tape" because the beeb couldn't be seen to endorse a particular brand, even if it had become generic. I don't think they'd ever talk about doing the hoovering either.

    I wonder if no prophet would distinguish between a sports jacket and a blazer - his description seems to be more like a blazer to me.

    The dress shirt worn with white tie (wing collar, stiff front, single cuff) isn't the same as the dress shirt usually worn with black tie (turndown collar more common than wing collar, soft pleated front, French cuffs).

    The kind of shirt worn with a tie and a lounge suit or blazer is called a "shirt". Most have button cuffs, although single or double cuffs that close with cufflinks are possible.


  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    Re kilts:

    "The Scotsman" is a song that may provide answers... (Lyrics Mania).

    ;)

    BTW, that's just the lyrics. There are recordings online.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Wet Kipper wrote: »
    ... Dress shirt is white, with 4 or 5 plain pleats down the middle, buttons hidden. Black bow tie.
    like this ...
    And don't you look well in it! :)

    D. reckoned that at some of our family weddings he felt as if he was the only bloke in trousers ...

    I'm reminded of a conversation with a gentleman in a kilt, on a rather blustery day in Orkney.* He said, "I don’t know where that wind's coming from, but I know where it's going".

    * not exactly a rare occurrence :mrgreen:
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    What is a "dress shirt" in America? Just a shirt with buttons, or something more?
    It is a shirt that can be worn with a tie. That means, properly, that it has long sleeves.

    Mind you, in the U.S. there are garments marketed as "short-sleeved dress shirts" (Male Mormon missionaries are apparently under strict orders to wear them, always with a dark tie), but that just demonstrates the ignorance of the buyer and seller. It is totally déclassé to wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt. If it's hot, sleeves can always be rolled up.
    My medical friends tell me that gynaecologists were always advised to wear bow ties.
    Mine doesn't. It's just not her style.


  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    @Rossweisse : "It is totally déclassé to wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt."

    I don't think that's the case on this side of the Pond, but I'm not the most fashion conscious person in the world. Can someone with a sense of style comment about the UK?
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    What is a "dress shirt" in America? Just a shirt with buttons, or something more?
    Mind you, in the U.S. there are garments marketed as "short-sleeved dress shirts" (Male Mormon missionaries are apparently under strict orders to wear them, always with a dark tie), but that just demonstrates the ignorance of the buyer and seller. It is totally déclassé to wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt. If it's hot, sleeves can always be rolled up.
    So-called “short-sleeved dress shirts,” surely an abomination unto the Lord, were common summer work attire for men in the American South when I was growing up. I rarely see them anymore, except when worn by the aforementioned Mormon missionaries.

  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    Short-sleeved shirt with a tie - never.

    But then a chap doesn't possess a short-sleeved shirt: when its warm you wear a normal casual shirt with the sleeves rolled to just below the elbow, no tie and the top button undone.
  • Short-sleeved shirt with a tie - never.

    But then a chap doesn't possess a short-sleeved shirt: when its warm you wear a normal casual shirt with the sleeves rolled to just below the elbow, no tie and the top button undone.

    Or you just ignore these arbitrary rules and where whatever you bloody want.

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    For transatlantic shipmates, @TheOrganist may be misleading you. You can buy the distasteful things here. It's that he doesn't buy them and doesn't wear them. Nor do I.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    In the summer I wear short sleeved clerical shirts with a dog collar. They're black and I'm hot. In Australia I think I remember many men wearing such shirts with ties. It's very hot there.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    But then a chap doesn't possess a short-sleeved shirt: when its warm you wear a normal casual shirt with the sleeves rolled to just below the elbow, no tie and the top button undone.
    Not if you live where summer temperatures regularly hit 90°F (with heat indices of maybe 120°), and not unless you want to be thought of as a very odd and somewhat eccentric chap. Yes, people would notice and think it odd. Short sleeve shirts are de rigueur for summer casual attire here.

    I am reminded of the prominent local lawyer who never wore a short-sleeved shirt and dressed as you describe with sleeves rolled up. He did this because he didn’t want people to see the tattoo he got while in the navy and later regretted. People didn’t see the tattoo, but they regularly wondered why in the world he had a long-sleeves shirt on.


  • Casual shirts don't take ties by definition. If you're wearing a tie, you're in formal wear.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    KarlLB wrote: »
    If you're wearing a tie, you're in formal wear.
    What about business attire, or what some here would call “coat-and-tie,” and others would call “Sunday go-to-meetin’ clothes”?

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    With all the warnings these days about skin cancer, isn't wearing short sleeved shirts unwise?
  • Here in Britain, we invited some elderly friends to an evening meal on a hot (for England) day. The husband arrived wearing jacket and tie. I was wearinga short-sleeved shirt, no jacket or tie. His opening words were, 'I didn't realise it was going to be tropical kit.'
  • Enoch wrote: »
    With all the warnings these days about skin cancer, isn't wearing short sleeved shirts unwise?
    That’s what sun screen is for.

    I mean, I have fair, freckled skin that burns easily, so I’m pretty aware of the risks, and I’m generally aware and careful. But when it’s really hot . . . .
  • Enoch wrote: »
    For transatlantic shipmates, @TheOrganist may be misleading you. You can buy the distasteful things here. It's that he doesn't buy them and doesn't wear them. Nor do I.

    Precisely. If I do wear a short-sleeved garment it is a polo shirt.
  • Back to the words... Reading Pete Buttigieg's autobiography last night I was reminded of another good one. The despised person known in the UK as a 'ticket tout' is called a 'scalper' in the USA. There are various possible explanations that may not all be safe to explore here.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    For transatlantic shipmates, @TheOrganist may be misleading you. You can buy the distasteful things here. It's that he doesn't buy them and doesn't wear them. Nor do I.

    Precisely. If I do wear a short-sleeved garment it is a polo shirt.
    Polo shirts are one type of short-sleeved shirt, as are tee shirts and shirts like this.

  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Casual shirts don't take ties by definition. If you're wearing a tie, you're in formal wear.

    Really? I think of formal as meaning a lot more than a tie!
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I am reminded of the prominent local lawyer who never wore a short-sleeved shirt and dressed as you describe with sleeves rolled up. He did this because he didn’t want people to see the tattoo he got while in the navy and later regretted. People didn’t see the tattoo, but they regularly wondered why in the world he had a long-sleeves shirt on.

    In my early years at the bar, very few court houses were air-conditioned, but we were still expected to wear full rig in summer. Occasionally a thoughtful judge would give permission to remove wigs; a very thoughtful one permission to remove gown or jacket (never both). An appearance in Dubbo in February was challenging.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    {Slight tangent.}

    I felt sorry for the folks at the impeachment hearings. They look drained, and some had sweaty faces. Many of the men were in a jacket and a long-sleeved shirt. (All crowded into the same one! ;) )

    I don't know what the weather was in DC. But the chamber had too many people crammed together.
  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Interestingly we've moved from language showing differences to modes of dress showing differences, not just between Brits, Americans, and Aussies, but within those countries as well.

    In my experience "formal" when referring to clothing refers to either morning coat, tuxedo, or tails.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Interestingly we've moved from language showing differences to modes of dress showing differences, not just between Brits, Americans, and Aussies, but within those countries as well.

    In my experience "formal" when referring to clothing refers to either morning coat, tuxedo, or tails.

    Present use here:

    Black tie - white shirt, normal collar, frilly front, black bow tie of course, dinner suit which is a black suit with satin lapels and a thin strip down the outside of trousers. In summer, a white jacket with plain lapels is ok.

    White tie - white shirt, wing collar, white bow tie, formal suit having a cut away jacket with long tails and the satin strip down the outside of trousers, probably satin lapels.

    Formal - not used afaics.

    White tie is normally only seen on conductors at very serious concerts, and on the most formal of occasions.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    If you're wearing a tie, you're in formal wear.
    What about business attire, or what some here would call “coat-and-tie,” and others would call “Sunday go-to-meetin’ clothes”?

    I call that formal.

    A lot of this discussion is like a different world though; I've almost never been required to wear this black tie, white tie stuff for anything. It's just not something that happens. Suit and tie if I'm forced to is as far as it goes. I think I've worn a bow tie of any colour about three times, and that for singing in concerts.
  • I think that applies to many of us, KarlLB.

    The first time I was invited to a 'black-tie' event I went wearing a, well, a black tie. I didn't know it referred to a bow-tie.

    A suit and tie counts as 'formal' in my book.

    I used to wear a suit and tie to work but other than funerals and ceremonial occasions I rarely wear them these days.
  • I am declassé apparently. I frequently wear a tie with a short sleeve dress shirt.

    I do not know the difference between a blazer and a sport jacket.

    Nor holidays and vacation.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    If you're wearing a tie, you're in formal wear.
    What about business attire, or what some here would call “coat-and-tie,” and others would call “Sunday go-to-meetin’ clothes”?
    I call that formal.
    A suit and tie counts as 'formal' in my book.
    Well, an attire and language difference, I guess. As @mousethief says, suit-and-tie would not typically be called “formal” here. The average male might wear formal attire for two occasions that I can think of in his life: high school prom (though formal wear for prom has gotten “creative” color-wise and in other ways since the 70s) and for a wedding in which he is the groom or a groomsman. This means tuxes or other formal wear are usually rented for these occasions. Suits-and-ties seem be increasing for the wedding party, though, and increasingly I see high school and college parties designated as “formals,” but to which suits-and-ties are worn.

    Beyond that, men who are in some musical ensembles might have tuxes for performances, and of course some men have reason to wear formal wear on other occasions.

  • When my parents moved from England to Australia in 1948 my mother experienced some difficulties in changes of language. Our family was invited to a function and were asked to bring a plate. Mum thought that there must be a real shortage in plates due to the war and actually took extras to help out. She was seriously embarrassed to discover that bring a plate in Australia means to bring one plate containing food to share. :)
  • I'd imagine if you are a pilot, police officer or prison officer, or in the armed forces there are times of the year when your uniform consists of a tie and and short-sleeved shirt

    I went to a school for forces children, and can remember the time when "short sleeved order" was called (presumably co-inciding with the same for the soldiers/air force ) and that was when the school uniform permitted the wearing of short sleeves.
  • I knew a salesman who always wore short sleeved shirts on the grounds that since it was rarely warm enough to remove his jacket, nobody noticed.

    On the formal/informal thing - I don't detect a great deal of difference between the US and other Anglophone countries in terms of the occasions when someone might wear a tux or equivalent.

    I suppose I was thinking of grades of formality - a suit and tie would be relatively formal - a tuxedo or equivalent would be very formal.

    Back in the day everyone wore suits. I'm old enough to remember older fellas wearing suits on the beach or - as in Ireland - farmers cycling to Mass on ancient black bikes wearing ancient black suits and Grandad shirts with flat caps looking like something from the 1920s.
  • I was taught that you should show just a little shirt cuff when wearing a jacket, so you couldn't get away with a short sleeved shirt and pretend to be well dressed.
  • Wet Kipper wrote: »
    I'd imagine if you are a pilot, police officer or prison officer, or in the armed forces there are times of the year when your uniform consists of a tie and and short-sleeved shirt.

    A recent Chief of Police in Phoenix, Arizona decreed that his uniformed officers wear long-sleeved shirts all year. In Phoenix -- where the summer temperature can go as high as 122F (50C). He was not popular.
  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Wet Kipper wrote: »
    I'd imagine if you are a pilot, police officer or prison officer, or in the armed forces there are times of the year when your uniform consists of a tie and and short-sleeved shirt.

    A recent Chief of Police in Phoenix, Arizona decreed that his uniformed officers wear long-sleeved shirts all year. In Phoenix -- where the summer temperature can go as high as 122F (50C). He was not popular.

    What is with people like this? Are they stupid, sadistic, or what?
  • well, if it's hot enough for short sleeves, you won't be wearing the Jacket :tongue:
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    Gee D wrote: »
    ...White tie is normally only seen on conductors at very serious concerts, and on the most formal of occasions.
    Male instrumentalists in orchestras normally wear white tie; these days, conductors are apt to show up in black Nehru jackets or something modeled on Soviet apparatchik-wear. The gentlemen of the chorus are generally in tuxedo jackets and trousers.

    For matinees, the rule is dark suits and ties. For outdoor music festivals in the summer, substitute dinner jackets (white) for the tails and tuxes.

    The women of the chorus are usually found in long black dresses, although dressy black slacks are appearing more often. For the women of the orchestra, almost anything goes.


  • mousethiefmousethief Deckhand, Styx
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    For the women of the orchestra, almost anything goes.

    Although always dark and nearly always black, in my experience.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I was at a concert by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra a couple of years ago, and the ladies wore turquoise dresses. They looked lovely.
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