Unless you are an extra in a Braveheart-esque epic about Scottish history (that is actually filmed in Ireland because it’s cheaper) you should never have a need – far less, a desire to wear a Jacobite shirt.
Hailing (unsurprisingly) from Jacobian times, these stringy, crinkly, frilly, over the top, wiry chest hair-revealing beauties seem to be most popular at weddings when worn with a kilt and some lovely woolly socks. The Jacobite shirt can also be spotted in more casual surroundings too. In these instances I’ve noticed it’s most commonly teamed with a nice pair of regular fit, stone washed 51 State Dad jeans.
The first time I can remember seeing one of these shirt-shaped horrors was when a local electrician friend of my parents came round to our house one weekend to fix something that was broken and generally causing the household an inconvenience. I answered the door to him and there he stood all red-faced, hairy and Scottish in his pale jeans, mountaineering-style boots and a crinkly linen Jacobite shirt with the stringy bit around the neck worn really loose so you could see all the thick spiderleg hairs he had all creeping out away from his pink wrinkly skin. You could tell by his smug look that he thought he looked amazing, but he actually looked like he had been dressed by Mick Hucknall. If Mick Hucknall were blind and retarded.
Since my first run in I’ve been exposed to these shirts fairly consistently and my feelings have not softened. The key problem areas with these shirts are:
- The string open collar neck area. Most men who wear these seem to have thick, gross overly hairy chests. Even worse if they are traditionally Scottish with pink skin and a ginger chest rug.
- The flouncy, unnecessary sleeves – the sleeves are like a linen fancy dress costume worn by Austin Powers. Why would a man choose to wear a big frilly sleeve? It looks really gay, makes your arms look fat and gets in your food – especially if you are having soup.
- Men who wear them are always rather on the large side, pasty and hairy so nobody wants to see their chests or them dressed in linen.