When Gregor McCluskey visited the Lowcountry during the 2010 Side X Side Classic at Backwoods Quail Club in the fall, he represented the BraeVal collection of sporting style. The shirts are visually appealing, soft to the touch, and are well suited for dressing up any shooting occasion.
A hunter named Big Jock McCluskey, the great uncle of Gregor McCluskey, first brought the red and black tartan of Rob Roy MacGregor to North America in the 19th century. The tartan became known as buffalo plaid as Big Jock gathered hides and traded them in the Dakotas and Montana. Legends still whisper that Native Americans had never seen a brighter color of red on the tartan and thought it may be from the blood of his enemies.
BraeVal is the Scottish word for the upland river valleys ‘tween the mountains and the highlands, where streams wind and search for the loch. Pronounced ‘brave-all’ the name harkens the special challenges of the outdoor lifestyle that excites sportsmen. The mystique of Big Jock taming the wild lands is carried over to this distinctive sporting apparel marked with each garment marked with a patch of buffalo plaid.
With a goal to make the most comfortable clothing in the world, these shirts are for the upscale sporting connoisseur. The BraeVal difference includes quality features like a hidden vented bi-swing back, extra full cut for better shooting range of motion and long shirt tails. Made of 80-percent tiera natural blended fabric and 20-percent Merino wool, the shirts are sophisticated enough to serve as either social or field garments.
A few sweaters and vests are included in the BraeVal line up but their shirts are the main calling card. Choose from six styles including the Essex, Litchfield, Paddock, Exventurer, Crossover and the Artemis. The Essex shirt looks great with a tie and sport coat and has French Plackets with Mitered cuffs, and comes is a Thistle Glen Check or a Plum Waverly Plaid. Other shirts expand on the Essex blueprint with additions like a hidden security pocket and double shirt pockets.
The Artemis shirt by BraeVal is named after the goddess of the hunt, and its legendary status of being too nice for the field is indeed a myth. With a functional and rugged design, this shirt sets one apart with its quilted right shoulder gun patch and its double-layered left breast bellows pocket. With designs that include the Camel, Khaki and Maroon District Check and Sonoma Red Cavalry Twill or Mocha Bold Tattersal – the Artemis excels as essential wingshooting gear.Spring and Summer short sleeve shirts and shorts are also part of the BraeVael wardrobe, and these distinctive garments can be found on the Internet at www.Braeval.net or locally at Grady Ervin on King Street. Join the BraeVal clan and wear your sporting handkerchief of Buffalo Plaid with highland honor.
To view the feature article in the Charleston Mercury click here.
Photos: Jeff in an Artemis shirt by BraeVal with Chester