The number 42 is on the buttons of the uniforms of the Officers and men. The coats are lapeled to the waist with the color of the facings of the regiment, crimson red. The officers of grenadiers wear an epaulette on each shoulder. Soldiers of the battalion wear one on the right shoulder. They are either of embroidery or lace, with gold or silver fringe. The waistcoats to be plain, without either embroidery or lace. The swords of the regiment are uniform, Basket-hilt broadswords in the case of the Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch) and the sword-knots of the whole crimson and gold in stripes. The hilts of the swords are either gilt or silver, according to the color of the buttons on the uniforms. The hats are laced either with gold or silver, as hereafter specified, and to be cocked uniformly. The Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch), on the whole, wear highland bonnets.
The highland bonnet is one of the least standard items of the uniform. The bonnets are simple dark blue wool, with a red and white bands around the bottom portion of the bonnet. Instead of the bonnet standing up strait, it was cocked to the left as if it was laying on the soldier's heads. The diced tall bonnets were more popular with the officers, suggesting that this practice was due more to fashion considerations than anything else. The men wore tufts of black bearskin in the bonnets, and the officers wore a black ostrich feather.
The sashes are a crimson silk, and worn around the waist. The King's arms are engraved on the gorgets; also the number of the regiment. They are either gilt or silver, according to the color of the buttons on the uniforms. The Officers of the grenadiers wear black bear-skin caps and have fuzils, shoulder-belts, and pouches. The shoulder belts are white or buff, according to the color of their waistcoats. The belts and other accoutrements of the Black Watch are black. The entire regiment wear black linen gaiters, with black buttons, and small stiff tops, black garters, and uniform buckles over red and white checkered stockings.
The coats of the Corporals have a silk epaulette on the right shoulder. The coats of the grenadiers have the usual round of wings of red cloth on the point of the shoulder, with six loops of the same sort of lace as on the buttonholes, and a border round the bottom. The men's coats to be looped with worsted lace, but no border. The ground of the lace is white, with colored stripes. The waistcoat has white buttons. The breadth of the lace which is to make the loop round the buttonhole, to be about half an inch. Four loops are on the sleeves, and four on the pockets, with two on each side of the slit behind. The 42nd's lace are looped into the "bastion" shape.
The breadth of all the lapels are three inches, and reach down to the waist, and not to be wider at top than at the bottom. The sleeves of the coats have a small round cuff, without any slit, and are made so that they may be unbuttoned and let down. Everyone has cross pockets, but no flaps to those of the waistcoat. The cuffs of the sleeve, which turns up, are three inches and a half deep. The flap on the pocket of the coat is sewn down, and the pocket is cut in the lining of the coat.
The breadth of the shoulder-belts is two inches and three quarters; that of the waist-belt is two inches. Again, the 42nd wear accoutrements of black.
Unique to the 42nd
The Black Watch, when it was first formed, was given the dark green and black tartan that bears its name. In 1746, a red over-stripe was added to the pattern. During the period of the American Revolution, there was some variation between the tartans. According to Osprey Military's 18th Century Highlanders, "..plaids were made from undifferentiated Government set, while the same set with the red overstripe was used for kilts."
In North America, the Black Watch frequently forsook the plaid for the 'little kilt' commonly seen today. Due more to fashion considerations than anything else, or took to wearing breeches in the wilderness, saving the kilt for special occasions.
Prior to 1769, the regiment wore red waistcoats. After the 1768 Warrant, white waistcoats were issued.
Sporrans were changed from badger-skin to goat-skin or buff leather in 1769. This is the item adorned with hair hanging from the waist over the soldier's kilt.