Product Focus: The Colours, Advance Of The Scots Guards At The Alma Pocket Square

This week, we explore another one of our military themed and most popular pocket squares; The Colours, Advance Of The Scots Guards At The Alma. The iconic painting by Elizabeth Thompson (also known as Lady Butler), depicts Captain Lindsay, later Lord Wantage, of the Scots Guards, leading his men into The Battle of Alma.

Did You Know? In 1879, Lady Butler came within two votes of becoming the first woman to be elected as an Associate Member of the Royal Academy.

Below, we will discover more behind the artist and the painting itself, and showcase exactly why this pocket square is the perfect match for any navy jacket.

    Shop the Collection: The Colours, Advance Of The Scots Guards At The Alma


    Behind The Painting

    Within the artwork, Captain Lindsay, later Lord Wantage, of the Scots Guards is seen leading his men into battle carrying the regimental colours after a Russian attack had broken the lines of the Welsh regiments. The Battle of Alma, one of the first battles of the Crimean War, saw seven Victoria Crosses be awarded to soldiers for bravery. 

    While Lady Butler's topics reflected themes of romanticism, her paintings, such as this one, were generally realistic in detail, with aspects such as confusion, mud and exhaustion being accurately portrayed. In addition, this painting reflected many of her works, which tended to focus on British troops shown in action or shortly after it, but avoided scenes of hand-to-hand combat.

    Within The Colours, Advance Of The Scots Guards At The Alma, the British troops are perhaps shown as their opponents might have seen them, with an accurate depiction of both fear and resilience delivered within their expressions. We also see two fallen soldiers mid-battle amongst the gunpowder smoke, again offering a realistic view of the battle.

    Lady Butler was not afraid to show realistic expressions of soldiers in battle.

    The Artist: Elizabeth Thompson

    Elizabeth Thompson, or Lady Butler, (1846-1933) was a well-known artist who produced many paintings portraying battles and military scenes. However, unlike many other artists, she commented in 1922 that she did not use paint for the glory of war but to portray its pathos and heroism. She was married to British Army officer Sir William Butler, becoming Lady Butler after he was knighted in 1906.

    Some of her most notable paintings, such as The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras or Scotland Forever! (as shown in our silk jacket lining, right) portray battles from the Waterloo campaign, and mainly show British soldiers, exhausted, fighting an enemy who is seldom represented in the scene. Her fame increased as her paintings toured Europe, alongside photographs of Elizabeth. She gained even more notice because people discovered that she was both young and pretty, something typically not associated with painters of battle scenes. It also helped that there was a considerable swell of Victorian pride and romanticism for the growing British Empire during this time.

    Did You Know? Even though her most famous work shows battles and soldiers, she never actually observed a battle herself but would observe her husband's regiment during training, often standing in front of the charging horses to accurately capture their movement. She also had copies of the soldiers' uniforms made in order to be able to paint them with as much detail as possible.


    Navy is the most versatile colour when it comes to menswear tailoring, and it complements a variety of colours from yellow to grey, to even brighter colours such as green and pink. However, there is no better combination than the classic and timeless red and navy suit.

    The example colour combination below of deep red and burgundy harmonises beautifully with any navy jacket. In addition, you can add more contrast to the outfit showing more of the lighter hues within the pocket square.

    The Colours, Advance Of The Scots Guards At The Alma Pocket Square, also has the Union Jack prominently shown within the artwork. This iconic flag colouring will capture and complement any navy jacket, pulling the outfit together, creating a sense of patriotism, and being visually appealing.

    As one of the most classic and often used combinations, you will never look out of place when pairing navy with a crimson red or burgundy. We also love the hint of texture that you get with a wool-cashmere tie.

    Crimson Red Wool Cashmere Tie 
    The Colours, Advance of the Scots Guards at the Alma 

    red wool tie
    silk pocket square

    In the below video, as part of our YouTube Style Series, Alex explores this pairing, alongside other classic colour combinations to wear with a your navy jacket.


    What Makes Our Pocket Squares So Special?

    1. We use the finest mulberry silk with our silk pocket squares and linings. The quality of the fabric can be seen in the texture and the level of detail and vibrancy of the finished product. All our silks are printed in Macclesfield, England, an area renowned for silk printing for the past 200 years.
    2. We take the utmost care in printing our silk pocket squares and linings which results in truly remarkable levels of detail. Faces, objects and colours are sharp and well defined to give a truly stunning finish. We also take exceptional care with the colour bleed, so the print is almost as crisp on the back as it is on the front, allowing for an unlimited number of folds to a pocket square.
    3. The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each square its own unique character, finish and feel. To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.
    4. We believe that 40cm is the minimum size for a high quality pocket square. Any smaller and it will slide down inside your pocket with any movement of your jacket, while it limits the number of folds you can achieve as there is not enough volume to hold it in place. It goes without saying we would never advocate any form of pocket square holder. All our pocket squares are either 42cm x 42cm or 40cm x 40cm.