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Guide to Wearing a Scottish Kilt


Anyone who has seen the movie Braveheart or Rob Roy knows exactly what a kilt is. It is the knee length garment that all the men wear that looks like a skirt, for the lack of a better term. Scottish kilts are more often than not made of a woolen material and are in a tartan pattern. Kilts were traditionally only worn during formal times or at the highland games, but in recent years they are becoming ever popular with a whole host of men. Now more than ever kilts can be seen being worn at many different events both formal and informal. So how exactly do you wear a Scottish kilt and what goes with it to complete the look?

To start with you will need more than just the kilt. Along with the garment you will need kilt pins, a belt, and a type of pouch known as a sporran. Here is how to properly put on a Scottish kilt:

1.    Position the kilt: Hold the kilt around your waste making sure to position the pleats in the back.
2.    Begin the wrap: Warp the kilt and attach the right apron to the left buckle. You will want a snug fit here, but don’t go too tight. Repeat the process on the opposite side attaching the left apron to the right buckle.
3.    Pin it: Making sure that the kilt is sitting on your waste just above your belly button, fasten the kilt with your kilt pins.
4.    Belt and Sporran: After you put on the belt you can position the sporran by letting it hang just a few inches off of the belt’s buckle. Some like to let the sporran hang to the left, some prefer the right, and others prefer the center. This is a personal call and doesn’t matter either way.

Finishing the look

No Scottish kilt would be complete without adding a few accessories such as:

•    Jacket: Also known as a waistcoat, this looks perfect with the kilt, especially in a formal setting.
•    Socks: To pull off the Scottish kilt look you need to get white woolen socks that can be pulled up just above the knee and then should be turned down. Some refer to these socks as hose and they can even be worn with garter flashes if you so desire.
•    Ghillie Brogues: These are the traditional shoes worn with a kilt. These types of shoes have no tongue and the laces run along the instep of the foot.
•    A Sgian Dubh: This is a Gaelic term meaning ‘black knife’ and that is exactly what a sgian dubh is. The sheathed black knife is traditionally worn on the top of the right hose. Just be sure you won’t get in trouble if you choose to wear this accessory.

Lastly the question on everyone’s mind, underwear or no underwear? Traditionally a Scottish kilt is worn with no underwear. This however should be a personal preference and if you would feel more comfortable wearing underwear under your kilt then do so. Hopefully no one will be the wiser.

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1 Comment

  1. Scott · January 12, 2012

    1) The kilt pin is for decoration only and should be fastened near the bottom right corner of the top apron only – NEVER pin the two aprons together.
    2) When dressed formally you wear a jacket AND a waistcoat
    2) White socks are for children and pipe pands only – you should wear coloured socks which tone with the kilt or black to match the jacket when dressed formally

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