Scottish kilts

Scottish Kilt ; One Of The Most Recognizable Forms Of National Dress

When you think about Scotland, three things come to your mind bagpipes, haggis, and kilts. The most prominent of all is indeed the kilt. These are known as the national dress of Scotland. Kilts indeed have deep cultural and historical roots in the country of Scotland. A kilt is one of the most recognizable forms of national dress throughout the world. For a true scot, it is a symbol of honor and patriotism. A kilt is more often worn on formal occasions such as highland games. But it is also adapted as an everyday garment.

Brief History of Scottish Kilts:

The history of Scottish kilts goes back to the 16th century when highlanders of northern Scotland used to wear them as a full-length garment. During 1720 it was common to wear a kilt. It was the time when the British army used to wear kilts as their formal uniforms. You may be astonished to know that prior to 1972 if someone wanted to wear the kilt had to join the British army. Probably they were afraid that if they allow people to wear a kilt, it might spark the idea of revolution.

Scottish Kilt- The garment:

Wearing a kilt is, in fact, more than just getting dressed on a given day. People have different reasons for wearing a kilt, but for Scottish people, it is more than just wearing a piece of clothing. It is a symbol of honor, pride, and respect for Scottish people. It is the way to showcase their culture and heritage. Since it is Scotland’s national dress, so whoever wears it must respect it.

  • Big Kilt/ The great kilt:

Today’s kilt is short like a bent skirt, but traditional kilt was a bit different. The most ancient kilt was “the big kilt” that was a 5-meter long piece of cloth. It was wrapped around the waist and pleated. A belt was worn to hold it on the waist. To give the impression of a long garment, a part of cloth was draped over shoulder like a coat. People used to wear a big kilt to bear the harsh weather of the highland.

  • Small kilt/walking kilt:

The small kilt was widespread 17th and 18th century and was known as Gaelicfeileadh beag. It was popularized by the English industrialist Thomas Rawlinson who was living in Scotland at that time. Small kilts became famous rapidly.

The difference between the big and small kilt is the length of cloth/garment used. In A small kilt, a much shorter cloth is used which is pleated only in the back. In a small kilt, there is no cloth to drape over the shoulder. The highland regiment of the British army adopted the design of the walking kilt and then passed into civilization usage. Today’s kilt is walking kilt that remained famous ever since.

Types of kilt:

Original the kilts were not ceremonial as it is considered today. People used to wear kilts even in day to day life as well. But not everyone who wore kilts could afford the adorned patterns of tartan. Depending on the wealth of the kilt wearer, the kilts were either colored or plain. Kilts are available in vibrant designs and colors and are used for many reasons.

Irish pipe men wear Irish kilts. Kilts are also used as a uniform for girls in schools. Utility kilts can be worn on work as it becomes easy to move around while working. Utility kilts also have more loops and pockets so that you can carry your tools while working. Camouflage kilts are best to worn outside trips and camping etc. Visit Scottish Kilt Collection to check different styles and designs of kilts and choose the one that fits your needs.

Scottish kilts for women:

Originally kilts were worn by men only. It was popular military attire and men used to wear it at weddings and highland sports events. There are a lot of perks of wearing a kilt as it makes the movement easy. In summer it is the best garment as it keeps you cool all the time. Kilts have evolved with the passage of time, and now it is not for the men only. Women can also wear a kilt. There are many styles and designs of kilt available for women out there. At Scottish Kilt Collection you can find the high-quality, stunning kilts for women.

Choose a kilt and a tartan:

Choosing a kilt is not as easy as it seems to be. You need to keep various things in mind while picking a kilt to rock. When selecting a tartan, most people make the decision based on their family name. A tartan represents the clan or a family. If you are not Scottish and want to wear a kilt, then you can select a tartan based merely on aesthetic value. There are different weights of tartan fabric. The best weight for fabric for men is 16 or 17oz. For ladies kilt 11 oz. Lightweight tartan fabric is used.

How to Donne a kilt:

Wearing a kilt means you adore this manly dress. If you have decided to rock a kilt, first of all, you need to make sure that you know how to carry it. Do not disrespect a kilt as it is a sacred dress for Scottish people that represent their culture and heritage. If you are ascot, then wear a tartan that represents your clan. What is the occasion? It is important to wear a kilt according to the occasion and event. Of course, you cannot wear a utility kilt at a wedding. So, purchase a kilt according to the occasion/event.

When putting your highland dress, it is better, to begin with, the socks. Make certain that the ribs on the socks are sitting vertically. The ribs on the socks must not be twisted. Adjust your socks and bear in mind that there should be three four-inches gap between the kilt bottom and the top of the socks. Then put your sgian dubh down your leg.

Once you are done with it, it’s the time to put your ghillie brogue shoes. Tie the laces of brogue in an ordinary bow at the front. You can tie a bow at sides as well as per your choice. Then it is time to wear a shirt. After wearing the shirt, wrap your kilt around the waist. Make sure that the pleats are in the back and aprons are at the front.

Accessories to be worn with a kilt:

A kilt outfit includes the following accessories:


Type of jacket you will wear depends on the occasion. For example, if you are wearing a kilt at a wedding, then you should wear a Prince Charlie jacket or a coattee.


It is an essential accessory to be worn with a kilt. There are many different styles of sporran/pouch available to choose from. You should wear leather daywear sporran at informal events. Full dress sporran is the best for most formal occasions. A semi-dress sporran can be worn at traditional events such as highland games.


It was necessary to wear a belt to prevent a kilt from falling. But now tailored kilts are available that do not fall, so it not mandatory to wear a belt. However wearing a belt with the kilt provides a handy place to hang swords, pistols or dirk.

Kilt Flashes:

These are the pieces of fabric that are displayed on either side of the hose. It is very common to match the kilt flashes with the tartan of the kilt these days.

Interesting facts about Scottish kilts:

Let’s check some interesting facts about the Scottish kilts:

If you have watched the movie Braveheart, then you might be the believer of the myth that kilts have been around us since the 13th century, which is not true. As a matter of fact, kilts are a fairly new cultural item as people started wearing kilts in the 16th century.

  • Originally kilts were untailored a five-meter long piece of cloth.
  • You may have also heard that Scottish people do not wear anything beneath a kilt. It is not true, especially in the chilling month of winter. But there is an inside joke amount tourists and Scottish that true scots do not wear anything under their kilt.
  • Kilts are not for bagpipe player men and royal guards only. Anyone can wear a kilt on any occasion.
  • A good kilt comes at a hefty price as it is made of pure wool that is itself expensive.
  • Tartan print of the kilts actually stems from the family or clan. So a kilt is more than a fashion statement.

Are kilts still worn today?

A kilt is a traditional dress in Scotland. But is it still worn today? Yes, it is. No matter what the occasion is people still proudly wear a kilt at highland games, weddings, and parties, etc. You may have seen many women wearing kilts skirts. A kilt is a much-respected emblem of Scotland and is remembered till date. Check Scottish Kilt Collection pages to find high-quality kilts at fair prices.

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