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YOU MAY ONLY BE A FEW STEPS AWAY FROM BUYING AND WEARING A KILT

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This page deals with the process from having received your tartan kilt and some accessories till you are out and about in your kilt.

A kilt is indeed something very different compared to trousers; the way it looks and how it does feel wearing it. 

Letís assume you have just unpacked your kilt, sporran, belt & buckle and kilt hose.


What to do with the stuff?

1. Start with the upper part of your body. You need a shirt of some kind, collar, polo or t-shirt. Be aware that to Scotsmen it is OK to mix tartans and patterns, just not different tartans.

I myself will for pure aesthetic reasons always wear SOLID coloured shirts with tartan kilts. To me it is also important that the colour of my shirt is matching the colours of my kilt. Not necessarily the same colours, but in harmony with them.

A shirt should always be tucked in when wearing a kilt. That is what most kilt wearers think.

Well, having always shared this opinion I must admit, that changes in men’s fashion over the last few years have made me think that for casual wear a polo- or T-shirt might be worn untucked.

 

2. Put on your kilt hose. They are by nature over-knees. When choosing socks, again pay attention to your overall colour scheme.

 

3. Fasten your garters - with or without the flashes mounted - 2-3 cm (approx. 1 inch) under your knee cap. How to position the flashes? I have seen several suggestions on the internet. “9-15” o’clock should be OK, but better “10-14 o’clock”, meaning the flashes pointing slightly forward on the legs.

Fold the socks over them. Check that the garters are covered by the socks.

 

4. Put on your shoes. Yes, it is easier to get your shoes on before the kilt. They should preferably match the colours of other leather items you might wear (sporran and belt). 

Most common - and therefore cheaper - are black kilt belts and sporrans, rather than brown ones.

 

5. Now the kilt. Put it around you. The pleats shall be at the rear of course. With your right hand you are now holding what is to be the under-apron. Now fasten the strap to the buckle at your left hip, after you have led it through the little slid next to the buckle. Then fasten the over apron. For that you have one or two buckles at your right hip.

 

6. Adjust the kilt horizontally. As an indicator hold your thumbs on the belt straps at the back.

 

7. The buckles and straps will prevent your kilt from disgracing you but with a belt it looks better. It does not have to go through the belt loops. In fact they are not belt loops but meant for your sporran strap! But being wide enough; why not use them for the belt, too? I always will.

Some will say sporran first, then belt. It’s a bad idea. You need to be able to slide your sporran to the side. It is difficult or impossible if the sporran strap is covered by the belt.

 

8. The sporran shall hang on your front. But don’t have it hang too low. About 7-10 cm (3-4 inch) or a hand’s breadth below your belt should be appropriate. (If your kilt is a jeans waist model the sporran might hang too low and you might consider ditching it).

 

9. Take a look into a mirror. Should your kilt be lowered or heightened a little bit? Is it centred correctly? Make some adjustments if necessary.

 

10. You are ready to leave!

 

Do you think it was complicated? It isn't. After a few times you'll realize that getting into the kilt is faster than getting into trousers.



McGregor Red tartan. Amsterdam.

What else to wear with the kilt?

Over a regular shirt you may also wear a sweater (untucked).

As outer wear on cold days a short wind breaker (bomber jacket) or anorak will do the job efficiently and look nice with your kilt.

 

Kilt worn with a short wind breaker. The kilt is a cheap 4 yard PV-kilt in  
Royal Stewart tartan. The vendor is no longer on the market.

 

Carcole Argyle kilt jacket and 5 yard, 13 oz. James Morrison wool kilt in Grey Heritage tartan, both from Heritage of Scotland. The James Morrison brand does no longer exist. 



Wear shoes fitting the purpose. For casual functions sneakers will often do. Heavy-duty shoes and walking boots are also popular.

Instead of kilt hose scrunched or folded down you might consider men’s ordinary socks or “invisible” socks or no socks. But be aware that traditionalists shall object to it. On really cold days you could be forced to give your kilt a break unless you can imagine yourself in thick leggings or running tights.



So you are ready to go out

All leather things - the belt, the sporran and the sneakers are black.
The colour of the kilt socks matches the blue stripe in the Campbell Ancient tartan.


 

What if I do something wrong?

Here we talk casual wear, not national dress. Accordingly you can and should forget about most and often rigid rules, apart from a general proper appearance. 

And honestly, how likely is it that you shall ever meet an “expert”? And should you, how likely do you think it is that he should be impolite enough to blame you? 

 


Dangers?

Wearing a kilt is something very special and to start with you shall probably be mostly concerned about the risk of exposing yourself.  

Staircases and escalators?

Don’t worry too much. An exposure would require a staircase being as steep as ladder - and that someone was climbing up directly under you. Add to that that in most situations there shall be a deep shadow under the kilt.

 

.
Even a steep staircase means only little risk of exposure.
By the way, whatever you should do with this picture it shall reveal absolutely nothing.

 

Windy days?

Well, it does take more than a little breeze to really lift your kilt, but the wind should not be totallaly neglected. On your front the sporran will in practically all situations give you the needed protection. The back of your kilt is more problematic. Holding your hands discretely as far down your sides as possible will prevent it from being around your ears, but a strong wind might nevertheless make it go somewhat up. In most cases, however, it is just a question of a second or two before it is safe down again, hardly enough for anybody to really recognize what is under your kilt. And should it be part of black briefs or the like, it is not that big deal after all.
How often have you seen what woman are wearing under their often very short skirts? Don’t be too concerned about wind.  

On windy days a little attention might be advisable.

 

Sitting and sitting down?

One of the advantages wearing trousers is that you can sit and sit down without taking any care. With a skirted garment is not that simple.  
Women seem to know per instinct how to sit in a skirt – even if they are seldom wearing one. With a kilt it is the same, but we men don’t have the instinct feeling of how to do. 

As you sit down, smooth the pleats of the kilt beneath you to prevent the kilt from twinkling but foremost to secure that you are sitting on the fabric, not directly on the chair.

When sitting, keep at all times your legs together; you should never spread them. If you do, make sure the apron of your kilt is between your legs.

Sitting with crossed legs is possible, but then better cross your ankles than your thighs. Especially when changing position pay a little bit attention. 

Come in mind that people might be focused on your legs (in restaurants, on benches in parks etc.)

 

More luck than wisdom. Keep your legs together or be sure to press your sporran between your legs.


The most "dangerous" situation

Picking up something you have dropped or when tying your shoelaces: ALWAYS bend your knees and keep your back straight. Never just bend over.

 


 

What's next?

  • If you have not yet ordered that first kilt of yours and the few accessories to go with it, do it now.
  • Wait for it to come.
  • When arrived, immediately try on the stuff.
  • Go outside in your kilt and feel confident about it.
  • Consider informing surroundings by means of social media.
  • Be prepared that a costly kilt addiction might have just begun!

 

 


HOW TO WEAR A KILT?


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