Kilt Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on July 31, 2010

in Dress Etiquette

dress kilt etiquette

Attending a wedding in Scotland?  Dressing up as Mel Gibson’s Braveheart for Halloween?  Wear that kilt with pride and confidence after learning about kilt etiquette in our article!

Kilt etiquette is not something that comes up in everyday conversation. Either you are born in Scotland and have known kilt etiquette since you were a wee tyke and know the ins and outs of kilt etiquette or you simply do not wear a kilt and the need to discuss kilt etiquette has never arisen. But, for whatever reason, you now have reached a stage in your life where you need to wear a kilt and you are searching on-line for proper kilt etiquette. Whether your best friend from college is having his wedding in Scotland and you are the best man or you have a super sweet Halloween costume, we have got your kilt etiquette covered!

* If you are of Scottish descent, do a little research and use your clan’s tartan pattern for your kilt. And, if you have nothing to do with the Scots, no problem! They are delighted that other people want to wear their traditional dress! There are several universal tartans that will work for you.

* There is no such thing as a kilt mini skirt. Following kilt etiquette means ensuring a proper fit. Your kilt should sit just below your lower ribs and hit right about your knees. No longer and no shorter. And no low-waisted gangster kilts, either.

* Don’t go overboard with tartan. This means no tartan bow tie. Even if Sean Connery is often guilty of ignoring this rule, you can not pull it off. He is James Bond; you are not. However, it is acceptable to wear tartan hose with your kilt.

* Speaking of hose, do not wear white hose with your kilt unless you are in a marching band. Black hose was traditionally worn for funerals, but, it is become more popular as everyday wear. For the evening or more formal occasions, cream hose is the safest bet.

* Your jacket lends a sense of formality to your kilt. For day wear, it is appropriate to wear a simple tweed jacket. For a super formal event, a Prince Charlie jacket should be worn. For less formal events, any where in between those two jackets will do.

* No kilt is complete without shoes! The best match are black brogues.

* And don’t forget your sporran! As kilts do not have pockets, a sporran is necessary to hold your goods while your…ahem… other goods are flowing free beneath your kilt. Kilt etiquette states a leather sporran is perfect for casual occasions and a fur one (with the head of the animal usually topping the sporran) should be used for more formal events.

These days, a kilt can be worn as part of a normal, everyday outfit! Fashionistas advise treating them as you would a pair of trousers and teaming the appropriate shirt/sweater and shoes with them. Just be prepared to be making a statement when you step out (and wear some undies if the wind is picking up that day)!

Photo: flickr/kf0nz1

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

William Cody February 15, 2015 at 1:14 am

I have had several women ask if I am wearing undergarments while wearing my Kilt. Just curious if etiquette has an answer?

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