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Clothing, Gentleman, Skills

How to Wear a Kilt Properly (for the Scottish, Irish, or Great Men among us)

Detail of a Clan Robertson kilt

Image via Wikipedia

Now I know that the guys who are reading this post will not all want to go out in a kilt.  Many of us guys have been biased by the assumption that all men must wear pants or we are not men.  I do not buy into this notion for the following reasons…

  1. Men have worn kilts and other skirt like garments for hundreds of years.  Many of these societies were the most bad and warrior like of any.  The Spartans wore dress like tunics as did the Romans.  No one can convince me that either of those two groups were not manly.  Also, the Scottish and Irish both traditionally wore kilts.  Both of these groups were warriors and both held out against the English and others invading for a long time.
  2. Wearing a kilt can be a great accessory to your fashion.  I mean what kind of outfit catches attention better than a kilt.  Let me tell you men women love it when they see a man in a kilt.  There are the women and men out there who will make fun and act like little kids about gayness and all that, but most men will respect you and women will be fascinated.
  3. Kilts allow for more room downstairs.  I know that is a bit impolite to talk of such things, but it is the truth.  Studies have shown that men who wear tight jeans and other pants have less sperm and thus have a harder time having children.  So, which would you rather be?
  4. I must say it one more time just for the record.  Women love men in kilts!!!

Wearing the Kilt

Now we get down to the business of how to wear a kilt.  When wearing a kilt you must always remember what time of day or event you are going to in it.  There are basically four ways to wear a kilt.

  • Modern
  • Modern traditional
  • Semi-ancient
  • Ancient

Now one other thing to know about the kilt is that there are two types.  Type one is the great kilt which is the traditional fully attached cloth which is wrapped around your waist and then thrown over a shoulder.  The more modern kilt is only the bottom part with a separate shoulder cloth optional.  This is called the small kilt.


This is an example of a contemporary kilts als...

Image via Wikipedia

When wearing a Kilt the modern way you should keep a few basics in mind.  First, you would use a small kilt.  Also, even though you are modernizing an ancient look, you still should make sure you keep the kilt the main focus and don’t wear things that won’t look good at all with it.  T-shirts are a good way to modernize a kilt and will look good tucked in.  You will still need to wear a good belt though because kilts look unnatural without one.  Some good kilts to get if you are going to wear it on a more daily basis are either sportkilts or utilikilts.  I own a sportkilt myself and find it very comfortable.  I wear it a lot and it works well.  The sportkilt is a more heavy-duty kilt and I plan on getting one soon.  It is good quality and will wear well.

Modern Traditional

Kilt and Sporran worn as formal evening wear

Image via Wikipedia

When you are going to wear a kilt to a wedding or a fancier occasion, you may want to wear the modern traditional attire.  I refer to it like this because it is not the original way kilts were worn, but it is a traditional way that appeared about the 17th century and on.  This style includes a few things that the others do not.  Firstly, you would wear a small kilt with this since you don’t want the shoulder cloth.  You then will need the proper jacket.  This will be a Prince Charlie Jacked.  You can’t wear just any jacket because it won’t be cut right to show off the pleats.  Then you will need a sporran.  A sporran is the pouch that is worn on the front of the kilt by chains connected to the belt or belt loops.  It is very handy for storage and helps to carry things.  You will also need the proper footwear.  This will be Ghillie Brogues.  Ghillie Brogues are a type (and actually the first) of wingtip shoes.  The difference is they lace up the leg onto the thigh and they are slightly different in shape.  You should also wear kilt hose or socks which will go to the knee.  Finally, wear a plain collared shirt (definitely not a tux shirt) and bow tie.  You can also add a Scottish hat like the Balmoral or the Glengarry.  One more thing to add is kilt flashes.  These are small little flag things that go in the tops of your kilt socks that match your kilt colors.


A belted plaid (rather than a kilt) as worn by...

Image via Wikipedia

Usually if you are going to wear a kilt in the semi-ancient manner then you will be wearing a small kilt.  Also, you will be looking more rough and medieval so this would probably apply to a renaissance festival wear or other such events.  For this you will also need a cross cloth to look more ancient.  It is also necessary to have more ancient looking footwear so a more rough looking version of the Ghillie Brouges is likely though you can go with the more modern type.  I would recommend that you wear a more rough and old style shirt.  This can either be a Jacobean (also called Jacobite or Ghillie) shirt or a Grandpa shirt.  The Jacobean is from Scotland and the Grandpa shirt is from Ireland.  Either one looks just fine.  You still need the kilt socks so make sure you have proper ones.  Finally, still wear a Balmoral since it is the acceptable ancient hat as well.


Ancient kilt wearing pretty much involves the same as semi-ancient accept you will want to wear a great kilt instead of the small kilt.Belted  Plaid

In Conclusion

Finally, if you wear your kilt you will want to make sure that it is either to the middle of the knee or just above, or you will be committing a large faux pas.  Otherwise, have a great time wearing your kilt, and if you have any more questions on how to wear your kilt just go to www.tartansauthority.com.  Also, here’s a video from Utilikilt that will make you laugh.



About chuckzach

Chuckzach is a blogger and student who loves many things and tries to expand his universe all the time.


One thought on “How to Wear a Kilt Properly (for the Scottish, Irish, or Great Men among us)

  1. Hi there, of course this post is genuinely fastidious and I have learned lot of things
    from it regarding blogging. thanks.

    Posted by Chiquita | October 7, 2014, 1:53 am

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