Highland Wear Hire FAQs

What Is A Kilt?

A kilt is a type of traditional Scottish garment worn by men. It is a knee-length skirt made of a heavy, pleated fabric wrapped around the waist and secured with a kilt pin. Kilts are usually made of wool and come in various tartan patterns specific to particular Scottish clans or families.

Kilts are often worn with a sporran (small leather pouch), a kilt belt, and a
jacket, along with other traditional accessories such as a sgian dubh (a small knife tucked into the sock) and a kilt pin. Kilts are most commonly associated with Scotland and are a popular symbol of Scottish heritage, but they are also worn by people of Scottish descent worldwide.

Where Did Kilts Originate?

Kilts originated in Scotland as part of the traditional Highland dress. The exact origins of the kilt are uncertain, but it is thought to have evolved from the belted plaid, a large piece of cloth worn wrapped around the body and belted at the waist, which was commonly worn by Scottish Highlander men in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Over time, the belted plaid evolved into the kilt as it is known today, with the fabric tailored into distinct pleats and the excess cloth fashioned into a large flap called an apron.

Why Do Scots Wear Kilts?

Scots wear kilts as part of their national dress, known as Highland dress. Kilts have a long history and are believed to have originated in the 16th century as a form of clothing worn by Highlander men. Over time, kilts became associated with the Scottish Highlands and symbolized Scottish culture and identity.

Kilts are traditionally made from tartan fabric representing a particular Scottish clan or family. Wearing a kilt in a specific tartan pattern shows individuals' loyalty and connection to their Scottish heritage and ancestry.

In addition to their cultural significance, kilts are popular in Scotland for practical reasons. They were initially worn as a form of functional clothing for outdoor activities, providing freedom of movement and easy access to weapons and supplies.

Today, kilts are worn for various occasions, from casual events to formal ceremonies. They are a proud and iconic symbol of Scotland and are an important part of Scottish culture and heritage.

How To Measure For A Kilt?

Measuring for a kilt involves taking several key measurements to ensure the proper fit. Here's how to measure for a kilt:

  • Waist measurement: Measure around the widest part of the natural waist, typically at the navel level. This will be the measurement for the kilt's waistband.
  • Hips measurement: Measure around the fullest part of the hips, typically about 8 inches below the waist. This measurement will help the kilt maker determine the correct length.
  • Kilt length: Stand straight with your feet slightly apart. Measure from the waistband to the top of the kneecap. Kilts are traditionally worn with the bottom edge of the kilt just above the knee.
  • Seat measurement: Stand straight with your feet slightly apart and measure around the fullest part of the seat, typically about 8 inches below the waistband. This measurement will help the kilt maker determine the correct drape of the kilt.
  • Height measurement: Measure from the top of the head to the floor without shoes.

It's essential to take accurate measurements to ensure the best fit possible. If you need help with measuring or are not comfortable carrying out your own measurements, consider having someone help you or visiting a kilt maker for assistance. Once you have taken these measurements, you can provide them to a kilt maker or retailer who can assist you in selecting the right kilt size and style for your body type and personal preference.

How To Wear A Kilt?

Wearing a kilt is a traditional Scottish outfit that is now worn all over the world. Here's how to wear a kilt:

  • Undergarments: A kilt is traditionally worn without underwear. If you choose to wear underwear, go for a pair of kilted hose or a kilt hose flash.
  • Kilt: The kilt should be worn at the natural waist, with the pleats at the back and the apron at the front. The kilt should cover the knee and the top of the kilt hose.
  • Sporran: A sporran is a type of pouch that is worn with a kilt. It should be worn in the center of the apron, over the kilt.
  • Sash: A sash or a belt can be worn over the kilt to keep it in place and add a touch of color.
  • Shirt: A white shirt with a traditional collar is the standard shirt to be worn with a kilt.
  • Jacket: A traditional Scottish jacket, such as a Prince Charlie jacket, is worn over the shirt.
  • Shoes: Black leather shoes, such as Ghillie brogues, are traditionally worn with a kilt.

It's important to note that different kilt traditions may have slightly different requirements for wearing a kilt.

How To Wear A Kilt Casually?

Wearing a kilt casually can be a fun and stylish way to incorporate traditional Scottish attire into your everyday wardrobe. Here are some tips on how to wear a kilt casually:

  • Choose a casual kilt: Look for a kilt made of lightweight, breathable materials, such as cotton or linen, in a more casual tartan pattern.
  • Pair it with a casual shirt: Choose a t-shirt or casual button-up shirt in a solid color to complement the pattern of your kilt.
  • Accessorize: Consider adding a belt, sporran (small leather pouch), and a pair of socks in a coordinating color to complete the look.
  • Footwear: Opt for a pair of sneakers or casual shoes for a relaxed look.
  • Be confident: Wear your kilt with pride and confidence, no matter the occasion.

Remember, wearing a kilt is all about personal style and comfort. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of tops, accessories, and footwear to find the best look.

Do You Wear A Kilt Belt With A Waistcoat?

It is not necessary to wear a kilt belt with a waistcoat, but some people choose to do so for aesthetic purposes or to help keep the kilt in place. When wearing a waistcoat, it is common to tuck the kilt's waistband under the waistcoat, which helps to keep the kilt in place and creates a neat, polished look. Whether to wear a kilt belt or not is a matter of personal preference, and there are different opinions on the matter. If you do decide to wear a belt, choose one that complements the colours and style of your kilt and waistcoat.

What Do You Wear Under A Kilt?

Traditionally, it is considered appropriate to wear nothing under a kilt. The kilt is designed to be worn as a single piece of clothing, wrapped around the body, and secured in place with a kilt pin. The lack of undergarments symbolizes the wearer's bravery and trust in the kilt's ability to keep them adequately covered. However, some people may wear underwear under their kilt for personal comfort or practical reasons. Ultimately, the decision of what to wear under a kilt is a personal one.

What Are Trews?

Trews are traditional tartan trousers that are part of Scottish Highland dress. They are typically made of wool and have a distinctive design that reflects the wearer's clan or family heritage. Trews were initially worn as outdoor workwear but are now more commonly worn as part of formal Highland dress, particularly for events such as weddings and traditional music and dance performances.

What Are Ghillie Brogues?

Ghillie brogues are a type of traditional Scottish shoe that are part of Highland dress. They are characterized by a lace-up design with long laces that are traditionally wrapped around the legs and tied at the knee. The upper part of the shoe is made of leather and is perforated for breathability, while the sole is made of a flexible, lightweight material such as crepe rubber. Ghillie brogues are named after ghillies, or Scottish gamekeepers, who wore them for their comfort and versatility when working outdoors. They are now commonly worn as part of Highland dress for events such as traditional music and dance performances and as part of military and ceremonial uniform.

How To Wear A Tweed Jacket?

A tweed jacket is a versatile and classic item that can be worn for both formal and casual occasions. Here are some tips for wearing a tweed jacket:

  • Fit: The jacket should fit well without being too tight or loose, with the hem sitting just below the waistline. The sleeves should reach the wrist when the arms are relaxed at the sides.
  • Style: Choose a tweed jacket that complements your personal style and the occasion. Opt for a classic cut, such as a blazer or sport coat, for a more formal look, or a casual jacket, such as a bomber or field jacket, for a more relaxed look.
  • Coordination: Consider the color and pattern of the tweed jacket when choosing other items to wear with it, such as pants, shirts, and accessories. A neutral tweed jacket can be paired with various colors, while a patterned tweed jacket may require more careful coordination.
  • Layering: A tweed jacket can be worn over a dress shirt, sweater, or T-shirt, depending on the weather and occasion. A scarf or vest can also be added for extra warmth and style.
  • Accessories: Accessorize with a tie, pocket square, or bow tie for a more formal look, or with a scarf, gloves, or hat for a more casual look.

By following these guidelines, you can wear a tweed jacket in a way that is both stylish and appropriate for the occasion.

What To Wear With A Tweed Jacket?

A tweed jacket is a versatile and stylish garment that can be worn in various ways. Here are some suggestions for what to wear with a tweed jacket:

  • Dress shirt: A solid-colored dress shirt, such as white or light blue, can be worn with a tweed jacket for a classic and polished look.
  • Turtleneck: A turtleneck sweater in a neutral color, such as black, navy, or grey, can be paired with a tweed jacket for a chic and cozy look.
  • Jeans: Dark-wash or black jeans provide a casual contrast to a tweed jacket and are suitable for a more relaxed weekend look.
  • Chinos: Light or neutral-colored chinos, such as beige or olive, can be worn with a tweed jacket for a preppy and sophisticated look.
  • Trousers: Dress trousers in a solid color, such as navy or grey, and can be worn with a tweed jacket for a formal and elegant look.
  • Boots: A pair of dress boots like Chelsea or Chukka boots can complete the look and provide a stylish and functional footwear option.

When accessorizing, consider adding a scarf, a hat, or a pair of gloves to enhance the look and keep warm in colder weather.

What Is A Prince Charlie Jacket?

A Prince Charlie jacket is a type of formal wear often worn as part of a traditional Scottish Highland dress. It is a double-breasted jacket typically made from wool or a wool blend and features brass buttons, a high collar, and a ventless back. The jacket is usually worn with a kilt and other traditional Highland dress accessories, such as a tartan sash, a sporran, and Ghillie brogues.

The Prince Charlie jacket is typically worn at formal events, such as weddings, balls, and Highland games, and is considered the most formal type of Highland dress. It is named after Prince Charles Edward Stuart, also known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, who led the Jacobite Rising in the 18th century. Today, Prince Charlie jackets are still widely worn by those who participate in Highland dance and those involved in Scottish cultural activities.