Wearing Your Kilt

Wrap the kilt around you with the pleats at the back. If properly tailored, the kilt should hang around your knee with the top of the kilt at your natural waist. The two kilt ‘aprons’ will overlap in front.

Bring your right arm around your front. Where the edge of the right meets the left is a small hole in the lining. Put the strap through the hole and buckle the aprons. You should be able to get one thumb inside of the waistband. Fasten the leather straps on the left or ‘front’ apron to the buckles on the right. Traditionally there will be two buckles – buckle the top first.

Some kilts have a third strap further down the right hip. This creates a smoother fit across the stomach. Avoid bunching towards the top or along the buckles.

Adjust the kilt – the fringed edge of the kilt should be along the right side. The kilt should have an ‘A’ shape to it. The majority of kilts have a ‘pivot point’, where the tartan pattern mirrors itself. This should be in the center of your body.

Wearing Your Kilt Accessories

Kilt Hose: long socks traditionally worn with a kilt. These usually come in either white or black. Pull them up to over the knee before adding garters and kilt flashes.

Garters: used to hold kilt flashes in place underneath the fold of a kilt hose. Fasten just below the knee.

Kilt Flashes: coloured ribbons, usually in either the same tartan as the kilt or a solid colour matching the dominant colour of the tartan. The flashes are attached by the garter and should be on the outside of the leg. Fold the kilt hose down about 3-4 fingers width so that it sits over the garter a few inches of the flashes are visible. Ensure that both sets of flashes are sitting at the same angle.

Traditionally, brogues are worn with kilts. There are two ways of wearing these:

High-Front Tie: Make sure the laces are the same length. Tie half a knot, keep tension on the lace, wrap them around the back of the ankle, twist once (or twice if necessary) and then again around the front to make an ‘X’. When at the front again, tie it off to the side of the shin bone (a half hitch bow is best).

Low Tie: Follow the same steps as the high-front tie, but scrunch the laces down so that they stay around the ankle rather than going up the left. Tie in a bow or half hitch bow.

Sporran: Kilts have strap hoops at the back used for securing your sporran. The leather sporran strap goes through these hoops and can usually be adjusted. The sporran should sit in the center of the kilt, hanging approximately the width of your hand below the bottom of the waist belt.

Kilt Pin: These come in a variety of styles and materials. This should be placed on the front apron 10cm from the bottom hem and 5cm from the apron edge. A kilt pin minimizes flapping as well as being decorative.

Ghillie Shirt: Usually white or cream, ghillie shirts are long-sleeved with a long collar, fastened, usually loosely, by matching ties.

Jacket and Vest: A standard suit jacket can be worn with a kilt, or, for a more traditional look, wear a Prince Charlie jacket, the formal choice. Vests can be adjusted if necessary via the strap on the back.

Sgian Dubh: a small knife, usually seen in the Highland tradition. This sits in your right sock if you are right-handed, or in your left sock if you are left-handed. Usually these match the kilt pin in either design – many sgian dubh handles have Celtic designs – or in colour, by the gem on the top. There should be approximately an inch of the handle showing. The sgian dubh is held in place by the garter, so no need to worry about stabbing yourself in the foot though the scabbard is always recommended!

Caring for Your Kilt

Our Lochcarron kilts are all Dry Clean Only. Use a fabric brush to get rid of hairs etc on the kilt and to keep the sporran furs tidy.

The History of the Kilt

One of the first records of the kilt is a German print dated around 1630. The origins of the word ‘kilt’ are widely debated. In the 16th century, kilts were much larger garments with the upper half worn as a cloak, draped over the shoulder of the wearer, known as a breachan. The kilt as we know it came into being in the 18th century, an English adaptation by Thomas Rawlinson, a Quaker from Lancashire with connections to the MacDonnell clan of Inverness. Traditionally, the kilt is a male garment, but its popularity has meant that ladies’ kilts, both formal and informal, have become widely available and part of the kilt culture.

The History of Lochcarron

With a heritage dating back to 1892, Lochcarron of Scotland is the world’s leading manufacturer of tartan, proudly Made in Scotland by skilled craftsmen and women who design, dye, warp, weave, mend and tailor our Scottish tartans and textiles. A truly global brand with timeless appeal, Lochcarron of Scotland offers a unique authenticity and showcases the very best of Scottish textiles. From kilt to catwalk, Lochcarron of Scotland champions traditional tartan fabric manufacturing whilst continuing to innovate, designing bespoke creations for major international fashion houses.