The question we get asked most often by our customers is just simply how to wear your kilt and the various accessories once you receive it. If you are new to kilts, or haven't worn one since childhood this can seem like a daunting task but help is on the way! We have put together an essential how-to guide for wearing your brand new outfit. We have broken this guide down into the different types of kilt accessories so you can take it step by step and at your own pace. This guide will guarantee that you leave looking great for your function!
1) The Kilt
Of course the kilt is the most fundamental part of your outfit and we would recommend you start with this when dressing. The kilt is unbuckled and wrapped around the torso with pleats at the back. The buckle in your right hand goes through the hole in the left hand side of the kilt. Then the buckle(s) on your left hand fasten on to the right side of the kilt. The kilt should be fairly snug but you should be able to put 2 fingers comfortably into the waistband. The kilt should sit above the navel, quite high on the waist.
- We recommend starting with your kilt first when dressing.
2) Shirt and Tie
Depending on what kind of function you are attending we have the shirt and tie combination to match!
Ghillie Shirt - This is a traditional jacobite shirt with leather laces which hang down. This is generally worn at less formal events or in the evening after party.
Wing Collar Shirt and Bow Tie - This is a formal shirt with wing tip collars and a matching bow tie. This is generally worn to fancier formal events such as Dinner Parties.
Victorian Collar Shirt and Ruche Tie - This is similar to the wing collar shirt but has slightly bigger tips on the shirt and a ruche tie, which is a tie with a crumpled effect. This type of shirt is an extremely popular choice at many weddings!
Standard Collar Tie with Neck Tie - A traditional formal shirt with a neck tie. The neck tie can be plain or tartan and is available in a number of different fabrics ranging from wool, tweed and polyester.
- The Ghillie shirt is generally worn at less formal events.
3) Jacket and Vest
You are now ready to wear your kilt jacket and waistcoat. The 3 most popular styles of jacket to choose from are the Prince Charlie jacket, Black Argyle jacket and the Tweed Argyle jacket.
Prince Charlie Jacket - The Prince Charlie jacket is a formal jacket which would generally be worn to black tie occasions. The Prince Charlie is normally worn with a wing collar shirt and bow tie but can be also worn with a Victorian wing collar shirt and ruche tie. The Prince Charlie is a very fancy jacket and therefore complements a full dress sporran.
Black Argyle Jacket - The Argyle jacket is a slightly more casual choice than the Prince Charlie Jacket and can be worn to a variety of events. Also known as a "day jacket", the argyle is perfectly paired with semi dress sporrans or leather sporrans. The Argyle jacket can be paired up with a 5 button waistcoat and finished off with a Victorian wing collar shirt and ruche tie.
The Tweed Argyle Jacket - The Tweed argyle has become massively popular over the past few years and is now the go-to choice for many weddings! This jacket comes in 3 different colours - "Charcoal", "Navy" and "Light Grey". Like the Black Argyle jacket this is a much less formal option than the Black Prince Charlie Jacket and is more suited to more casual events.
How to wear your jacket and waistcoat is fairly self explanatory. The waistcoat can be adjusted in the size by using the strap on the back and will look much smarter as a result. The waistcoat is not a necessity for less formal occasions but that decision is entirely up to the wearer.
- The Prince Charlie Jacket is the most formal of the three types of Kilt Jacket.
4) Kilt Belt
The kilt belt is worn around the top of the kilt, but not through the kilt loops. The kilt belt is normally worn in the absence of a waistcoat. The kilt belt will not fasten without a kilt buckle.
5) Kilt Buckle
Our kilt buckles are all made with the same fastenings and will fit all of our kilt belts. Simply feed the leather belt through the belt and buckle and then fasten. The kilt belt and buckle will then hook together leaving you with an authentic looking design.
Sporrans can come in 3 general varieties. Leather Day Sporrans, Semi Dress and Full Dress. All of our sporrans come with a standard sporran chain which can fit a 30 inch waist to a 48 inch waist. The sporran chain is attached to the back of the sporran and goes though the round loops at the back of your kilt. The sporran hangs at the front of the kilt roughly around 4/5 inches below the top.
- The Sporran chain is fastened at the back of your kilt.
7) Kilt Pin
The Kilt pin's main function is to keep the apron of your kilt down and to stop your kilt flapping around in the wind (this has ruined many a wedding photo over the years). Our kilt pins come in a huge number of different designs and metals such as steel, pewter or even silver. The kilt pin goes through the front apron only and is generally positioned 10 cm up from the bottom of the kilt and 5 cm from the side of the kilt. The kilt pin is generally placed on a line in the selected tartan to keep it looking neat.
- The Kilt pin is placed slightly above the bottom of the kilt to keep it looking neat.
8) Kilt Hose Socks and Flashes
Kilts are generally worn above the calf and are folded over below the knee, with the kilt sock leaving the knee uncovered. Flashes and garters are used to keep the socks up and in place. The flashes have elasticated garters which fasten around the calf. The kilt socks are then folded over the garter for the perfect finish. Kilt socks come in a number of different colours to match your kilt and flashes are generally in the same tartan as your kilt (normally made from an off-cut from the kilt you are wearing).
- Kilt socks are folded just below the knee as pictured.
9) Ghillie brogues
Ghillie Brogues are the standard kilt shoe that are worn with most outfits. They normally come with long ghillie brogue laces and tassels which tie around the lace, although ghillie brogues with normal laces are also available. The two most popular methods to tying your Ghillie Brogue laces are as follows.
The High-Front Tie - First make sure that both of your laces are the same length. Twist the laces around the shoe (we normally recommend 4 times) and this will give you a weave pattern going up the leg. Wrap them around the back of your calf and back to the front, then once more around the back of the calf to the front (this should form an x pattern on the front of the leg). Then tie the tassels into a bow on the shin of the leg, letting the laces hang down with a neat design.
The Low Tie - This method is very similar to the high front tie however everything is scrunched together much lower so that the X pattern is formed just above the ankle.
- The laces should be tied round the leg in an "X" like pattern.
10) Sgian Dubh
Don't forget your sgian dubh! That's your knife (a traditional part of Highlands attire) and arguably the most exciting part of your entire outfit! This little dagger goes in your right sock if you're right handed or your left sock if you are left handed. If you have a kilt pin, it's a good idea to have it match with your sgian dubh. Simply push your sgian dubh down into your sock leaving around 1 inch of the handle showing to complete your Kilt Outfit!
- The Sgian Dubh is pushed down into the sock leaving around an inch of the handle showing