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How to Wear a Kilt

The kilt outfit is made up of quite a few different pieces and putting them together is a considered, strategic process! Start with shirt and socks, then flashes, sgian dubh and brogues. Next, the kilt with pin attached, tie and waistcoat, sporran and finally, the kilt jacket.

Kilt – your kilt should be worn around the navel or up to an inch above the navel, depending on preference. The pleats of the kilt should be at the back, aprons at the front. Your kilt should hang down towards the middle of your knee.

Jacket & Waistcoat – A variety of styles available. Generally, the jacket should be left open to show the buttons on the waistcoat.

Shirt & Tie – Traditional kilt shirts come with a winged collar and can be worn with a cravat or bow tie. Standard shirts are a good alternative when a straight tie has been chosen.

Belt & Buckle – Belt and buckles are only necessary when a waistcoat is not being worn! For example, they’re necessary for an Argyle Jacket or when wearing a straight or bow tie.

Sporran – The Sporran is worn around the waist, just below the waistcoat (or belt buckle!) with two loops at the back of the kilt to put the chain strap through. Dress sporrans are the more formal option though semi-dress sporrans are a stylish, casual alternative.

Kilt Pin – Despite appearances, a kilt pin is a decorative item and should not be used to pin the kilt aprons together! Place your kilt pin on your front apron. Positioning varies but roughly an inch above the bottle of the kilt and an inch in from the side is standard.

Kilt Hose (Socks) – Kilt Hose are the long ‘socks’ which should be worn approximately 2 inches below the bottom of the knee. The socks should be folded down at the top, which hides the garter for flashes and shows the decoration of the sock.

Kilt Flashes – Available in tartan to match the kilt or solid colours. The flashes should be worn on the outside of the calves and the garter should be hidden under the fold of the sock.

Sgian Dubh – Worn tucked into the sock with only about an inch of the sgian dubh being shown.

Ghillie Brogues – These kilt shoes have long laces and no tongue. There are many different ways to tie the laces, for example, hold the laces together and twist 5-6 times then wrap the laces round the back of the leg and back round the front. Tie a knot and leave the tassels dangling at the front.