Where to buy my first kilt? What kilt? What about sizes for a kilt? The correcy length of a kilt. What tartan?

YOU MAY ONLY BE A FEW STEPS AWAY FROM BUYING AND WEARING A KILT

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This page deals with the process from having received your tartan kilt and some accessories till you are out and about in your kilt.

A kilt is indeed something very different compared to trousers; the way it looks and how it does feel wearing it. 

Letís assume you have just unpacked your kilt, sporran, belt & buckle and kilt hose.


What to do with the stuff?

1. Start with the upper part of your body. You need a shirt of some kind, be it a regular one, a polo or a t-shirt. There a also some special kilt shirts (Ghillie shirts) on the market. Personnally I don't like them.
Be aware that to Scotsmen it is OK to mix tartans and patterns, just not different tartans. I myself will for pure esthtic reasons always wear SOLID coloured shirts with tartan kilts, however.

To me it is also important that the colour of my shirt is matching the colours of my kilt. Not necessarily the same colors, but in harmony with them.

A shirt should to my opinion always be tucked in when wearing a kilt. And that is what most kilt wearers think.

2. Put on your kilt hose. They are by nature over-knees. When choosing socks, again pay attention to your overall colour scheme.  

3. Fasten your garters - with or without the flashes mounted - 2-3 cm (approx. 1 inch) under your knee cap. Fold the socks over them. Check that the garters are covered.   

4. Put on your shoes. Yes, it is easier to get your shoes on before the kilt. They should preferably match the colours of other leather items you might wear (sporran and belt).
Most common - and therefore cheaper - are black kilt belts and sporrans, rather than brown ones.

5. Now the kilt. Put it around you. The pleats shall be at the rear of course. Take the strap in your right hand through the little slid next to the buckle at your left hip and fasten it. Then fasten the over apron. For that you have one or two buckles at your right hip.

6. Adjust the kilt horizontally. I normally use to hold my thumbs on the belt straps at the back as a first indicator.

7. The buckles and straps will prevent your kilt from disgracing you but with a belt it looks better. It does not have to go through the belt loops. In fact they are not belt loops but meant for your sporran strap! But being wide enough why not use them for the belt, too? I always will.

8. The sporran shall hang on your front. But donít have it hang too low. About 7-10 cm (3-4 inch) or a handís breadth below your belt should be appropriate.

9. Take a look into a mirror. Should your kilt be lowered or heightened a little bit? Is it centered correctly? Make some adjustments if necessary.

10. You are ready to leave!

Do you think it was complicated? It isn't. After a few times you'll realize that getting into the kilt is faster than getting into trousers.



McGregor Red tartan. Amsterdam.

What else to wear with the kilt?

For the upper part of your body wear what you should else be wearing, whether a regular shirt, polo or a t-shirt. There a also some special kilt shirts (Ghillie shirts) on the market. Personally I don't like them.

On cold days a short wind breaker or anorak will do the job efficiently and look nice with your kilt. For dressing up a bit the Argyle has already been mentioned.

Kilt worn with a short wind breaker. The kilt is a cheap 4 yard PV-kilt in  
Royal Stewart tartan. The vendor is no longer on the market.

 

Carcole Argyle kilt jacket and 5 yard, 13 oz. James Morrison wool kilt in Grey Heritage tartan, both from Heritage of Scotland.  


On your feet  
Wear shoes fitting the purpose. For casual functions and especially when wearing modern kilts many men prefer heavy-duty shoes or walking boots.

 

Instead of kilt hose

During summertime you might replace the kilt hose by ordinary short socks. I sometimes will, but be aware that traditionalists shall object to them.

Kilt socks are fine at temperatures down to about minus 5 C. Below that trousers might be better than the kilt, unless you can imagine yourself in thick leggings or running tights. In fact, these days I see more and more men wearing these under shorts for out door activities.
   Despite I would earlier have rejected them, I have given them a try. As a matter of fact they to the man in the street seem to be more comprehensible than are blue knees.
   I'm glad, however, that I live in a climate where kilt hose will do on most days of the year. 




So you are ready to go out

All leather things - the belt, the sporran and the sneakers are black.
The colour of the kilt socks matches the blue stripe in the Campbell Ancient tartan.
The kilt is a 5 yard John Morrison kilt by
Heritage of Scotland.


What if I do something wrong?

Here we talk casual wear, not national dress. Accordingly you can and should forget about most and often rigid rules, apart from a general proper appearance. 

And honestly, how likely is it that you shall meet an expert? And should you, how likely do you think it is that he should be impolite enough to blame you?


Dangers?

Wearing a kilt is something very special and to start with you shall probably be mostly concerned about the risk of exposing yourself.  

Staircases and escalators?

Donít worry too much. An exposure would require a staircase being as steep as ladder - and that someone was climbing up directly under you. Add to that that in most situations there shall be a deep shadow under the kilt.

.
Even a steep staircase means only little risk of exposure.
By the way, whatever you should do with this picture it shall reveal absolutely nothing.

 

Windy days?

Donít worry too much about wind. It definitely takes more than a little breeze to really lift your kilt. On your front the sporran will in practically all situations give you the needed protection. The back of your kilt it is more problematic, however. Holding your hands discretely as far down your sides as possible will prevent it to be around your ears, but a strong wind might nevertheless make it go up and reveal more of your behind than you want others to see. In most cases it is just a question of a second or two before it is safe down again, hardly enough for anybody to really recognize what is under your kilt or not. But on windy days, give it a second thought before you go out commando.

On windy days a little attention might be advisable.

 

Sitting and sitting down?

One of the advantages of trousers is that you can sit and sit down without taking any care. After men's shorts have become longer and with narrower legs (and thus more uncomfortable) the same applies to them.
   Women seem to know per instinct, even if they almost never wear a skirt, when precautions must be taken and how to handle it.
   With a kilt it is the same, but men donít have the instinct feeling of how to do. 

As you sit down, smooth the pleats of the kilt beneath you to prevent the kilt to twinkle but foremost to secure that you are sitting on the kilt fabric, not directly on the chair.

No normal man should want to show his underwear or just part of it and even less his genitals.  Therefore, when sitting, keep at all times your legs together; you should never spread them. If you do, make sure the apron of your kilt is between your legs.

Sitting with crossed legs might be possible, but better cross your calves than your thighs. Especially as you cross your legs pay a little bit attention. 

Come in mind that people might be more than average interested in you and that some will constantly keep an eye on your legs and movements (in restaurants, on benches in parks etc.)

More luck than wisdom. Keep your legs together or be sure to press your sporran between your legs.


The most "dangerous" situation

Picking up something you have dropped or when tying your shoelaces: ALWAYS bend your knees and keep your back straight.


 

What's next?

  • If you have not yet ordered that first kilt of yours and the few accessories to go with it, do it now.
  • Tell your family and friends on Facebook otc. that you are soon to become a kilt wearer and why.
  • Wait for it to come.
  • When arrived, immediately try on the stuff.
  • Go outside in your kilt and feel confident about it.
  • Take a picture or two of yourself wearing it and post them on Facebook or Instagram.
  • Be prepared that a costly kilt addiction might have just begun!

HOW TO WEAR A KILT?


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