Utility kilt

Accessorize your kilt.  


Kilt accessories



Don't get ripped off on things you don't need. The list of accessories is long, really long. And within every category there are so many varieties. But don't despair. You can do with very few, and they don't need to cost a fortune. Find out, which accessories are must-haves, which are nice to have, and which you shouldn't consider at all for casual and smart casual wear, and some not even for dress-up events.

Kilt accessories are related to the traditional kilt.



The kilt and nothing but the kilt


When going really casual you might wear just the kilt.


No accessories

Just the kilt. Sport Kilt.


However, I think you should soon feel the need for a few accessories.


Must-haves for casual and smart-casual wear

There are only four accessories which I consider being really basic. They are

1) a sporran
2) a kilt belt
3) kilt socks
4) garters

To some they might be one or two too many; to others too few. But let's go through them.

 

A sporran


Sporran

Plain day wear leather sporran.



A traditional kilt has no pockets. The “authorized” pocket for a traditional kilt is a purse to hang on your front and is called a sporran.
There are three types of sporrans, dress sporrans, semi-dress sporrans, and day wear sporrans. For casual wear only the day wear sporran is a possibility. Sometimes it is called a leather day sporran.


With or without tassels?
Most sporrans on the market come with tassels on the front. When you are walking they make you sound like a drummer. To most kilt wearers it seems to be OK. To me it is not.
I suggest you go for a plain leather day sporran without these noisy and annoying tassels.
Often sporrans with tassels are cheaper than those without them. If you buy a sporran with tassels, and you don’t like the noise they produce, cut them off. Just be sure that they are fastened under the sporran flap.

Sporran

From a conventional day sporan with three tassels to a plain leather sporran.



Chain or strap?
With very few exceptions, sporrans are delivered together with a metal sporran chain.

A chain can be a little bit hard on your kilt, however. That is what many frequent kilt wearers think, and accordingly they, for casual wear, prefer a leather strap. Me too.

Straps

Left: traditional sporran chain strap. Right: back of sporran with leather sporran strap.


I have made me some black and brown leather straps for my day sporrans. But such are also to buy. Tartanista, a London based company, sells cheap leather straps in black and brown. (Should you feel tempted to buy one of their 'value kilts', don't think of wearing a sporran).



Must I wear a sporran?

Going without a sporran is definitely against rules. Kilt and sporran are often considered strongly connected items. Some kilt wearers will even say that without a sporran a kilt is a skirt. That makes no sense. A car from which something as essential as the wheels have been stolen is still a car, is no bycycle or whatever. But back to the question, you must not.



Most people would still think that a Traditional 8 yard kilt looks right only when worn with a sporran, quite apart from the practicality it lends to a garment without pockets in giving you somewhere to carry those coins and keys. But a Casual Kilt is quite another story, and it is entirely a matter of style. If you wish it to resemble the traditional 8 yard garment, a sporran is probably still desirable. But if you are wearing your Casual Kilt as a versatile fashion garment, then how you accessorize is a purely personal style statement. It’s cool either way!
Scotweb Information Center


In disfavour of the sporran is also the fact that today’s smart phones are big, very big, and soon they’ll grow out of sporrans, meaning you must have another place to accommodate them. Or sporran makers are to adjust sizes in accordance with today’s needs.
If your kilt is designed to sit low, you probably shouldn’t wear a sporran either, because a sporran should neither hang too low nor be too close to the top of the kilt.


Holyrood with sporran

Holyrood kilt worn with sporran.

Holyrood without a sporran

Holyrood kilt with a shoulder bag.


Until a few years ago I on this page wrote that I would almost always wear a sporran, even if empty.
My wife, however, finds that a kilt is looking much better without a sporran and that I should instead wear a shoulder bag when needing pockets. Ditching the sporran certainly also adds to comfort. Therefore, I started, sometimes to leave the sporran at home. First with my USA Kilts Casual which was ordered short to be worn at jeans waist; then with my Sport Kilt, which has deep inside pockets, and later it was with all my kilts.

At first, I thought it was wrong, but now it has become natural to go without and no one cares. That means the folowing practice:

For casual wear, never sporran
For smart casual wear, about 50-50
For more formal wear, always sporran.

But even if no longer always worn I still consider a sporran a "must have" thing. And especially if you live closer to a Scottish environment than do I.



A belt


Bent and buckle

Belt & Buckle.



An original kilt belt & buckle might be a little bit overdressed for casual wear; nevertheless it looks quite good; and wide-enough ordinary belts are hard to find elsewhere. Also, kilt belts and buckles are most affordable, so go for them. There are less 'Scottish' alternatives, however. Before mentioned Tartanista is selling them.
On the picture above the buckle has been attached. It is a simple "Celtic knot buckle". I like this cheap one because of its pretty clean design.



Must I wear a belt?
Technically there is no reason why you should wear a belt with a kilt. By means of buckles and straps it stays up perfectly well. However, a kilt looks at its best together with a 2 ¼-2 ½ inch wide belt.
If you are wearing a sweater untucked - as it should be – a belt is unnecessary. If you are wearing a waist coat, you should not wear a kilt belt!



 

Kilt hose


Kilt hose

Kilt hose.



Long socks, called kilt hose or kilt socks are common with the kilt. They are basically "over knees" and meant to be folded down about one inch (2.5 cm) below your knees, contrary to knee high socks that end just below them.
They come in many colours. White socks, whether long or short, are not to everybody’s taste; nevertheless, most kilt hose are probably white or off white. The reason might be that they'll go with practically every kilt.
Other popular colours are black, charcoal, lovat green, lovat blue, bottle green, dark grey, and navy.

Kilt hose must not be solid coloured. In fact, some Scots like diced ones, I have been told. I definitely prefer solid coloured hose. In my book, mixing different patterns is bad taste. But so, we are all different. And you do see similar examples in women’s fashion.

All kilt vendors I know of are selling kilt hose.

Otherwise I can recommend Brevin & Co. via Amazon. WB Socks. High value for money.
Due to the customs clearance fee, which always applies when goods are sent from 3rd countries to EU-countries, it might be a good idea to order more pairs of socks at a time, like for example ten.


Garters


Garters

Garters. Flashes removed.



To simply keep your kilt hose staying up, you need garters.
Garters always come with flashes.

Finding, like me, flashes overdressed for casual wear? Just remove the flashes from the garters, or don't mount them. The garters themselves are invisible when your socks are folded down just below your knees as they should. And when you think you need the flashes put them on. It is very easy.

This ends the list of the high land items you need when wearing traditional kilts in a smart casual way. For less than £70 you can have them all.




Dress it up a bit

You might invite your wife to a nice restaurant or go to the opera house or theatre. In these cases you'll probably need a few more or other accessories:



A kilt jacket


Kilt jacket

Argyle kilt jacket.



Men's ordinary jackets are too long to wear with a kilt and should look absolutely ridiculous. You’ll have to invest in an Argyle/(Argyll) or Braemer, of which the Argyle is the most popular one. It is available in various colours like lovat blue, lovat green, and of course black, the latter probably being the most versatile one. Price level £150-£250.


  

Flashes


Garter flashes

Garters with dark blue flashes removed and mounted.


Supposing you already have garters, you’ll also have flashes. For dressing up they might be fine. How to wear them is described on the next page.


A kilt pin


Many kilt wearers are always wearing a kilt pin. It is cheap, and if you want one, buy one, and wear it. Also for casual wear.

Kilt pin

Kilt pin.



A kilt pin is for pure decoration and to be fastened to the outer apron about three inches up from the bottom of your kilt and about two inches from the apron fringes.
Some will say a kilt pin, due to its weight, helps keeping the kilt down in windy weather. It is not my experience.
For obvious reasons a kilt pin is not welcome on board a flight.

Kilt pins are available in many designs. From about £10.

I have several kilt pins, but I will only wear them at dress-up situations and even then, far from always.


A warning

By NO means a kilt pin shall hold the two aprons together. It should destroy your precious kilt in no time!



Taking it further


For dress up situations where you could not go without your best evening suit, you might need some extras.

A semi-dress sporran

For dress up situations the leather sporran is considered too ordinary. On a semi-dress sporran, the front is decorated in some way. Earlier it was always seal skin, but as seal has been forbidden in many countries, including a big market like USA, sporran makers have come up with other solutions.


Semi-dress sporran

Semi-dress sporran.



On most dress-up occasions I will simply wear one of my plain day sporrans.




 

A sgian dubh


Sgian dubn

Sgian dubh.



The sgian dubh is the Gaelic name for the special knife to be worn in your right (or left) kilt hose. Be aware, however, that in some countries the wearing of it could bring you to jail if the blade is a little bit too long. And don't even think of wearing one in an airport.

You can have sgian dubhs which are made of harmless plastic, and nobody knows until you draw it. But also replicas of weapons may not be permitted on board an airplane or they might otherwise be considered illegal. 
 

I will only wear a sgian dubh at dress up occasions AND when at no risk of being accused of illegal possession of weapons.

 


 

Ghillie Brogues


Ghillie Brogues

Ghillie Brogue.



Special shoes with long laces to tie around your ankle. Unless you'll wear your kilt at white or black-tie events, you don't need them.


The full packet


Dressed up

Kilt, kilt belt, semi-dress sporran, kilt pin, kilt hose, garter flashes, ghillie brogues, Argyle kilt jacket, dress shirt, tie,

Dressed up

Kilt, kilt pin, kilt hose, garter flashes, ghillie brogues, sgian dubh.


Ready for the concert hall
But less will do. You may refrain from the ghillie brogues. For the concert hall, theatre, and opera house they are a bit over-dressed. Ordinary dress shoes will do. And you can let the sgian dubh at home.


The two pictures above illustrate where many other kilt sites start. Should you like to know more about how to dress for such rare occasions you'll find excellent advice there.
To my opinion, they are big overshooting the mark when it is about wearing kilts as daily attire, thereby to replace jeans, shorts and equivalent, and where the kilt should just be considered another piece of clothing, rather than part of national dress.


 

Don't waste your money

A dirk in the belt, a bonnet, feathers, cap badges, and a plaid over the shoulder? Absolutely NO. Too much national dress and should look rather ridiculous if worn by a non-Scott.



Let's sum it up


1. For casual, really casual wear you don’t need accessories at all.

2. For casual/smart casual wear you should invest in

a day wear sporran
a kilt belt
kilt socks
garters.

None of the items must be expensive. Black leather things go with all kilts. Black, white, and dark grey or charcoal kilt socks go with most tartans.

3. For dress up events like visiting better restaurants, going to the theatre, concert hall etc. you should complement with a kilt jacket.

All other accessories are up to you, unless we talk black and white tie functions, where rules must be followed.


That was what should be said about accessories. Except, perhaps for one thing, which might come in handy; regardless of how you else are going to accessorize your kilt:


 

Under your kilt?

What you wear – or don’t wear - under your kilt is a matter of personal preference. But the idea of wearing the kilt “as a true Scotsman” on a more or less regular basis might appeal to many. Probably every kilt wearer has tried it at least once. It is part of the game, isn't it? Before you ditch your underpants keep in mind: Wool kilts must be dry cleaned and even if PV-kilts are machine washable they might still need a lot of ironing.

With only 5-6 kilt wearers out of 10 (according to earlier mentioned YouGow reserch) wearing regular underwear under their kilt, there should be a big market potential for a solution, solving the hygiene problem and still letting them 'feel the breeze'.

A kilt liner

Such solution exists. It is called a kilt liner. But even if making a lot of sense, obviously only one company is selling them, G. Lieberman & Sons. Their kilt liner is $24 + shipping (+ VAT, if you are an EU citizen). It is 46 cm long, is made of nylon and comes in two models, one black opaque and one dark transparent.

A reason that Lieberman & Sons are alone on the market could be that some kilt wearers have found other solutions to the hygiene issue.


An alternative kilt liner

A kilt liner is, in fact, simply a thin skirt or what women might call a half slip. Practically the same thing you can therefore easily find at half or a third the price - provided you can accept it to be sold as a skirt – in the women’s stores.
It is sold as a skater skirt, a bell-shaped skirt, or a circular skirt.

Skater skirt

Skater skirt or bell-shaped skirt

Kilt protector

A skater skirt worn under your kilt makes a great kilt protector.


Such skirt is, contrary to the “authorized” kilt liner, wide, really wide, and accordingly much more like a kilt, in fact. The elastic waist and the jersey fabric you’ll know already from your underwear or sport clothes. So, nothing feminine per se about that. When worn under a kilt a skater skirt is just open, roomy underwear, which shall protect your precious kilt efficiently against you. 

A grey skater skirt is serving as kilt underwear. Unless the kilt is grey, a black skirt is better, because it shall 'disappear' in the shadow under the kilt.


Depending on how often you plan to go commando you may need more than one of these protectors. Fortunately, they are cheap and should not be difficult to find. This one is 46 cm long, the same as the Lieberman kilt liners.

But how about comfort, you may ask, when wearing a kilt liner or skater skirt as underwear? Try it out. I guess you'll find these “semi-commando” solutions at least as good as the ‘real thing’.
However, if you think tradition must be followed, forget about this advice, whether kilt liner or skater skirt, and do what do you must.

Besides, on windy days or when you have to do a lot of sitting there certainly are better, more straight-forward solutions than going full- or semi-commando. And even then, the kilt is a most comfortable garment.

When cold outside? Don't worry. It may be individual, but unless you are standing still, for example talking to someone for a very long time, you'll hardly need anything under your kilt, not even when it being well below freezing.


What is under the kilt?

The eternal question. In one picture the answer is undies, in another it is a kilt liner/skater skirt, and in the third it is commando. Now you already know more than you would in real life. But not what is or is not under which kilt?

Commando or not

A. Undies, kilt liner, no underwear?
B. Undies, kilt liner, no underwear?
C. Undies, kilt liner, no underwear?


You have no idea, really and can only guess. I know but won't tell. The high probability that a man in a kilt is bare under it, makes it intriguing, it seems. Not seldom you are directly asked, especially by women, whether or not you have underwear under your kilt! Have you? Or have you not? Whatever the truth, keep the secret a secret.



Next page
Kilt on

Kilt on!


Let’s assume you have just received and unpacked your first kilt, and the accessories you ordered.
How to handle and wear all the unfamiliar things, the sporran, the belt, the socks, the flashes etc.?
What else to wear with your kilt?


What to find on the Dress2Kilt site?



Every man can wear a kilt



Kilt, Gunn Ancient tartan, Gilleleje, Denmark, with a view to Sweden.

How about a kilt?

Have you ever been thinking of wearing a kilt, but have given up, because you were not Scottish? But you must not be Scottish. You can be of any nationality, any colour, and any belief. Only you must be man enough. The objective of the Dress2Kilt site is making you wear a kilt whenever YOU feel like it and appropriate. Without needing a special event. It is about causal-first kilt wearing.


Kilt

Men and kilts

Who will wear a kilt? Why wearing a kilt? Where and when to wear it? What’s the difference between being Scottish and not, related to kilt wearing? What about surroundings? Is it true? These and many more questions are answered here.


Kilt

Webmaster's kilt story

How come that the webmaster started wearing kilts? When was it? How was it, wearing a kilt for the first time? How were reactions from his wife, his family, neighbours, and other people?


Kilt

You in a kilt?

When seeing you in a kilt, what should people say? And especially your significant other? And the ‘Kilt Police’? Shall people think you are Scottish? How about prejudices? Should you tell people you know that you have started wearing kilts or are about to do it? How do you tell them? What should your reasons be? See answers to these and many other questions here?


Kilt

What makes a kilt?

Are 8 yards of fabric a must? Or will less do? How is a kilt constructed? Learn about straps and buckles, fell, rise, pleats, length, drop.


Kilt

Is the kilt a skirt?

Scotsmen will say NO. To them and very many kilt wearers the kilt is a kilt, not a skirt. It is a garment of its very own, they say, and exclusively for men.
Calling the kilt a skirt is accordingly considered an almost unforgivable insult. But is it nevertheless a skirt?



Buy a kilt and accessorize it



Kilt

Must a kilt be expensive?

Yes, purists will say, because no less than a 16 oz. 8-yard wool kilt, sewn by hand by a skilled kilt maker in Scotland or equivalent place will do. But are they right? Read why they are probably not.


Kilt

Get the measures right

Buying your first kilt is something quite unusual. Most likely you shall buy it online, and often it shall be made to your measures. Buying a kilt is not difficult, however, and with a kilt there is some give and take. Read on, and you'll know how to make it right.


Kilt

Something to pay on top?

Details might only be of interest to EU-citizens.
What you have to pay for your kilt might not be, what you saw on the price label. And it is not only a question of shipping cost. Read about customs, VAT, and customs clearance fees when ordering your kilt in a 3rd country.



Pakistani kilt

A cheap kilt

Probably most kilts today are not sewn in Scotland, but in Pakistan. In common these "imported" kilts have that they are affordable. Some shall give you real value for your money, others little - or worse - no value. Read about where to find good, nevertheless cheap kilts.


USA Lilts Casual

A moderate priced kilt

Some established Scottish and American kiltmakers know that affordable kilts are the condition for having men start wearing kilts, especially those having no Scottish roots. They therefore offer some very good kilts which they will position as casual kilts, probably for not hurting the rest of their business. For casual wear they might be all you need. Pay under £300 and get a fine 5-yard kilt in pure new wool, which you can also wear in La Scala or the Met.


Kilt

A premium priced kilt

You'll hardly get an 8-yard kilt in pure new wool for under £300 or the equivalent. It shall be much easier to find one costing twice or three times as much. Not all premium priced kilts are sewn in Scotland. Examples are USA, Canada, England, France, and Austria.


Kilt accessories

Kilt accessories

Don't get ripped off on things you don't need. Find out, which accessories are must-haves, which are nice to have, and which you shouldn't consider at all for casual and smart casual wear, and some not even for dress-up events.




Utility kilt

A utility kilt

Utilty kilts have existed since 2000. Judged from the number of vendors who are offering them, the market for these kilts must be big. They come in very many different designs, some better than others.


Non-tartan kilt

Other kilt variants

Kilts can also be solid coloured, or come in a camouflage pattern. They can be made of tweed, denim, or leather. They can be traditional in style, or their design can deviate to the extent where they become utility kilts - or skirts.



Wear a kilt



Kilt

Kilt on!

Let’s assume you have just received and unpacked your first kilt, and the accessories you ordered. How to handle and wear all the unfamiliar things, the sporran, the belt, the socks, the flashes etc.?
What else to wear with your kilt?


Kilt

To mind when in a kilt

Now being ready for taking your kilt out into public for the first time, is there anything you should mind? Something to worry about or calling for your attention? After all a kilt is something very different, just the way it looks and especially, how it feels, wearing it.


Kilt

24/7/365 in a kilt

Now being ready for taking your kilt out into public for the first time, is there anything you should mind? Something to worry about or calling for your attention? After all a kilt is something very different, just the way it looks and especially, how it feels, wearing it.



Skirts and closing remarks



Man skirts

Man skirts

Could you as a man wear a skirt? Well, the existence of utility kilts with their non-defined designs is part of the answer. You can. Skirts on men make sense and dedicated man skirts are on the market, even if very rare. Another possibility is having a skirt designed and made for you, making it a man skirt.


Woman's skirt worn by a man

Simply skirts

Is it possible, emphasizing a manly appearance, to wear a skirt intended for women? It very much depends on the avalability of appropriate skirts. Looking at women's fashion these years, skirts tend to be increasingly feminine, too feminine for a man to wear, or they are simply replaced by dresses. Another important thing, of course, would you?


Skirt

Closing remarks

Thank you for having visited this site. Hopefully it has contributed to bring you an important step further. Now show to the world that you are man enough to pull that 'skirt', whether a traditional tartan kilt, a solid-coloured kilt, a utility kilt or some other kilt variant, a sarong, a skirt designed for men, a unisex skirt or one simply looking manly enough to also be worn by you.



Galleries



Galleries

Galleries Main Page

Links to gallery pages showing traditional kilts, solid-coloured kilts, utility kilts, man skirts, simply skirts, and pages with a mix of kilts and different skirts - 'the Braveheart way'.


Tartan kilts

Tartan kilts

Choosing a tartan can be difficult with, in principle, more than 4,000 available. In praxis they are much fewer, however, but still, it shall take you. Hundreds of kilt pictures on 32 pages, listed alphabetically and one page per tartan, might give you some indication of where to go.


Non-tartan kilts

Traditional non-tartan kilts

A traditonal kilt must not have tartans. Solid coloured kilts are becoming more and more popular. Most often they are black, but also other colours are a possibility. Three gallery pages.


Galleries

Utility kilts

If you have no Scottish roots or just want a kilt less connected with tradition and rules you might prefer a utility kilt over a traditional kilt. Or you might consider a utility kilt just an addition to your other kilts.
On seven pages you'll find slide shows featuring different utility kilts. One page for each kilt.


Skirts

Skirts

If not too keen on a kilt, or for just more variety, a skirt might be a possibility. On for example a hot summer day an appropriate skirt, to be worn instead of shorts, could even make more sense than a heavy kilt.
On five gallery pages you’ll find examples of custom-made skirts, man skirts, and simply skirts, being maybe manly enough.


The Braveheart way

The Braveheart Way

The Braveheart Way is about MEN being brave enough to include skirted garments in their wardrobe, and who dare wear them out in public, On two gallery pages kilts and skirts are mixed together with the purpose of helping you find YOUR Braveheart way, with or without a mix.



Links



Kilt

Links #1

Vendors of traditional kilts, from cheap, typically imported Pakistani kilts, whether off-the-peg or custom-made, to more expensive kilts, sewn to-your-measures in Europe or in America.
Vendors of accessories.
Tartan-mills and tartan-finders.


Kilt

Links #2

Vendors of utility kilts, sarongs, man skirts, unisex skirts, "manly" skirts, and some shorts.


Kilt

Links #3

Kilt and skirt forums, non-commercial home pages, blogs, picture galleries, videos, articles in print media and on the internet, men in kilts and skirts on stage and on the catwalk.



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