Kilt on. Farquharson tartan, Sevilla

5-yard wool kilt, Farquharson tartan, Sevilla  

Kilt on!



For the very first time in a kilt

A kilt is indeed something very different compared to trousers; the way it looks and how it does feel, wearing it.
This page deals with the process from having received your tartan kilt and some accessories till you are ready to go out and about in your kilt.

Imagine, it is a beautiful Saturday morning and from the bathroom ypu hear the doorbell. Your wife opens the door, and a few seconds later she shouts that your parcel from Edinburgh has arrived.
Fantastic. You knew that it was on its way and now you can wear it to the bakery and the supermarket before breakfast. You'll be in a kilt for the very first time.

You open the parcel. All ordered items are there, kilt, sporran, belt & buckle, kilt hose, garter flashes. And you have already prepared for the rest. You shall wear the kilt with a polo and sneakers.

But where to start and end wiih all the unfamilar things, and how make it correct?

For me, it is easiest to start with shirt, socks, shoes, and then garters with or with or witout flashes.

kilt hoseThe socks are long; in fact, they are over knees. The reason is that they shall cover the garters.
When choosing kilt socks their colour should be in harmony with the colours of your kilt and top.
Black, charcoal, and white socks can go with most tartans.
garter flashesFasten your garters 2-3 cm (approx. 1 inch) under your knee cap.
Here with the flashes mounted in the right leg. How to position the flashes? I have seen several suggestions on the internet. “9-15” o’clock should be OK, but better “10-14 o’clock”, meaning the flashes pointing slightly forward.
garter flashesFold the socks over them. The garters should be totally covered, of course, and about half of the flashes should be visible. If your kilt socks are very long they may have to be folded twice. Profitably the sock should sit a bit lower than in the picture, especially if the kilt is to the long side.
For going to the bakery on a Saturday morning I should have refrained from wearing the flashes.
kiltNow you are ready for the kilt. Put it around you. The pleats shall be at the rear of course. With your right hand you are holding what is to be the under-apron.
garter flashesNow fasten the strap to the buckle over your left hip, after you have led it through the little slid next to the buckle.
garter flashesThen fasten the over-apron. For that you have a buckle above your right hip and often one more below it at your hip.
kiltTake a look into a mirror. Should your kilt be lowered or heightened a little bit? Is it centered correctly? Make adjustments if necessary. As an indicator hold your thumbs on the belt straps at the back. The kilt is sitting correctly and the length is perfect.
belt % buckleTime for the belt. It does not have to go through the belt loops. In fact they are no belt loops but meant for your sporran strap! But being wide enough; why not use them for the belt, too? I always will.
belt & buckle Kilt belt is in place, Some will say sporran first, then belt. It’s a bad idea. You need to be able to slide your sporran to the side. Dependent on the sporran strap it is difficult or impossible when the strap is fastened under the kilt belt.
sporran The sporran shall hang on your front. This one is with a leather strap.
sporranDon't have the sporran hang too low. About 7-10 cm (3-4 inch) or a hand’s width below your belt should be appropriate. If your kilt is a jeans waist model the sporran might hang too low and you might better consider ditching it.
dressed to kilt Ready to leave for the bakery - or almost. You need slide the sporran a bit to the left in order to level it.
Complicated? It is not. When you have dressed 2 kilt a few times you'll realize that it is faster than with trousers.

What else to wear with the kilt?


Any shirt you would wear with pants you can wear with your kilt, oxford shirts, polo shirts, t-shirts etc. But have them solid coloured and matching the tartan.

Shirt tucked-in or untucked?
Tucked-in is the general answer and on which purists insist. However, men today are increasingly wearing t-shirts and polo shirts untucked when in jeans and shorts; why should it be different when in a kilt for casual wear?

Shirt unticked

The shirt is untucked. Holyrood tartan.


Over a regular shirt you may also wear a sweater. It should be untucked – and then you should probably not wear the belt.

Wind breaker

As outer wear on cold days a short wind breaker (bomber jacket) or anorak will do the job efficiently and look nice with your kilt.

Caledonia tartan

Short wind breaker. No sporran. Caledonia is a universal or fashion tartan. No clan connotation therefore. Green kilt hose matching the green in the tartan.

Foot wear

Wear shoes fitting the purpose. For casual functions sneakers will often do. Heavy-duty shoes and walking boots are also popular. Simply wear shoes which you should have worn at similar occasions and in trousers.


Must I wear kilt socks when temperatures are high?

According to the purists, YES, but scrunching them down shall probably be accepted. On a hot day I think, however, that short socks or no socks or “invisible” socks are making a lot more sense than thick woolen kilt hose, provided the kilt is worn as casual wear and not to a wedding where a dress code must be followed.

Could I wear knee high socks, which are thinner than kilt hose?

No, not if rules are to be followed.
But again, if you think your calves must be covered and temperatures are high, and you are probably the only man wearing a kilt, which practically is always the case, I don't see why you should not.

But optically, thin, non-tranparent over-knees socks, which can be folded down under your knees like kilt hose, might be a better choice than knee socks. Then you must visit a women's store, however, or order online.


Clockwise; ordinary kilt hose, short socks, invisble socks, knee high socks.

Can I wear tights or leggings on a cold day?

The YouGov research, refered to earlier, indicated that some kilt wearers will wear tights and leggings under their kilts. On kilt forums, where it has been discussed, some are OK with it; others (most) are against. But after all you can see men wearing them under shorts, so why not? They should be non-transparent of course. And you might consider wearing kilt hose over your tights.

When HRM King George IV in 1842 visited Scotland (it was the first visit of a British monarch to Scotland in 183 years) he for the grand ball was wearing pink tights, described as "buff coloured trowsers like flesh to imitate his Royal knees under a rather shortish (meaning too short) kilt".

I think kilt socks are looking better, but if on cold days you feel more comfortable in tights or leggings, wear them.
Also, I feel convinced, that on bitterly cold days most people shall find tights or leggings the ONLY way to go for you.
So, even if not necessary, you may simply for that reason choose to cover your knees.
Tights as a fashion statement? Wearing tights and leggings under a kilt definitely is against rules, but considering we are talking casual wear, I do not see any rational reason, which should keep you from wearing opaque tights or leggings under your kilt, should you feel like it?

If I let go of the sporran?

If you have no pockets a shoulder bag is the obvious choice. Men do wear them already, so no big deal about that and suitable ones should be easy to find. For example Eastpack makes some nice shoulder bags. You can have them in about the same size as a sporran or you can have them bigger to accommodate a Mini-iPad or a regular iPad or a laptop. And in many colours. They are all unisex.

In crowded environments with pickpockets around the most secure place for your belongings might be a sporran for obvious reasons.
A shoulder bag should better be worn as a crossbody; and be closed, of course.

By the way, the kilt itself, being unusual and thus an eye catcher to some extent, might, compared to neutral jeans and shorts, provide some added security against pickpockets, these types wanting to be operating as unnoticed as possible. .


Colour coordinate

Think colour scheme when wearing a kilt. Colours of other clothing items should always be in harmony with one of the colours in your tartan or match them.

A shoulderbag instead of a sporran

The colour Blue dominating on a nice summer day. A blue kilt, Holyrood tartan, worn with a blue polo, navy blue knee high socks, and blue sneakers. A darkbrown G-Star Raw leather belt and a shoulder bag instead of a sporran. Leather tings should be same colours, but a brown leather belt and a black canvas bag, meaning different materials, are OK.

Next page
To mind in a 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.

What to find on the Dress2Kilt site?

The traditionel 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.


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.


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?


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?


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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 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?


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.


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?


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 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.


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.



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 #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.


Links #2

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


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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