A cheap kilt might not mean a bad kilt, not even if its price is considerably under £100 or equivalent! That the quality cannot be the same as you find in a kilt costing five or ten times more, is obvious. But for the purpose it might be good enough, and then often a better choice than an expensive kilt.
Cheap kilts are almost synonymous with Pakistan. In the city of Sialkot in north-eastern Pakistan a lot of enterprises are making and selling kilts to vendors, primarily in Scotland and the US, or
they might not only be the manufacturers, but also the vendors, meaning that you as a customer shall be dealing directly with the manufacturer, who might have business addresses in UK, USA and in the European Market, like Germany, France etc.
Within the clothing industry, every added link in the distribution chain means often very high margins, and they must be reflected in consumer price, of course.
Every omitted link, however, means a possibility to reduce price, and/or giving the end user better quality for the same money. Thus, quality can be better than what is to expect from a low price.
Especially, since many vendors now offer custom-made kilts, they are interesting. You can choose between 5 and 8 yards; in some cases, also 4, 6, and 7 yards and have the kilt made to your waist size, hip size, fell; and in the length, you order.
Ready-made Pakistani kilts are still a possibility, and they may be delivered within one week. They are standardized 24” long and most of them 8-yard heavyweight kilts. Avoid the cheapest of kilts. They are made to be cheap, which may not include good.
No kilts made in Scotland can be found in the price category up to the equivalent of 100 GBP.
A 5-yard PV kilt made to measure in Pakistan
Kilt & More
Not to be confused with Scottish/German Kilts & More, is an example.
Kilt & More you find in USA (Kilt & More)
, France (Kilt Homme)
, and Germany (Schottenrock)
. The mother company seems to be in Pakistan.
The existence of French and German subsidiaries makes it interesting to EU-citizens, if taxes can thereby be avoided. They can.
Like many other enterprises Kilt & More offer kilts made to your measures and at most affordable prices. Basically, they are 5-yard kilts, but should you prefer the kilt to be an 8-yarder, you just check this possibility and pay about 26€ extra, which is just fair.
Too good to be true? In October 2021 I decided to find out and from their German branch I ordered a 5-yard kilt in Moffat-tartan. I had not seen this tartan before, but I thought it looked good. I filled in my measures, paid via my credit card, and started waiting. I did not have the biggest of expectations. The price was 38€ and shipping 17€, altogether 55€, equalizing £47 or $63.
I wondered whether I had to pay VAT and customs clearance fee on top. If so price should increase by 75%.
Only 22 days later I was advised by German
UPS that a parcel was on its way. And the following day it arrived. No additional charges. End price including shipment 55£.
The fact that I did not pay anything on top does not mean that you can be sure, not having to. I have heard from two German customers with Kilt & More, one of them did not, like me, pay any taxes, the other one did. Obviously, we are here in some grey zone. Don't accept to pay customs duty on a cheap kilt. It only applies for goods for which their customs value exceeds 150 €. Sometimes authorities seem to be unaware of the rules or forget about them, when handling packages and shall accordingly charge you for customs duty. Only VAT and declaration fee may apply. In some cases the customs declaration might not have met demands.
My new kilt came in a plastic bag which, no doubt, had been squeezed on a long journey between other hard and heavy packages. It hardly looked like a kilt. But after 20 minutes ironing with a tea towel between kilt and iron it took form.
I liked the tartan. Measures were as ordered. Sewing quality seemed very good. Pleating was fairly accurate, not perfect, but above average for an “imported” kilt. Also, the fabric felt good, even if a bit stiff.
Would I wear it to the opera house? No. But mainly because I have kilts, better suited for such purposes! For visiting a museum of modern art, it is great.
Could it stand daily use?
I have had this kilt for more than a year by now and I have really given it a try. I might have worn it not just 100 times but 100 days from morning till late. This might be more than most kilts are worn during 10 years. Worn out? Not a bit. The sewing quality has proven to be fine. The fabric has very little tendency to peel. That said, I have not worn a sporran with it. It might need a bit more ironing than a better and more expensive kilt, but not to an extent I should call a problem.
For most tasks – casual first – it certainly shall do its job and look great. At a normal distance between people, hardly anyone shall observe the few flaws in pleating, and should they, are all things in their own life perfect? Home, car, clothing or just life?
It is a durable, fine kilt, giving a lot of value for money. Would I order another kilt from Kilt & More? Definitely Yes, and without hesitation or reservations.
Some flaws in pleating,...
...but from a distance the pleating looks fine.
On Links Page #1
you might find several other enterprises offering these most affordable made-to-measure kilts, but I only have experience with Kilt & More.
Vendors of ready-made kilts
Heritage of Scotland and The Scotland Kilt Company
I should have recommended Heritage of Scotland. But alas, I shouldn't be able to find a kilt my size or one coming close. For at least half a year they have only had sizes fitting slim teenage boys or pretty inflated men, no matter the tartan. To me it indicates that the company might be about leaving the kilt market.
I never bought a kilt from The Scotland Kilt Company, but their homepage looks fine and serious. Also, their accessories are looking good and prices seem most reasonable.
This 5-yard, approx. 16 oz. ready.made PV kilt I bought back in 2007 from Heritage of Scotland. I still wear it.
Heritage of Scotland Gents Full Deluxe Kilt, 8-yard ready-made, 16 oz. PV.
It might be a good idea to avoid cheapest of kilts.
Week points: Quality of fabric, pleating, sewing quality.
The worst kilt, I have ever bought, was from a British vendor. It was called a Value kilt
. It definitely was of no value. After a few wearings it started looking worn, and after a few more it started to literally fall apart.