Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Typical Scottish: Kilts and Tartans (Victim #14 Research)

The most famous Scotsman costume is indeed the kilt – not to be confused with a skirt, it might get you punched if some whiskey has been consumed. The correct name for the whole thing is Scotland attire, Highland attire or Highland dress, but many times it is just called ‘kilt’.

The kilt is usually worn in formal occasions, like weddings – rent-a-kilt seems to be a good business around here, and if the whole party rents from the same store, the groom goes free. That seems to be a common offer. The formal attire can be worn with different jacket styles and each has a different degree of formality. The correct way to wear a kilt involves showing some knee. Pulling the socks the whole way up is considered a huge faux pax.

Here are the parts of a general dress, with an Argyll jacket, that I worked very hard to draw. Please don’t die laughing. I chose the Argyll jacket because it’s the most versatile and because it is the general area the McFarlane clan is from. Furthermore, the Argyll jacket is typically worn with a standard white dress shirt and tie, and Kim likes ties.

Apparently, the kilt is becoming more common in the last few years. I can say I have seen guys wearing it with hiking boots and sweatshirts (and some traditional Scottish pubs have it as uniform). The legend goes that “true Scotsmen” don’t wear anything under the kilt. I have never asked, but expert sources say that it is to the wearer’s discretion and the chances he gets to moonshine someone. If you ask me, it probably should depend on the weather.

These are formal kilts from a store in Glasgow:

Townband in Helensburgh, a small town close to Glasgow:

Yours truly stalking guys wearing kilts in Edinburgh, for your viewing pleasure the sake of information:

The pattern of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours is called a tartan. Each pattern is associated with a clan, and each clan has several patterns (ancient, modern, hunting…). I chose the Modern Black & White Modern MacFarlane tartan for David and Terry, and damn it was hard to reproduce XD. You can read more about the McFarlane clan and their different tartans here [link] and see the traditional McFarlane tartan on the McFarlane booklet cover [link].

Finally, here is a fun video on how to correctly wear a Highland attire. Notice that the guy is wearing boxers, but that might have had more to do with Youtube TOS though XD. I also leave you access to a booklet with the maker’s preferred format for linking.

These guys also have a fun booklet full with pictures and funny details that you can download for free from their website [link]

Highland dress remixed from [link]


2 responses to “Typical Scottish: Kilts and Tartans (Victim #14 Research)

  1. Denise May 1, 2012 at 12:40

    They got it wrong, first they call it a skirt and a dress and then they call their socks pants. Estan locos esos escottos.