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Scottish Kilt Accessories
The finishing touches to a Scottish Kilt
My eldest son was lucky enough to inherit a traditional Scottish kilt from his Great-Grandfather.
He was thrilled as the kilt was authenticated as the Mackenzie Tartan of the Queens Own Highlander Regiment, worn by his Great Grandfather in the First World War who fought at the Somme amongst other harrowing battles. (There is another amazing story to tell there). We had it authenticated, professionally cleaned and inspected as it has been in a box in the attic for many years, and remarkably it fitted him perfectly.
At this stage in his growth, we decided not to buy him his own kilt jacket. We figure he still has some growing to do and perhaps it could be a 21st Birthday Present from family.
You don't have to be Scottish to wear a kilt
Would You Wear A Kilt?
I'm not Scottish, can I wear a kilt?
Anyone can wear a kilt. If you don't have Scottish hertiage you can still wear a kilt. There are a number of tartans considered universal, and in recent times there are more general tartans coming onto the market. These tartans include the Holyrood, Rampant Lion, Isle of Skye and Scottish Thistle tartans.
Remember you can wear any tartan that takes your fancy. Most people are not offended by you wearing their clan tartan and at social occasions a kilt is always a talking point.
So you want to wear a kilt!
So now our son has the responsibility of caring for not only a piece of history but also of a treasured family heirloom. So its so important that we get the accessories right. Luckily my family are Scottish and we have plenty advice on how to get this right.
To complete his Highland Dress outfit, which kilt accessory should he start with?
He decided he wanted to wear the kilt to his prom but wanted to put his individual stamp on the outfit with the sporran, the kilt pin, the kilt belt and the kilt buckle.
The sporran was a minefield for him, he wanted a leather sporran that he could wear day or evening. There are a huge variety of sporrans on the market, some for the more flamboyant amongst you, others for the more reserved. A dress sporran tends to be the full fur sporran and semi dress would be some fur with some leather/metal work. Most people are comfortable wearing the semi-dress or the day sporran whatever the occasion.
The sporran is to fit incidentals into, it's not a utility bag.
You will be carrying this item hanging down from your waist. Remember it's customary to shift the sporran to hang down by your outer thigh when you are dancing.
I think my dear son has visions of wearing his kilt to many a wedding or function in the future, and as Bank of Mum and Dad were bankrolling this purchase he wanted to get it exactly right. The sporran that was his favourite was the wrong color. He (and I) thought black would be the best option but the one he liked was brown. No problem, a good tip, on taking advice we were told just to use ordinary leather shoe polish on it in the desired color. Several coats later and it now looks black. Absolutely no problem. You would never know it hadn't started out black in the first place. Obviously ask advice from the person you buy the sporran from, or they may even dye it for you.
Another option is to have the sporran professionally dyed as you would a pair of shoes.
My husband bought his kilt for our wedding day and over the many years we have been married has picked up a selection of the accessories mentioned above. Depending on his mood, he changes his accessories. It has worked out a lot cheaper than me buying a new dress everytime we go somewhere formal........
First start with a quality Scottish Sporran
Let your Scottish heritage shine through. The word Sporran is Gaelic for purse.
To The Kilt Belt and Buckle
A kilt belt and buckle are not strictly needed to hold your kilt up. A well fitting kilt should stay up without them. It's traditional. Unless you're wearing a traditional Prince Charlie outfit, the belt doesn't sit well with a waistcoat, you can wear a belt and buckle for casual and formal wear.
A belt buckle can be a very personal thing. Choose your clan crest if you have Scottish ancestry, or a celtic one to match your kilt pin. I love the stag head belt buckles, either plain or engraved with celtic emblems. Stag heads are very much in fashion at the moment, so for once I may be ahead of the game.
The belt can be plain leather or again you can get it embossed with a pattern.
Highland Kilt Belts Available here
A Kilt belt is distinctive and an essential part of any highland kilt outfit. This is still needed in addition to the sporran strap.
Your belt will need a Scottish decorative buckle
Perhaps choose your Clan crest
Kilt Belt Buckle also available here
Its easy to find a distinctive design.
Be Flamboyant with a Kilt Pin
Who knew that a kilt pin could be such a minefield? Do you want a celtic one? Do you want a flamboyant one with a semi-precious stone in it? Do you want one to match your cufflinks? All of these things are possible. Just remember to buy one that has a secure fastener. You don't want to be constantly checking to see if the clasp has come undone.
Used to weigh the kilt down properly
Kilt socks, also known as Hose, come in a variety of colors. Choose your color to reflect what your partner is wearing.
A necessity for your kilt socks
Remember to go with you kilt socks, or hose you will need flashes. Kilt flashes are short stips of fabric that hang from your garter. The garter is hidden by the top of the hose being folder over. Kilt flashes can be either a solid block of colour or tartan. Match them to your kilt, or your female companions outfit.
For Scottish Socks (Hose)
Try searching for Scottish Highland accessories
You'll be surprised at how many authentic Scottish accessories are listed
Please do not forget a Kilt Bag
I cannot recommend this highly enough. After many years of using ordinary coat hangers, suit carriers, dry cleaning bags and even suitcases, I am so glad we eventually discovered a proper kilt bag. So simple yet so effective. It saves space too. Some will also keep all your kilt accessories together.
The Roll bags are not only the perfect way to keep the pleats of your kilt perfect during storage, but also the best method of transportation when carrying your kilt about.
Complete your kilt with a proper carry and storage bag
Hard to come by so grab one while you can
Search Amazon for A Kilt Carrier
Not always available so do check back
The Finishing Touch for Evening Wear
Regardless of which tie you wear during the day, if you wear Highland Dress in the evening then a bow tie is a must. There is a variety to choose from. You may wish a colored tie to display your fun side, or you may choose a plain black bow tie to display your sophisticated side.
Not everyone can tie a bow tie, there's nothing wrong with a bow tie that is pre-tied that clips at the back when you wear it. The main thing is to wear one you feel comfortable wearing.
Both my husband and my son have pre tied bow ties and a self tie. Depending on the function, and my nerves, that's what decides which one is used.