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Thread: Buying a kilt

  1. #1
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    Buying a kilt

    I made the mistake of buying a kilt online without doing better research and received a Pakistani kilt. ugh! Might be ok for out and about but, this stuff seems like cheap costume . I am of Scottish descent , not Pakistani and I mean no offense by that. Having said this I wish to connect to my heritage and I take it seriously but, not too much.

    The 64k question.... Purchasing a kilt online: what is the consensus on who to purchase from and the best kilt under $300?

    Thanks,
    Scott

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    Just to put everything into perspective -

    Just the fabric alone - for an 8 yard, knife pleated kilt, made in 16oz UK wool - will cost about $320.00 -$360.00 US Dollars.

    Add to that the skilled labor to make the kilt. Ask your self what your hourly rate is and multiply by 25 -35 hours for a hand stitched, "Traditional" style kilt.

    Please expect the price of a good quality hand stitched kilt, made to measure, by a reputable maker, to be around $500.00 to $800.00 US Dollars.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 29th December 21 at 02:21 PM.
    Steve Ashton
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    Steve is correct. In your given price range you should look at the polyviscose kilts from USA Kilts. The fabric is lighter than wool but made by a mill in the UK.
    “Never wear anything that panics the cat.”- P.J. O’Rourke
    “A man should look as if he has bought his clothes (kilt) with intelligence, put them (it) on with care, and then forgotten all about them (it).” Paraphrased from Hardy Amies
    Proud member of the Clan Urquhart.

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    This is good info to know. What is your opinion/recommendation of a reputable maker?

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    I will personally vouch for any company that chooses to support this forum.

    Unlike some other sites I do not have a vested interest in any of the advertises here. I can only tell you that they are all highly respected, honest and have a proven record for delivering exactly what they advertise, a quality product at a reasonable price.
    Steve Ashton
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  9. #6
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    While I support Steve's position, I'll play devil's advocate and say that you could do a lot worse than a 5-Yard kilt from USA Kilts, which starts at $299. While it's not the same as a hand-stitched 8-yard kilt, it's pretty darn good. I have several low-yardage, machine-stitched kilts (including one from USAK) and like them very much for daily wear.

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    Thank you everyone so much for the advice. I have been looking at USAKilts as an option. So next question. Measuring length is top of belly button down to the middle of knee. So if the ordering option lengths are 21.5 or 22 but I measured 21.75 do I go up to 22 or down to 21.5?
    Last edited by stewmini; 29th December 21 at 10:06 PM.

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  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewmini View Post
    Thank you everyone so much for the advice. I have been looking at USAKilts as an option. So next question. Measuring length is top of belly button down to the middle of knee. So if the ordering option lengths are 21.5 or 22 but I measured 21.75 do I go up to 22 or down to 21.5?
    Best to call USA Kilts in the morning and ask their advice - if memory serves, they recommend you measure belly button to mid-knee, then add an inch. As it is a custom-made garment, I'm sure they could split the difference for you and add the extra 1/4".

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewmini View Post
    Thank you everyone so much for the advice. I have been looking at USAKilts as an option. So next question. Measuring length is top of belly button down to the middle of knee. So if the ordering option lengths are 21.5 or 22 but I measured 21.75 do I go up to 22 or down to 21.5?
    OK, a comment here. This is what the USA Kilts site says about measuring for a 5 yard Semi-Trad.

    "Waist

    A Traditional kilt is worn higher than your pants, just above the belly button (for larger customers, just above the WIDEST part of your belly). This is where the top of the kilt will sit.

    DO NOT HOLD YOUR STOMACH IN. You’ll only going to get a kilt that's too small. Just relax and stand "at ease".

    Make sure to use a good sewing tape measure. If you don't have a sewing tape measure, you can use a leather belt to measure. Wrap it around you, mark it and then lay it flat on a metal tape measure to get the measurement.


    The tape measure should be snug – as snug as you will be wearing the kilt.

    *Note: It will probably be 2 to 4 inches more than your pants size. This is common.

    *TIP: BIG guys with large bellies may want to wear the kilt around the naval, as it gives a more flattering appearance."



    Notice that is does not say at the top of the belly button, it says just above the belly button.

    I personally dislike the idea of using the belly button as a reference for measuring. It is in soft tissue and moves. A larger guy will have a belly button lower than a thinner guy.
    So I prefer to use the bones which cannot move.

    A kilt worn in the "Traditional" style will have the top strap cinched into the anatomical waist. This is just below the ribs.
    To find your anatomical waist put your finger just under the ribs at the side. Then bend in, towards your finger. You will feel your finger go into a hole. This is where the bones of your spine bend and is the anatomical waist.
    In the front the top of a "Traditional" kilt will be about 3 or 4 finger widths below the bottom of the breast bone.

    But not all guys want to wear their kilts at the anatomical waist. And that is OK. Perhaps this photo can help



    Both the The Black Watch military kilt and the Gray Granite kilt are worn with the top strap cinched into the anatomical waist. The military kilt has 3 inches of kilt above the top strap while the gray granite kilt has 2 inches above the top strap. But both are designed to be worn at the anatomical waist.

    The Hudson's Bay Tartan kilt is worn lower at mid waist height. The top strap sits just on top of the illiac crest of the hip bones. My belly button happens to be right at the top of the belt buckle. But notice that the bottom of all three are at the same place down at the knee. Due to the camera angle it looks like the kilts are longer than they are but take my word for it, all three hit right at the top of my patella. So the length of the pleats from the hip line down to the knee are all the same.
    Only the height above the hip line is different. But what a difference.

    So my advice is to call and talk to the folks at USA kilts. They are the people who will be making the kilt. They are the best source of good, solid information, on how to measure for one of their kilts.

    Don't go by any other makers measuring system. Don't just assume that everything will be fine. This is not like going into wallmart and buying a pair of jeans.

    We are so use to buying off the rack or from a website, sight unseen, that we forget that when buying a kilt, communication with the maker is the best way to get a kilt that fits well, and that you will be happy with.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 29th December 21 at 11:20 PM.
    Steve Ashton
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  15. #10
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    Fantastic advice as always, Steve.

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