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  1. #1
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    Just getting started...

    It has only been within the last few months that my love of kilts has been able to be fed. I got my first one at a local highland games and have been hooked ever since. I came on here to try to start learning more about proper kilt attire and dress. From what I have been reading so far, as long as you are comfortable with the look, just about anything goes. With this being said. I do have a a few clarification questions.

    First would be about the belt. Is there a more proper way to wear it, or is it just how it feels comfortable?

    Next would be about types of kilts. Are the newer "utility" kilts just as acceptable as the traditional style?

    I look forward to gleaning all kinds of information here. It's great to know there are more like minded individuals as myself.

  2. #2
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    24th September 04
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    Maybe I can help.

    The Belt is totally decorative on an Iconic Kilt. The straps and buckles hold the kilt up.
    The belt was originally a Dirk Belt and Waistplate worn on the outside of a tunic. Used to support the weight of the Dirk.

    Today a belt is not much more than a visual break between the top and bottom of your body.
    The only thing we say about wearing a belt comes from the "Old School" where, if you wear a vest you do not wear a belt. This is where braces come from. So, if you wear a jacket with a vest you do not wear a belt.


    There are many types of kilts and it does get a bit confusing as very few seem to use the same terms.
    One way to look at kilts is to look at the method of construction.

    There are the Iconic Kilts.
    These are constructed with full floating interfacing and stabilizer built inside and hidden by the inner liner.
    The Iconic kilts will almost always be made to fit with the top strap at the anatomical waist with a 'rise' of between 2 and 4 inches above the top strap.
    An Iconic kilt is usually stitched by hand so that there are no visible stitches on the outside of the garment but this is not a hard and fast "Rule" as the current RRS kilts are machine sewn and hand finished.
    An Iconic kilt will usually have the excess fabric inside cut away to lessen weight and keep the back thin.
    Most of the Iconic Kilts are made of wool woven in a Tartan. Again, not a hard and fast rule as there are solid colored Iconic kilts and Iconic kilts made from silk.

    There are the Contemporary Kilts.
    These are constructed with full floating interfacing and stabilizer like the Iconic kilts but can be made to fit lower than the anatomical waist,
    The Contemporary kilts will often have the left strap inside which eliminates a potential weak point at the strap hole. This also allows the internal stabilizer to go from one outer apron edge to the other. This increases the durability and and hang when the kilt is worn lower.
    Contemporary kilts can also be made from almost any fabric.
    A Contemporary Kilt will usually have pockets which do not detract from the hang and swish.

    There are the Casual Kilts.
    These are constructed to look from the outside like an Iconic kilt but lack the internal strengthening elements.
    A Casual may or may not have an inner liner but as there is no interfacing, stabilizer and the pleats are not cut away the liner is not needed and if put in serves little to no function.
    Casual kilts are often made from other fabrics than heavy premium wool.
    Casual kilt can be sewn by machine and are sometimes sewn using a method called "Blind Machine Stitching"

    There are the Sport/Pub kilts.
    These are constructed for Highland Games athletes who must compete in a kilt but will usually destroy and need something inexpensive to replace it.
    These are also constructed for those who wish an inexpensive kilt to wear to the pub or footy game and not have to worry if a beer is spilled on it.
    Sport/Pub kilts are almost always machine stitches.
    They are also usually made from a synthetic or synthetic blend fabric to allow them to be machine washable.

    There are the MUG/Utility kilts.
    These are constructed in a manner similar to blue jeans where the outer fabric and the stitching give the total strength to the garment.
    MUG/Utility kilts are most often made from solid colored fabrics.
    They are usually made with pockets often outer cargo pockets.
    MUG/Utility kilts are worn more like blue jeans than the other styles.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

  3. The Following 5 Users say 'Aye' to Steve Ashton For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
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    FYI: if/ when you do wear a belt, please don’t put it through the sporran strap loops, on the back of a traditional kilt ( it will damage it).
    waulk softly and carry a big schtick

  5. #4
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    10th January 19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbeard View Post
    First would be about the belt. Is there a more proper way to wear it, or is it just how it feels comfortable?
    In addition to what Steve and jhockin said, belts are worn with "flat-topped" sporrans (day sporrans or semi-formal sporrans). The taller oval-shaped sporrans will bang into the belt buckle. And if the sporran has a metal cantle, you'll potentially end up scratching either the cantle or the buckles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbeard View Post
    Next would be about types of kilts. Are the newer "utility" kilts just as acceptable as the traditional style?
    Acceptable to whom? In what context? I wear my poly-viscose kilts when I know that I'll be getting them sweaty and dirty. I save my best wool kilt (and the more traditional attire) for dressier social occasions.
    Trying to look good on a budget.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl R View Post
    The taller oval-shaped sporrans will bang into the belt buckle. And if the sporran has a metal cantle, you'll potentially end up scratching either the cantle or the buckles.
    Additionally, some cantles like the brass MoD style have a push-button opening mechanism on top. When one bends over, it can accidentally open the cantle by pressing the button against the belt buckle. Then you end up walking around like a goober with your sporran gaping open. Basically, the kilt equivalent of having your fly open. Ask me how I know.

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  8. #6
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    First let me start by thanking you all for answering so quickly.

    I can see I do have a lot to learn about my kilts and what I want next.

    From your answers I can see that a kilt is worn how you like as long as some simple guidelines are followed, which is good to know. I want to make an honest go at this and wearing it at least some what properly. *grin*

  9. #7
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    A wee tip or two from a long time kilt wearer and a fairly long time member of Xmarksthesot , that may help your general kilt attire understanding.

    There is, sometimes, a very different emphasis between Highland Scots thinking on kilt attire than there is in the rest of the world and that includes kilt hire companies the world over, including Scotland! See "Food For Thought" and "Food For Thought 2(FFT2)" threads, with me as the author that might give you an insight. Look in the thread archive section......use the Advanced Search facility on the Top Right hand corner on the "list of topic and latest posts page."

    Be very careful when drawing conclusions from pictures , you need to be well aware that drawing conclusions just from pictures is often misleading. There are some real howlers on the internet and sadly on this website on occasion too and these are far from helpful and knowing the context of a picture is all important. Once you understand the context of a picture, then you can start drawing conclusions.

    Good luck with your quest.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  10. #8
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    Thank you Jack for the advice.

    I plan on using all the knowledge at my fingertips and especially on this forum to help guide me.

    One thing you can count on with me is if I don't know, I will ask. I am a firm believer in the concept that the only dumb question is the one not asked.

    I will look into those two threads you mentioned for sure.

    I do completely understand what you are saying about the trolls that lurk and I will be careful.

    Thanks again for the advice.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbeard View Post
    Thank you Jack for the advice.

    I plan on using all the knowledge at my fingertips and especially on this forum to help guide me.

    One thing you can count on with me is if I don't know, I will ask. I am a firm believer in the concept that the only dumb question is the one not asked.

    I will look into those two threads you mentioned for sure.

    I do completely understand what you are saying about the trolls that lurk and I will be careful.

    Thanks again for the advice.
    I am sorry, I have not made myself clear. Often the pictures are posted in good faith so its not trolls! Fortunately this website is pretty hot on culling trolls!
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 9th October 19 at 07:01 AM. Reason: found my glasses!
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  12. #10
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    Ah ok understood now. Once again I will be asking lots of clarification questions if I see something that doesn't make sense to me or just isn't clear.

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