X Marks the Scot - An on-line community of kilt wearers.

   X Marks Partners - (Go to the Partners Dedicated Forums )
USA Kilts website Freedom Kilts website Scotweb websiten Burnetts and Struth website The Scottish Trading Company
Xmarks advertising information Celtic Croft website Xmarks advertising information Celtic Corner website Xmarks advertising information

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: kilt length

  1. #1
    Join Date
    11th October 18
    Location
    Jacksonville, Texas
    Posts
    17
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    kilt length

    I'm sure this question has come up before..

    When buying kilts(not custom made exactly), they are usually 24" drop.

    Wearing the kilt on my hips, the hem comes to bottom of my knees.
    Hose, when folded over, the top is two fingers distance to bottom of knee cap. I understand there's a happy medium where it's not too long, or too short.
    Is this acceptable, the kilt covering the knee? Or do I just wear it higher, kinda like Grandpa pulling his pants way up?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    27th October 09
    Location
    Olde New England
    Posts
    980
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Lots of members will probably weigh in on this.
    I think that the thing to remember is that traditional kilts were/are worn high - sometimes close to your ribs - and not down on the hips like a pair of blue jeans. So don't be afraid to pull the kilt up higher to get the length where you want it. It may feel a bit odd at first but you will get used to it.
    I prefer mine at the mid-knee or a tad higher.

    CTB
    President, Clan Buchanan Society International

  3. The Following 6 Users say 'Aye' to ctbuchanan For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    6th July 07
    Location
    The Highlands,Scotland.
    Posts
    13,655
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It depends. It depends how tall you are and whereabouts your torso you want to wear the kilt, then the 24 inch drop may be way out. However, the hem needs to fall at mid knee, no lower and for best effect the hem needs to fall at the very top of your kneecap.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 18th December 18 at 03:42 PM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  5. The Following 13 Users say 'Aye' to Jock Scot For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Join Date
    3rd September 18
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    199
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My kilt was measured to sit at mid-knee and the waistband is higher than trousers are normally worn nowadays. Given my tailorís experience I am happy to follow his advice on how the kilt should be worn. The drop could be anything from 21 to 24 inches depending on ones particular physique so it is hard to be specific about a measurement.

  7. The Following User Says 'Aye' to EdinSteve For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Join Date
    27th October 09
    Location
    Kerrville, Texas
    Posts
    5,012
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Randycan View Post
    Wearing the kilt on my hips, the hem comes to bottom of my knees.

    Or do I just wear it higher, kinda like Grandpa pulling his pants way up?
    As others have said, the kilt is traditionally worn at the top of the knee in ideal conditions, down to mid-knee in a pinch. The top of the kilt should ideally be sitting with the top strap/buckle at your natural waist, not your hips. It's much higher than where you wear trousers.

    Kilts are not trousers. Get past the idea of looking like "grandpa" when wearing it higher on your torso. This is how kilts are supposed to be worn.

    If you are wearing an off-the-rack kilt that's not made to your correct length, you'll just have to wear it wherever it needs to be worn at the top in order to make the bottom come to mid-knee or higher. In this case it's the bottom that determines where the top sits, not vice-versa.

  9. The Following 3 Users say 'Aye' to Tobus For This Useful Post:


  10. #6
    Join Date
    11th October 18
    Location
    Jacksonville, Texas
    Posts
    17
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you, Sir. If I'm going to do this, I want to do it right...
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    As others have said, the kilt is traditionally worn at the top of the knee in ideal conditions, down to mid-knee in a pinch. The top of the kilt should ideally be sitting with the top strap/buckle at your natural waist, not your hips. It's much higher than where you wear trousers.

    Kilts are not trousers. Get past the idea of looking like "grandpa" when wearing it higher on your torso. This is how kilts are supposed to be worn.

    If you are wearing an off-the-rack kilt that's not made to your correct length, you'll just have to wear it wherever it needs to be worn at the top in order to make the bottom come to mid-knee or higher. In this case it's the bottom that determines where the top sits, not vice-versa.

  11. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to Randycan For This Useful Post:


  12. #7
    Join Date
    22nd October 17
    Location
    Beijing
    Posts
    322
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm with the others here who recommend the kilt be worn at your natural waist, just under the ribs, with the bottom of the kilt just above the knees.

    I'm 6'3" and my kilt is 23" long, so that it lands about a finger above the kneecap. This seems to look best and is most comfortable for me. It also seems to match many of the older kilt photos I see. So for someone who leans toward a traditional style, as I do, this length seems desirable. Your mileage may vary.

    But I would not wear my kilt at the same level as jeans. It just wouldn't hang right, in addition to being too low on the leg.

    Andrew

  13. The Following User Says 'Aye' to kingandrew For This Useful Post:


  14. #8
    Join Date
    25th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
    Posts
    5,123
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If I may offer some input from a kilt makers standpoint. Let's take fashion out of the question for a moment.

    There are three places on the human body where a garment will anatomically sit without riding up or drooping down. This is based on the bones of the body and not 'soft tissue'. The bones do not move but soft tissue like the belly button are different on different men.






    The top strap in these photos is at the anatomical waist. If you put a finger right up, under the ribs at the side, and bend in, towards your finger, you will feel a hollow. This is your anatomical waist. This is "full waist height'.

    The center strap is at what I call a "mid-waist height". At the spine, the strap is cinched into the small of the back or nape of the spine. It will usually sit just on top of the crest of the pelvis at the side. In the front this may settle in slightly different places on different men depending on their weight. (if the man has a bit of a belly the strap will tend to sit lower in the front than on a slimmer man)

    The lower strap is at "low waist height". This is where blue jeans are designed to fit. The strap is resting on the rise of the buttocks in back. At the side, it is down over the top of the crest of the pelvis.

    (Please notice that I purposely did not reference the navel or belly button. This is because the position of the navel is different depending on the weight of the person. The more of a belly the guy has, the lower the belly button will be.)

    At the time period that the kilt was designed, men's trousers were designed to ride naturally, at the anatomical waist.


    Image from Sears Catalog, 1942


    The Actor Jimmy Stewart during a radio broadcast circa early '50's.

    To accommodate this anatomical waist height, a kilt was made so that the top strap would cinch into the anatomical waist and flair outward above the top straps. In the back a kilt designed to fit like this will cover the bottom of the short ribs.



    This upper portion of the kilt is called "The Rise" and varies from about 3 inches on some military kilts to 2 inches as described in "The Art of Kiltmaking".

    In this photo all three kilts fit me perfectly. The Black Watch kilt on the right is an actual Royal Regt. of Scotland Military kilt with a 3 inch rise above the anatomical waist. The Highland Granite kilt on the left is my Barb Tewksbury kilt with a 2 inch rise above the anatomical waist. In the middle I am wearing one of my Contemporary kilts with a 1 inch rise worn at Mid Waist Height.



    One common way we see kilts made today - is that while the top straps are still below the level of the top of the kilt, the flare of the Rise above the straps is absent. The smallest part of the kilt is at the top of the top band. This smallest part of the kilt will naturally try to settle into one of the three anatomical places of the body. Sometimes this will cause the straps to feel looser and the straps doop lower than they would on another kilt made with the flare.



    Now, as a side note - There is a common misunderstanding that military kilts were somehow designed to fit differently than others. This is actually because it was common not to cut the single-width fabric. The kilt was made so that the bottom was where the unit regulations said it should be. The top of the kilt was allowed to be where ever the single-width fabric was and it would end up at different places depending on the wearers height. It was thought at this time, that for good health, that you must keep the kidneys warm.



    Notice that the bottom of the kilt is at the top of the knee and the belt, (there are no straps and buckles on this kilt) is at the anatomical waist, but the top is above the bottom of the breast bone.


    So - how to you tell where the kilt you have, was designed to be worn?

    One way is to find where the bottom of the Fell area is. - -

    Now I have to define "The Fell Area". The Fell Area of a kilt is that portion of the back that is sewn down and tapered.

    For the pleats to hang well, and to swish well, the bottom of the Fell Area should be right about the crest of the hips and buttocks.



    Put your kilt on and reach around behind yourself. Slide a finger up the pleats until you feel where the stitching stops. This should be right about level with the joint of your thigh bone and the pelvis.

    If necessary, you may have to adjust the height of the straps and buckles.

    Finding out where a non custom kilt was designed to be worn using the bottom of the Fell Area is a very good way to see where you need to cinch the straps and buckles.

    This will insure that the pleats hang straight and parallel and swish well.



    If the bottom of the Fell Area is below the crest of the hips and buttocks you may see large shower curtain folds develop in the pleats.



    If the bottom of the Fell Area is too high the pleats will splay apart and outward.



    Another thing to look at is where the bottom of the kilt hits your knee. If you have a kilt made to the 'standard' 24 inch total length this could be almost anywhere depending on your height. There simply can be no 'correct' place for the bottom of a kilt made to some standard and not your actual height and leg length.

    If you have or make a kilt using "The Art of Kiltmaking" you will have the bottom of the kilt at the top of the knee cap.

    As a general rule of thumb you want to show some leg between the bottom of the kilt and the top of the hose. But you also don't want the kilt to be too short.

    In this photo even an untrained eye can see that two of the kilts look too short and one looks to be too long.



    The correct answer to the orginal question in post 1 of this thread really is - it is up to how the kilt is made, the wearers knowledge of his kilt, and - the wearers personal preference.

    The bottom of a kilt today may be anywhere from the top of the knee cap to the bottom on the knee cap. Or about a 2 inch difference.
    Most today will say that a kilt, when worn with kilt hose, looks best worn at the top of the knee cap.
    If worn with boots and hose scrunched down, you may feel that mid knee or perhaps even bottom of knee looks best.

    Even in the "Tartan Army" in Scotland, it is quite common to see kilts that are designed to be worn high, being worn down where jeans usually go. This has the tendency to drop the bottom of the kilt below the knees.



    Of course with the Utility style kilts all of this goes out the window.

    In the end it falls to the kilt makers. We who do this for a living, who look at kilts all day, and who have the insight into how a kilt is made.
    It should be incumbent on us to teach and advise our customers how to look their best without ever forgetting that it is the customers hard earned money on the table. We need to make it fit the wishes of our customers.

    The 'standard' 24 inch length we see on the off-the-rack kilts, on kilts sold in bulk on Ebay, the lower end kilts, and those in rental fleets all over the world, are the reason we see the middle and below the knee kilts. It is a fact that 24 inches is not perfect for everyone.

    If the kilt a new guy is looking at, or asking about, is designed to be worn high, we need to teach that fact.

    It really is all about how the kilt is made! One size does not fit all!
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 19th December 18 at 03:54 AM.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.


  15. #9
    Join Date
    27th January 11
    Location
    Matlock, Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,155
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Whilst getting the hem of the kilt at the correct place, top to centre of the knee, is important, it is not necessarily that easy as every person is different and also changes over the years. I find my kilts, irrespective of where ever they were designed to be worn always wind up being supported in the same place, assuming they are worn, as I do, loose enough to allow one to breathe, to sit comfortably and enjoy a meal without having to loosen the straps.

    I realise this is obviously not the same for everybody and it is a shame more kilt makers do not do as Steve does and take slope into consideration because the rear hem on mine almost invariably winds up lower than the front even on my custom made ones. I have recently had to have 2 custom made ones hemmed as either I have shrunk, changed shape or maybe just become less tolerant of continually having to pull the kilts up! I know that is not the recommended method for shortening a kilt, but it is a lot cheaper than rebuilding them. Hopefully one day I'll get them shortened correctly.
    If you are going to do it, do it in a kilt!

  16. The Following User Says 'Aye' to tpa For This Useful Post:


  17. #10
    Join Date
    2nd October 04
    Location
    Page/Lake Powell, Arizona USA
    Posts
    14,005
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Methinks which waist to wear a kilt at is a matter of personal choice.

    I remain abhorred by the trend of buying/selling kilts with their hem well below the knee.

    I'm seeing more and more "long" kilts and I just don't like them. I find myself repulsed by them...just me.
    Ol' Macdonald himself, a proud son of Skye and Cape Breton Island
    Lifetime Member STA. Two time winner of Utilikiltarian of the Month.
    "I'll have a kilt please, a nice hand sewn tartan, 16 ounce Strome. Oh, and a sporran on the side, with a strap please."

  18. The Following 7 Users say 'Aye' to Riverkilt For This Useful Post:


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.0