7th April 10, 02:08 PM
Men's Kilts and Women's Kilts
Friends John and Yvonne were telling me today of new kilts in their Hunter tartan which they had ordered from a kiltmaker in the Inverness area.
Both kilts arrived in reasonable time and were a perfect fit, but both were fringed to the right as per men's kilts.
When they queried this with the kiltmaker he insisted that there is no such thing as a woman's kilt, that all kilts are unisex and are fringed to the right.
This despite the fact that Yvonne already has two ladies' kilts from other kiltmakers which are fringed on the left.
I re-assured them that although in my opinion ladies and gents kilts normally fold to opposite sides, it was quite common to see ladies wearing kilts fringed to the gents' side, for example female pipe band members. I also know a now retired lady magistrate who regularly wore kilts which were fringed to the right, and I encouraged Yvonne to start wearing her new kilt and not worry about which side it was fringed to.
I wonder how common it is for the more traditional kiltmakers to make all their kilts fringed to the same side whether they are being made for a man or a woman.
Regional Director for Scotland for Clan Cunningham International, and a Scottish Armiger.
7th April 10, 06:16 PM
I'm no expert on this matter, by any means. However, my wife just received her Muir kilt, made by Alexis Malcolm of Florida, and the fringe is on the left. Personally, it doesn't bother me as to what side it's fringed on, as long as it looks marvelous.
7th April 10, 06:21 PM
Is it a KILT or a KILTED SKIRT? I've seen kilted skirts fringed on both sides, but have only seen KILTS fringed on the (wearer's) right side.
7th April 10, 07:08 PM
Rocky, in my opinion you are spot on, there is only one garment that is a kilt and that's the one we all know. There are no mens and and ladies kilts. A kilt is a kilt and that's it. There are ladies kilted/pleated skirts which have the fringe on the left but these are not and should not be called kilts. As a general "rule" ladies don't wear klts unless in a pipe band
7th April 10, 08:36 PM
Mostly they open on the left whether they are kilts or kilted skirts, although Sport Kilt (!) seem to have theirs open on the mens' side. I think the real issue is that women are not horrified at the thought of donning a man's garment (unlike vicea versa), so the makers can get away with it.
7th April 10, 09:35 PM
Indeed....I know of some women (non-pipe band) who have bought men's kilts & don't have a problem wearing them irregardless
Originally Posted by O'Callaghan
T. E. ("TERRY") HOLMES
proud descendant of the McReynolds/MacRanalds of Ulster & Keppoch, Somerled & Robert the Bruce.
"Ah, here comes the Bold Highlander. No @rse in his breeks but too proud to tug his forelock..." Rob Roy (1995)
7th April 10, 09:54 PM
Semantics aside, what is the difference then between a kilted skirt that's fringed on the right and a kilt (regardless of whether it's for a man or woman) that's fringed on the right side?
Originally Posted by RockyR
I.e. what physical characteristics distinguish the two garments other than the fact that a kilted skirt MAY be fringed to the opposite side?
Duos habet et bene pendentes!
To my eye, the peacock -- the male peacock, has escaped his cage, and I don't think anyone's going to be able to corral him or get him back into the cage of conformity. He's on his own now, and he's flying high!
- Bill Cunningam (NY Times photographer)
7th April 10, 10:09 PM
Ladies kilted skirts usually use less material, with shallower pleats, and may be longer length (below the knee).
Originally Posted by CDNSushi
8th April 10, 05:00 AM
And generally one can tell by the measurements, as well. Most women have a much greater waist-to-hip ratio than men do, so you can often tell simply by the shape of the garment if it was meant for a man or a woman.
I have seen a few ladies' kilted skirts in my day that open on the right, as a male kilt. However, the majority open on the left. I've had one or two women over the years specifically ask if their skirts could be made to open on the right, and that's easy enough to accomodate. But normally I'd have them made to open on the left, as that is standard today for women's kilted skirts.
8th April 10, 05:45 AM
In The Art Of Kiltmaking, Barbara Tewsbury and Elsie Stuemeyer say:
"A folklore of untruths exists about kilts. You may hear people say, 'A womans' kilt opnes on the left.' Not true. All kilts open on the right. What these folks are undoubtedly referring to as a 'woman's kilt' is, in fact, a kilt skirt. A kilt skirt, sometimes known as a hostess kilt, is not a kilt. Rather, it is a woman's pleated skirt made in lightweight tartan with machine-stitched pleats. Kilt skirts are commonly worn below the knee with the fringe edge at the wearer's left, rather than at the right. A kilt skirt requires much less cloth than a kilt and has wide, shallow pleats, no rise, and none of the interior contruction of a kilt.
You may also hear people say 'A man's kilt in longer in the back than a dancer's kilt.' Not true. There's no such thing as a 'dancer's kilt', and kilts for dance competitons are measured and laid out exactly the same way as a kilt for a man.
The bottom line is that there is really only one kind of kilt. Anyone who wears a kilt wears a garment that is laid out, stitched, and contructed by hand in exactly the same way, regardless of whether the wearer is a woman or a man, a piper or a dancer."
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