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  1. #1
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    22nd August 15
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    Wearing A Kilt On Halloween

    What is the kilted community's view of wearing a kilt on Halloween? I am considering making my first time wearing a kilt on Holloween but I do not want to degrade the historical and cultural significance of the kilt and present it as just a "costume". I suppose I could explain to people that what I was wearing is not just a costume but is a genuine, historical garment that represents a people and a society.
    To put the question in a bit of context, I am a collegiate coach and would be wearing the kilt on campus among my athletes, many of whom would be wearing costumes of one sort or the other that day since dressing up is going to be a team activity that day. It is that which is fueling my concern of the kilt coming off is just a "costume".

    I thought I'd get the opinion of the kilted community on people wearing the kilt on Halloween.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things than to take rank with those poor wretched souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
    "Today is your victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men." - Miyamoto Musashi

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    6th July 07
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    The Highlands,Scotland.
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    To be perfectly honest Halloween is not the place for the tartan kilt to be worn. The tartan kilt is not a costume and therefore deserves far more respect than the event in question requires.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.


  4. #3
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    18th October 09
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    It's a complex issue, which perhaps could be phrased as

    Highland Dress is mere clothing v Highland Dress is a costume

    As with many such debates the truth is probably a grey area somewhere between the extremes.

    In 19th century and well into the 20th Highland Dress is often referred to, in books on the subject and by the firms producing it, "costume".



    Part of this use of the word "costume" could be semantic shift, a continuous process in language. It seems clear that "costume" meant something different to a Victorian Scot than it does to a modern American.

    It's possible that today the term "costume" has different shades of meaning in Britain and in the USA. Certainly the term "fancy dress" means quite different things in the two countries.

    All of these semantic issues aside, for the people in my community, that of competition Pipe Bands, Highland Dress is certainly not ordinary clothing but a specialised occupational form of dress, much like the orchestral musician's tuxedo or the mariachi musician's costume.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  5. #4
    Join Date
    5th August 14
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    I've got to agree with Richard and Jock on the costume v attire issue.

    However, an accurate costume of Ben Franklin's wardrobe (even with the fake balding wig) is approved of during the Halloween festival. So wearing a kilt while using proper representation of a period in time (say WWI battle dress) feels correct. There is an identity to the look.

    Let's explore the environment you speak of, college students, Halloween, odd attire for all and probably alcohol. At one glance you will be accessed on what (or whom) you portray by those that may not have a clue concerning kilts.

    I imagine myself like Fred Astaire in top hat, tails, white gloves and cane. I expect people see Peter Boyle's character as the monster in "Young Frankenstein" as I'm "Putting on the Ritz".

    Real situations can be funny and even mocked, when other opinions are taken into account.

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  7. #5
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    7th February 11
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    London, Canada
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    This is touchy because of the love invested in the kilt and in the Highlands themselves, but various communities also have various interpretation of Hallowe'en. Certainly in our part of the world, a lot of the children dress as someone they admire, so in that context it might work, but I'd be very, very cautious about it. If it's a costume, it's being degraded as such. If it's just clothing, then you haven't really dressed for Hallowe'en, now have you?
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    31st May 06
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    Now, if you were to go as a Scottish *vampire* that’d be entirely different:

    “Och, I want tae bite yer neck, ye ken? I want tae drink yer bluid!”

    Or perhaps not ... 😁
    Descended from Patiences of Avoch | McColls of Glasgow
    Member, Clan Mackenzie Society of the Americas | Clan Donald USA

    "We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul." (Heb. 6:19)

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    28th May 13
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    I have worn a great kilt as a costume on Halloween. As I regularly wear a modern kilt, I don’t consider it a “costume”.
    "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience
    well, that comes from poor judgement."
    A. A. Milne

  12. #8
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    24th July 18
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    I think there are many terrible costumes that people wear at Halloween that involve cultural appropriation. For example: I am Cherokee/Choctaw/and Scottish. It burns me up to see someone wearing a nylon, generic, Native-American costume with brightly colored feathered headdress. I like it more when they do some research or put together an authentic and respectful variation. Even worse is the fact that most people stereotype the indigenous peoples of North America as leather clad, feathered headdress wearing people that all look like people from plains culture (Lakota, Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Ctow) in the 1800s. I believe the intent of the wearer is important. I also know that it can be difficult to judge another's intent.

    I don't mind a kilt as a Halloween costume. I do mind someone portraying a stereotype that is derogatory while wearing a kilt. It's more about the wearers intent and more importantly, their behavior.

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  14. #9
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    28th May 13
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    My Hallowe’en costume

    "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience
    well, that comes from poor judgement."
    A. A. Milne

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  16. #10
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    21st March 17
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    Are you wearing a costume of Rob Roy or Bonnie Prince Charlie? If yes I don’t see why wearing a kilt would be a problem. The kilt wouldn’t be a costume in and of itself, just a component of a costume.

    If you are asking if it would be a good idea to just wear a kilt and T-shirt as a costume then maybe that would be a bad idea as I don’t know what that would be a costume of.
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

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