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Thread: Advice on Kilt

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    I find myself not wearing a belt most of the time these days, but I still put my sporran strap through the loops out of habit.
    I have the same habit of putting my soprran strap through the two loops closest to my sides. I ignore the rear and front loops for the strap.
    Last edited by Tarheel; 4th December 18 at 03:20 PM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I have the same habit of putting my soprran strap through the two loops closest to my sides. I ignore the rear and front loops for the strap.
    The tab straps on the side were originally intended for kilt hanging. The rear loops probably came about with the one-size-fits-all demands of the for-hire trade because a kilt really doesn't need a belt if it has been properly fitted, but can you tell us a bit more about the 'front loops'?

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  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThistleDown View Post
    but can you tell us a bit more about the 'front loops'?
    I see now that the word front was not a proper choice. There is one loop in the rear of my kilt, There are two loops on side and two more just in front of those but not quite to the apron. Those loops fall just in front of my ilium or hip bone.

  5. #14
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    All my kilts have come with loops and the oldest is over 60 years old. I have never used them for the sporran straps because I find it much easier to buckle the strap at the front then swivel it round to the back without it catching on loops. If the strap is a chain on which the sporran cannot slide, then swivelling the sporran round to the side is much easier if the leather ends of the chain do not have to pass through loops.

    If I wear a belt it is to hold things other than the kilt so does not need to be very tight and I do usually thread it through the loops as they prevent whatever is hanging off it (pouch, camera, penknife, etc.) disappearing around my back.
    If you are going to do it, do it in a kilt!

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  7. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpa View Post
    All my kilts have come with loops and the oldest is over 60 years old. I have never used them for the sporran straps because I find it much easier to buckle the strap at the front then swivel it round to the back without it catching on loops. If the strap is a chain on which the sporran cannot slide, then swivelling the sporran round to the side is much easier if the leather ends of the chain do not have to pass through loops.

    If I wear a belt it is to hold things other than the kilt so does not need to be very tight and I do usually thread it through the loops as they prevent whatever is hanging off it (pouch, camera, penknife, etc.) disappearing around my back.
    I suppose I have worn the kilt for just a wee tad longer than the age of your oldest kilt TPA and within a fairly large kilt wearing family too. I have to confess that until I joined this website I had no idea that there were such things as belt loops on kilts! Suffice to say that the family, past and present, has managed perfectly well without belt loops on the kilt. Each to their own.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 5th December 18 at 02:45 PM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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  9. #16
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    One of the things we see quite often in kilts today is that they are not built with a flare to the rise, above the top straps.

    A kilt made as shown in "The Art of Kiltmaking" will have this flare.

    The smallest part of the kilt is at the level of the top straps.



    The straps hold the kilt on and if you wear a decorative belt it will sit at the smallest part. The belt will not ride up above the top of the kilt.




    Many kilts made today do not have this flare to the Rise. The smallest part of the kilt is at the top of the kilt.



    This can cause all sorts of problems. The kilt will always try to droop down so that the smallest part of the kilt is in the smallest part of the body. Because the smallest part of the kilt, is not where the buckles and straps are, the kilt will always feel too big or will have to pucker to fit.

    Another problem this lack of flare causes is that the belt will try to rise up, above the top of the kilt.
    If you put the belt through the sporran loops the belt will pull up on the loops. This causes the Tartan fabric to be distorted in the back and begin to develop a "W" pattern. After a while this distortion becomes permanent and no amount of steaming will make it go back again.

    This kilt is almost brand new and you can see the "W" pattern of distortion already starting to show.



    The reason that the sporran loops were put on kilts in the first place was to keep the sporran strap from falling down on guys with narrow hips or a very flat butt. But they have become sort of a standard feature on many kilts today. Because of the lack of flare makes guys feel that they need a belt to keep the kilt up, and of course, pants have belt loops so they put the belt through the loops.

    This is what a belt and sporran should look like when the strap is through the loops. This is a guy with very little difference between his waist and hips.



    Of course if your kilt is designed to have a trouser like waistband, with true belt loops, then all bets are off. But notice that the kilt is still not pulling up on the loops. On this kilt the loops are decorative.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 5th December 18 at 04:06 PM.
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  11. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    I suppose I have worn the kilt for just a wee tad longer than the age of your oldest kilt TPA and within a fairly large kilt wearing family too. I have to confess that until I joined this website I had no idea that there were such things as belt loops on kilts! Suffice to say that the family, past and present, has managed perfectly well without belt loops on the kilt. Each to their own.
    I guess you just adjust to what you have grown up with. I assumed all kilts had belt loops until I joined this website!
    If you are going to do it, do it in a kilt!

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  13. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpa View Post
    All my kilts have come with loops and the oldest is over 60 years old. I have never used them for the sporran straps because I find it much easier to buckle the strap at the front then swivel it round to the back without it catching on loops. If the strap is a chain on which the sporran cannot slide, then swivelling the sporran round to the side is much easier if the leather ends of the chain do not have to pass through loops.
    My kilts have all had belt loops that I use for the sporran belt only. My band, like most, uses chain belts, and I found the easiet way to put mine on is to unclip the chain from the sporran on one side (keep the belted part fastened) and pass it through the loops then clip it back into the sporran.

    I make sure to unclip one side for putting it on and the other side for taking it off to stop the belt buckle from snagging on the loops.

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  15. #19
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    This is my take on your list...for what it's worth!

    Formal Attire (Highland Evening Dress) Checklist

    Kilt The kilt is obviously the star of any Highland Dress outfit and I would want a quality-looking one.

    Due to the time constraint it will probably be an off-the-peg situation. You might find a nice used kilt in your size on Ebay and get it right away.

    Yes belt loops have nothing to do with quality. The tattiest Pakistani kilts have them, while none of my bespoke kilts do.

    Jacket Kilt jacket conversions usually look like what they are. Standard black Argyll jackets are widely available new off the peg, ex-hire, used on Ebay, and so forth. All of my kilt jackets (two black Argylls, one Lovat tweed Argyll, one Prince Charlie) were all bought used on Ebay for between $50 and $125 each.

    Sporran Yes borrow if you can! High quality made in Scotland Evening Dress sporrans are available for well under $100 regularly on Ebay, if you want to get your own.

    Belt why...?

    Hose/Flashes Plain/selfcoloured kilt hose are relatively inexpensive. Lochcarron sells the basic sort in several colours. I prefer Cheviot myself, but they're more expensive. For flashes I prefer the fringed Shooting Socks ones.

    Sgian Dubh why...?

    Shoes Yes any nice plain black shoes would be fine.

    Tie Plain black ordinary bow ties are more or less standard.

    Waistcoat/Vest Traditionally waistcoats have been standard with Highland Dress. If you have a black Barathea Argyll jacket the waistcoats can be bought separately. Traditionally red, buff, etc waistcoats were often worn with black jackets for Evening Dress.

    Shirt I like the stand collar shirt with points for Evening Dress.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheGratefulNed View Post
    I'm pretty set on going with the Brian Boru for two reasons; my family heritage is ~50% Irish and I personally like the look of the BB more than the PC.
    I don't think there's anything "Irish" about the so-called Brian Boru jacket, which I think was called that as a marketing device. But if you like it, why not wear it?
    Last edited by OC Richard; 16th December 18 at 07:32 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  17. #20
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    Thanks for the feedback, OC Richard.

    As far as why I might wear the belt, I'm probably going to use sporran hangers, since the last time I tried on a sporran chain I was about 25-30 lbs. lighter than I am now and even then it was a bit uncomfortable and underlined my belly in a rather unflattering manner.

    I will eventually get a sporran, just trying to keep inside a budget at the moment. So borrowed it is!

    Yeah, I know the Brian Boru jacket doesn't have any sort of actual tradition/history to it, though the round silver harp buttons definitely help lend an Irish flavor to it. Also, in my very brief, preliminary, and shallow research into historical Irish fashions over the past month or so, I did see several examples of something that looks an awful lot like a shawl collar in a few ~16th-17th century illustrations, albeit on long, open-chested tunic-like garments (possibly a variation of the léine) over top of a shirt, not true formal jackets. Whether there's any tradition to it or not, I personally like the look of the Brian Boru better than the Prince Charlie. I consider the Irish-inspired tweaks as a bonus.

    Speaking of jackets, perhaps the Great Rabble can help me with something that's causing me some confusion. Are UK and US standard jacket sizes the same? Most websites seem to indicate they're the same, but a few put the UK sizes at a bit smaller than the US sizes of the same number. I found some reasonably priced ex-hire Argylls and PCs from two different sellers, one in Scotland and one in England, but I would rather not have to mess around shipping it back to get a different size. I messaged the sellers and they both indicated they're UK sizing. Wondering if a UK 54R will fit the same as my US 54R or if I need to bump it up or down a size or two.
    Verbing weirds language.

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