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  1. #1
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    Identifying kilted skirt vs kilt

    Maybe a silly question—

    I am looking at a clearance kilt that is listed with the following measurements:
    waist: 40”
    Hips: 48”
    Length: 25”

    The left apron belts on top, as in a man’s kilt.

    Could this garment really be a kilted skirt, explaining the 8” difference in the waist and hip measurement? Or is this a typical measurement gap for a traditional “Imperial waist” kilt with a very high rise?

  2. #2
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    Let me see if I can clear up a few things.

    It is not the outer fabric that makes a kilt.
    It is not the measurements or where the waist is worn that makes a kilt.

    It is the construction that makes a kilt.

    Some, but not all, ladies Tartan pleated skirts buckle with the opening on the left side.
    Some, but not all, ladies Tartan pleated skirts are made from lighter weight fabrics.

    But where the largest difference lies, is in in the construction. A ladies Tartan pleated skirt is made using dressmaker techniques and is made the way a skirt is made.

    This issue of waist height is one of the most misunderstood things about the Iconic kilts.
    At the time when the Iconic kilt was designed all men's trousers were worn at the anatomical waist.



    Today very few men have ever worn anything with a waist this high. Many do not even realize that the Iconic kilts were designed this way and that you cannot just wear it anyway you want and still have the garment look the way it was designed to be worn.



    The Iconic kilt is one of the very few garments where the wearer must conform to the design of the garment. The garment does not conform to the wearers whims.

    To understand the anatomical waist we do not reference the navel or belly button. The belly button is in soft tissue and can change position with weight.
    So we reference the bones which do not change.

    Put a finger just under the ribs at the side and bend in, towards your finger. You should feel a hollow. This is the anatomical waist and is where your spine, the bones, bend.

    If you put a strap simulating the waist of a kilt at the anatomical waist, in the back the strap is at kidney level. In front it is three to four finger widths below the bottom of the breastbone.

    This is why an Iconic kilt is made with a rise which flares outward above the top strap. The strap cinches into the anatomical waist and the Rise flares out to fit over the short ribs at the side and back.



    There are other construction elements which are recognized as "kilt". The length of the Fell Area is one. The Fell Area is that part of the kilt in the back that is sewn down and tapered. In an Iconic kilt made In Accordance With "The Art of Kiltmaking" The length of the Fell Area is 1/3 of the length of the kilt from the bottom to the center of the top strap. If worn the way it was designed, the bottom of this Fell Area should be right about the widest part of the hips and buttocks. If the bottom of the Fell Area is too high the pleats will tend to splay outward.




    If a kilt is made to the measurements of the wearer the waist will be the circumference at the anatomical waist and the hips will be the circumference of the widest part of the hips and butt.
    But - And this is a big one. When measuring for the hip circumference you must allow that the front aprons will fall straight down from the wearers belly.
    You do not pull the tape measure in, below the belly. In your example I would automatically assume from the 40 inch waist that this man has a bit of a belly. So it would not be uncommon for the difference between waist and hips to be 8 inches.

    Notice in this photo that the aprons fall straight down in the front and all the shaping of the kilt is in the rear Fell Area. It may not look like it but the difference between the waist and the hips of this kilt is 8 inches.



    And if the waist is worn too low, the bottom of the Fell Area becomes lower and falls below the crest of the hips and butt causing the "Shower Curtain" folds you so often see due to the larger hip circumference.



    Notice in the photo above that some of the stitching as popped from the stress of sitting on the Fell Area. Also the lower hip strap is fastened too tight pulling and distorting the fabric and stitching. Wearing a kilt lower than it was designed to be worn will also cause the bottom or Selvedge edge to fall below the top of the knee cap. You can see this at almost every Highland Games. With a kilt you really want to see some knee and leg between the top of the hose and the bottom of the kilt.
    Last edited by The Wizard of BC; 21st January 20 at 12:53 AM.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wizard of BC View Post
    Let me see if I can clear up a few things.

    It is not the outer fabric that makes a kilt.
    It is not the measurements or where the waist is worn that makes a kilt.

    It is the construction that makes a kilt.

    Some, but not all, ladies Tartan pleated skirts buckle with the opening on the left side.
    Some, but not all, ladies Tartan pleated skirts are made from lighter weight fabrics.

    But where the largest difference lies, is in in the construction. A ladies Tartan pleated skirt is made using dressmaker techniques and is made the way a skirt is made.

    This issue of waist height is one of the most misunderstood things about the Iconic kilts.
    At the time when the Iconic kilt was designed all men's trousers were worn at the anatomical waist.



    Today very few men have ever worn anything with a waist this high. Many do not even realize that the Iconic kilts were designed this way and that you cannot just wear it anyway you want and still have the garment look the way it was designed to be worn.



    The Iconic kilt is one of the very few garments where the wearer must conform to the design of the garment. The garment does not conform to the wearers whims.

    To understand the anatomical waist we do not reference the navel or belly button. The belly button is in soft tissue and can change position with weight.
    So we reference the bones which do not change.

    Put a finger just under the ribs at the side and bend in, towards your finger. You should feel a hollow. This is the anatomical waist and is where your spine, the bones, bend.

    If you put a strap simulating the waist of a kilt at the anatomical waist, in the back the strap is at kidney level. In front it is three to four finger widths below the bottom of the breastbone.

    This is why an Iconic kilt is made with a rise which flares outward above the top strap. The strap cinches into the anatomical waist and the Rise flares out to fit over the short ribs at the side and back.



    There are other construction elements which are recognized as "kilt". The length of the Fell Area is one. The Fell Area is that part of the kilt in the back that is sewn down and tapered. In an Iconic kilt made In Accordance With "The Art of Kiltmaking" The length of the Fell Area is 1/3 of the length of the kilt from the bottom to the center of the top strap. If worn the way it was designed, the bottom of this Fell Area should be right about the widest part of the hips and buttocks. If the bottom of the Fell Area is too high the pleats will tend to splay outward.




    If a kilt is made to the measurements of the wearer the waist will be the circumference at the anatomical waist and the hips will be the circumference of the widest part of the hips and butt.
    But - And this is a big one. When measuring for the hip circumference you must allow that the front aprons will fall straight down from the wearers belly.
    You do not pull the tape measure in, below the belly. In your example I would automatically assume from the 40 inch waist that this man has a bit of a belly. So it would not be uncommon for the difference between waist and hips to be 8 inches.

    Notice in this photo that the aprons fall straight down in the front and all the shaping of the kilt is in the rear Fell Area. It may not look like it but the difference between the waist and the hips of this kilt is 8 inches.



    And if the waist is worn too low, the bottom of the Fell Area becomes lower and falls below the crest of the hips and butt causing the "Shower Curtain" folds you so often see due to the larger hip circumference.



    Notice in the photo above that some of the stitching as popped from the stress of sitting on the Fell Area. Also the lower hip strap is fastened too tight pulling and distorting the fabric and stitching. Wearing a kilt lower than it was designed to be worn will also cause the bottom or Selvedge edge to fall below the top of the knee cap. You can see this at almost every Highland Games. With a kilt you really want to see some knee and leg between the top of the hose and the bottom of the kilt.
    Thanks for your input, Steve. I remembered reading in “So You’re Going to Wear the Kilt” that the difference between waist and hip measurements would typically be four inches, regardless of whether the man was fat or thin—could Thomson be reckoning by a lower and non-traditional “navel waist” measurement to be making this statement?
    Otherwise the kilt seems to be normal—with one exception: the waistband doesn’t align well with the sett in the back, but looks fine in the front. Perhaps that’s why it’s discounted.

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    tpa

  6. #4
    Join Date
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    For guys with a slim build, like those in the military, a waist to hip difference would average 3-4 inches.
    As the belly increases the difference can become significantly more.

    And no, the mismatch of the top band in the rear is normal. In fact it is almost impossible not to have the mismatch without piecing the top band.

    It is unlikely Thompson ever saw a lower rise kilt. They are a bit more modern. One of the very first to begin producing a kilt made to be worn lower was Howie Nicklesby of 21st Century Kilts. Next was probably the Utilikilt. And then myself.

    One of the causes of the confusion is that guys only knew of, and had experience with, blue jeans. They simply did not know that they were wearing the kilt designed in an older style.

    Today it is quite common to see kilts made without the flared rise. Perhaps that small but important detail was not passed on to the next generation of kiltmakers. More than likely though, it was that customers were more concerned with price and kiltmakers needed to do whatever was necessary to keep their costs down. The casual kilts without stabilizer and interfacing, the 5 yard kilts to save on fabric, the Mid-Eastern competition for the tourist dollar are all signs of the market.
    The result is, that on kilts without the flare, the smallest part is at the top band. Above the straps and buckles. So the kilt wants to slide down and the buckles no longer hold it up.

    And very few know that this was not always so.

    What is sort of forgotten is that the interest we see today in kilt wearing, is quite recent. Before the beginnings of this century there were very few kilt wearers outside of the military and pipers.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

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  8. #5
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    My kilt measurements are 34" at the waist and 40" at the hips, a 6" difference. And I'm not proportioned oddly, as far as I know. I wouldn't see an 8" difference being out of the ordinary for a larger man.

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  10. #6
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    The phenomenon of any kilt fastening on the left is strange to me, brought up in the North of England.

    A skirt might have a placket, zip and button or some other way to fasten it - sometimes a pocket was part of the design, in the left seam.

    A kilt for a woman would be 27 inches as standard, might well have no under apron and be sewn together, but with a fringe to give the illusion - though that would be something a bit ordinary.
    Back in the 1950s if you saw a tall slender woman in a kilt, usually dark hair with a curl in it, smartly dressed with good shoes and handbag, tailored jacket, she was going to have an upper class Scottish accent. The kilt would be of the highest quality wool, with a cream silk lining. Her escort, if she had one, was going to be in flannels and tweed jacket.
    I presume to dictate to no man what he shall eat or drink or wherewithal he shall be clothed."
    -- The Hon. Stuart Ruaidri Erskine, The Kilt & How to Wear It, 1901.

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