Tips & Tricks

A Brief History Of The Scottish Kilt

Emerging from high in the Scottish highlands, the kilt is a knee-length skirt for men and boys.

The kilt was used by the Scots until the 16th century.

It may be a little “under the belt”, but do you know the modern Scottish kilt as we know a Scotsman didn’t design itp reading as we unveil the history of the Scottish Kilt.

Great Kilt.


The kilt was introduced in the sixteenth century, but since then it has been known as The Great Kilt, or “Field dies” in Scottish Gaelic, pronounced fe-le-more.

The Great Kilt covers the whole body with the upper half of the shoulder and descends to the right knee.

These gorgeous costumes keep groups warm in the rugged cold highlands, no matter what the weather.

Wool and dyes were collected from local ingredients, including plants, lichens, fruits, and roots.

Depending on where the groups lived, depending on the season of the year, and what natural resources were available, the same group would have the same color kilt with some variations.

A sweaty and brutal thing.


You would think that Kilt would be welcomed in Scotland because it was far north of the equator, but that was not always the case.

In 1544, Clan MacDonald and Clan Fraser went to the battle of Great Glen on the northern edge of Loch Loch.

This war is known as the “Battle of the Shirts”. And this, my friends, because they were so hot under their kilts they ripped off the bottom of their shirts.

Out of all the 900 fighters, only 13 survived, which gives us an eye-opening indication of how brutal the battles of this group were.

Klan Fraser won and captured the battle by capturing Castle Tioram. The ruins of this fort are still there.

It was closed to the public in 1998 due to its deplorable condition.

The recovery was supposed to take place in 1997, but it never materialized.

Introduction to small kilts.


Let’s go a little further towards the 18th century.

You may be surprised to find the idea behind the short-length kilt because we know it did not originate in Scotland today!

The idea came from Thomas Rollinson, an English quacker from Lancashire in the 1720s.

Rawlinson thought the Great Kilt was too much, and he decided to split the dress and create a distinct piece from the waist to the middle knee.

Lo and behold, the little Kilt or “Field Big” in Gaelic, pronounced “Fe-Le-Beg” was born.

Rollinson started wearing short kilts, and so did some of his colleagues.

Long ago, it was adopted by the Highlanders and even some lowlanders.

The kilt is almost lost in the history books.


In the 18th century, the dress code (1746) was enacted on August 1, 1746.

The law made it illegal to wear a “highland dress”, which included a kilt.

The government was banned from bringing Scottish groups under control,

The only exception is being worn in the military.

Since the Scots kissed them goodbye to Kilt, the law was not repealed until July 1, 1782. The proclamation was published in both English and Gaelic and read:


“Listen, man. It brings to the fore all the sons of Gall, the King and Parliament of Britain have forever repealed the law against the Highland dress; Which descended into the group from the beginning of the world until 1746. It will surely bring great joy to the heart of every hill country. You are no longer bound by the lowly masculine attire of the lowlands. It declares to every man, young and old, simple and decent, that they can then wear and wear trousers, little kilts, coats and striped hose and belted plaids without fear of the law. In spite of the kingdom or enemies.”

At that time, the kilt was not usually worn anymore.

Fortunately, several groups began promoting the “common use of ancient Highland clothing.”

Slowly but surely, Kilt has made a great comeback.

It is interesting to note that the kilt was permanently erased from history.

Modern design and construction of the kilt.


The Scottish Kilt is bold, unique, and incomparable to other costumes.

The garment is usually wrapped around the lower body, usually from the left buttocks, around the front and back again in the opposite direction, where it is tied.

The kilt moves from the buttocks to the middle of the knee.

And for all those curious, yes, the real Scotsman would wear nothing underneath.

Although in some cases, Scottish Tartan authorities suggest that not wearing anything below could be indecent.

Sporting activities are an example of a good time to put something under your kilt.

Even tennis player Andy Murray has admitted to wearing underwear underneath.

Interestingly, according to YouGov, about 55% of those who wear kilts wear underwear.

The fast-moving, modern-day kilt is made of twill-woven bad wool.

The way it is woven creates a distinctive pattern known as tartan.

Historically, certain patterns were associated with different groups and families.

Certain patterns were not systematically recorded and formalized until the Victorian era.

Kilt Accessorizing.


Kilt fashion doesn’t just start and end with a kilt.

The tradition of wearing wool socks, which are lowered to the knees.

In addition, we cannot forget “sporran”, gallic, for purses or bags.

The sporran hangs at the waist and is attached to a chain or leather strap.

Other items that can be used to access the kilt include a belt, jacket, kilt pin, brogue shoes, and a white girl shirt – a modern informal addition.

Kilt and its use today.


The kilt is still widely used in Scotland today and is commonly worn by people in cities like Edinburgh.

They are still the national costume of Scotland.

We now have contemporary kilts, known as “modern kilts” and “utility kilts”.

Contemporary kilts are becoming more frequent these days and are made from a variety of fabrics, including leather, denim, and cotton.

Celebrities such as Vin Diesel, Ashton Kutcher, and Donald Trump Jr. have been seen wearing contemporary kilts.

After being presented by prominent fashion designers like Molly Goddard and the Louis Vuitton Club of Virgil Ablo, Kilt has paved the way from the Highlands to the runway.

This has led to a trendy trend for ordinary everyday people like you and me outside of Scotland who are now wearing it.

Canada has a rich Scottish tradition and many schools have adopted the use of kilts for girls.

You might even be surprised to find a kilt worn as everyday wear for some people in Nova Scotia!

Kilt has a long, rich, and often bloody history that spans many centuries.

Today, we’ve just scratched the surface of something that holds a significant part of Scottish culture.

Only since its origins in the Scottish Highlands has Kilt’s popularity entered the Scottish lowlands. Now, adaptations are being worn around the world.

And think about it, in the 18th century, the kilt was removed from history for almost all time.

Long live Kilt!

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