Kilts For Men | Kilt And More

The Kilt first appeared as the great kilt, the breacan or belted plaid, during the 16th century, and is Gaelic in origin. The filleadh mòr or great kilt was a full-length garment whose upper half could be worn as a cloak draped over the shoulder, or brought up over the head. A version of the filleadh beag (philibeg), or small kilt (also known as the walking kilt), similar to the Modern Kilts was invented by an English Quaker from Lancashire named Thomas Rawlinson some time in the 1720s. He felt that the belted plaid was "cumbrous and unwieldy", and his solution was to separate the skirt and convert it into a distinct garment with pleats already sewn, which he himself began wearing.[2] His associate, Iain MacDonnell, chief of the MacDonnells of Inverness, also began wearing it, and when the clansmen the two employed in logging, charcoal manufacture and iron smelting saw their chief wearing the new apparel, they soon followed suit. From there its use spread "in the shortest space" amongst the Highlanders, and even amongst some of the Northern Lowlanders.[3] It has been suggested there is evidence that the philibeg with unsewn pleats was worn from the 1690s.

Variants

The name "kilt" is applied to a range of garments:


The traditional garment, either in its historical form, or in the modern adaptation now usual in Scotland (see History of the kilt), usually in a tartan pattern

The kilts worn by Irish pipe bands are based on the traditional Scottish garment but now in a single (solid) colour

Variants of the Scottish kilt adopted in other Celtic nations, such as the Welsh cilt and the Cornish cilt

According to the Dictionary of the Scots Language and Oxford English Dictionary, the noun derives from a verb to kilt, originally meaning "to gird up; to tuck up (the skirts) round the body", which is apparently of Scandinavian origin.

Scotland


The modern Scottish kilt worn with formal evening wear (2009) and a highly decorative sporran (purse) hanging from the waist

Organisations that sanction and grade the competitions in Highland dancing and piping all have rules governing acceptable attire for the competitors. These rules specify that kilts are to be worn (except that in the national dances, the female competitors will be wearing the Aboyne dress)

Design and construction

The Scottish kilt displays uniqueness of design, construction, and convention which differentiate it from other garments fitting the general description. It is a tailored garment that is wrapped around the wearer's body at the natural waist (between the lowest rib and the hip) starting from one side (usually the wearer's left), around the front and back and across the front again to the opposite side. The fastenings consist of straps and buckles on both ends, the strap on the inside end usually passing through a slit in the waistband to be buckled on the outside; alternatively it may remain inside the waistband and be buckled inside.


A kilt covers the body from the waist down to the centre of the knees. The overlapping layers in front are called "aprons" and are flat; the single layer of fabric around the sides and back is pleated. A kilt pin is fastened to the front apron on the free corner (but is not passed through the layer below, as its function is to add weight). Underwear may or may not be worn, as the wearer prefers, although tradition has it that a "true Scotsman" should wear nothing under his kilt.[8][9] The Scottish Tartans Authority, however, warns that in some circumstances the practice could be "childish and unhygienic" and flying "in the face of decency".


Today most Scottish people regard kilts as formal dress or national dress. Although there are still a few people who wear a kilt daily, it is generally owned or hired to be worn at weddings or other formal occasions and may be worn by anyone regardless of nationality or descent. For semi-formal wear, kilts are usually worn with a Prince Charlie or an Argyll jacket. (Commercial suppliers have now produced equivalent jackets with Irish and Welsh themed styling.) Formal is white tie and requires a Regulation Doublet or higher.


Kilts are also used for parades by groups such as the Boys' Brigade and Scouts, and in many places kilts are seen in force at Highland games and pipe band championships as well as being worn at Scottish country dances and ceilidhs.


Certain regiments/units of the British Army and armies of other Commonwealth nations (including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa) with a Scottish lineage or heritage still continue to wear kilts as part of dress or duty uniform, though they have not been used in combat since 1940[12] Uniforms in which kilts are worn include Ceremonial Dress, Service Dress, and Barracks Dress. Kilts are considered appropriate for ceremonial parades, office duties, less formal parades, walking out, mess dinners, and classroom instruction or band practice. Ceremonial kilts have also been developed for the US Marine Corps, and the pipe and drum bands of the US Military Academy, US Naval Academy and Norwich University – The Military College of Vermont.


It is not uncommon to see kilts worn at Irish pubs in the United States, and it is becoming somewhat less rare to see them

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