All About Kilts

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Best Kilt Accessories

With kilts, you have a lot of accessories that are offered. Many are quite expensive, some are fairly cheap, but which are actually important? Its this question we'll seek to answer.

Clearly, I'm not putting myself out as an expert on putting together Highland Outfits for formal use at Scottish affairs. Rather, I'm writing from the perspective of someone who has regularly worn the garment for 3 years and has a perspective on what it takes to be able to wear the kilt in normal circumstances.

What you need:

1) Sporran: Unless you're wearing an Amerikilt, Utilikilt, or other pocketed kilt, you need something to carry your belongings in, thus the sporran.

In choosing a sporran, I wear a reasonable looking non-ostentatious number. Generally, a plain black or for special occasion I have a Scottish Flag Sporran using a small amount of goat hair. Maybe, its just a manner of taste, but those that have hair that hangs down to the edge of the kilt are somewhat distasteful, plus hard to manage in real life situations such as getting in and out of cars. In short, keep it simple. That's also one way to have a sporran inexpensively. There are many budget sporrans out there that with a little digging on Ebay, you can find for $25 (sometimes less).

2) Kilt Hose: Unless you have a bad wool reaction, Kilt hose can be one of the most comfortable and useful parts of wearing a kilt. Kilt Hose are good for circulation and keep you warm during the Winter. I'd reccomend kilt hose for winter wear even to those who don't wear kilts.

Its also a nice extra touch for those who are sensitive about the appearance of their legs. With kilt hose, you don't have to worry because all that will be showing is your knee area.

If you're workplace has a more business casual dress code, I think kilt hose go a long way towards making your outfit look professional and smart. There are a couple substitute for kilt hose you can try. You could try over the calf dress socks which can work very well and also improve circulation.

For gentlemen of larger girth, I'd reccomend avoiding Nylon Over the Calf socks and instead getting a Nylon-Lycra blend. The former will not budget and if your leg is too big, you've got at best ankle socks, as they can't comfortably go up your leg. The blend will stretch to fit comfortably.

3) Flashes: These are garters, general made of elastic that hold the socks up. Very important if you opt for kilt hose.

Semi-Important Optional Accessories

1) Kilt Pin

-This can give your kilt a more authentic look as well as help hold the front apron down during a breeze. One big tip is not to skimp on these. You should be able to get a decent kilt pin of decent weight for less than $20. Watch Ebay for these, I got one in my family's clan at a bargain.

2) Jacket

Very important if you're going to wear the kilt formally. From my experience, suit jackets or sport jackets simply don't look right with the kilt. They're far too long. Some options I've heard include trying to find a short tuxedo jacket in your size and use that. What I've done is kept an eye on E-bay and picked up an inexpensive jacket from a respect seller. That's generally going to be your best option.

3) Kilt Belt

This one is actually a pretty nice feature if you have an actual 8 yard kilt. It effectively holds up the kilt where a normal belt won't. It can help on a kilt that weighs 7 pounds like my 8-yarder does. Its probably not necessary if you've got a Bear Kilt or some lighter casual. Then again it may be if you buy an off the rack kilt that's not an exact fit. Generally these are avaialble on Ebay for less than $40.

Nice if You Can Get It

1) Jacobite Shirt

Looks real nice, and generally they aren't that expensive (around $40 and up) but aren't really necessary except at the most formal of Scottish occassion. Still, they look nice.

Only for Scottish Formal Wear:

1) Ghillie Brogues:

Fancy Scottish dress shoes. Most people don't look at your feet, so outside of ethnic occassions, you don't really need them.

2) Sgian Dubh

A dagger you stick in the Kilt Hose. Again, not something you're going to need outside of Scottish formal wear.

The big thing to remember when accessorizing a kilt is that 90 +% of the population has no clue on what its "supposed to look like." So you can follow the rule of just wearing something that fits the occassion and the way everyone else is dressing. For example, if your office is generally business casual, put on a nice collared shirt that matches your kilt and you'll be business casual.

Finally, get what you want. If you like any of the optional stuff or stuff that I don't think is important except for Scottish wear, still go ahead and buy it. Its your kilt, its your outfit, buy the things you'd like. Just don't let a salesman talk into buying accessories you don't need and don't really want.

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