Scottish kilt – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Dancewear & Costumes Glossary

What is a Scottish kilt?

The Scottish kilt is a traditional garment that originated in Scotland and is typically worn by men. It is a knee-length skirt-like garment that is pleated at the back and usually made of wool. The kilt is a symbol of Scottish culture and heritage and is often worn for formal occasions such as weddings, ceremonies, and Highland games.

History of the Scottish kilt

The Scottish kilt has a long and rich history that dates back to the 16th century. Originally, the kilt was a practical garment worn by Scottish Highlanders as a form of protection against the harsh weather conditions in the region. The kilt was made of wool and was easy to move around in, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hunting and farming.

Over time, the kilt became a symbol of Scottish identity and pride. It was worn by soldiers in the Scottish regiments of the British Army and became a symbol of loyalty and bravery. Today, the Scottish kilt is still a popular garment worn by men and women of Scottish descent to celebrate their heritage and culture.

How is a Scottish kilt worn?

The Scottish kilt is worn in a specific manner that has been passed down through generations. The kilt is typically worn high on the waist, just below the ribcage, and is secured with a belt or buckle. The pleats of the kilt are always worn at the back, with the front of the garment falling straight down.

Traditionally, the kilt is worn with a sporran, a small pouch that hangs in front of the kilt and is used to carry small items such as keys or money. The kilt is also worn with knee-high socks known as hose, and a jacket or vest called a waistcoat. A sgian-dubh, a small dagger, is often tucked into the top of the kilt hose as a traditional accessory.

Different types of Scottish kilts

There are several different types of Scottish kilts, each with its own unique style and design. The most common type of kilt is the tartan kilt, which is made of wool and features a specific tartan pattern that represents a particular Scottish clan or family. Tartan kilts are often worn for formal occasions and events.

Another type of Scottish kilt is the utility kilt, which is made of a more durable fabric such as cotton or denim. Utility kilts are often worn for outdoor activities such as hiking or camping and are designed for comfort and practicality.

In addition to tartan and utility kilts, there are also modern kilts that feature contemporary designs and materials. These kilts may be made of leather, PVC, or even denim, and are often worn by individuals who want to put a modern twist on the traditional Scottish garment.

Significance of the Scottish kilt in dancewear and costumes

The Scottish kilt is not only a traditional garment but also plays a significant role in dancewear and costumes. In Scottish Highland dancing, dancers wear kilts as part of their traditional attire. The kilt adds a sense of authenticity and cultural significance to the dance, which often tells stories of Scottish history and folklore.

In addition to dancewear, the Scottish kilt is also commonly used in theatrical productions and costume events. The kilt is a versatile garment that can be styled in different ways to suit a variety of characters and themes. Whether it’s for a historical reenactment or a Halloween costume, the Scottish kilt adds a touch of Scottish flair to any outfit.

Popular accessories for the Scottish kilt

There are several accessories that are commonly worn with the Scottish kilt to complete the traditional look. One of the most popular accessories is the sporran, a small pouch that hangs in front of the kilt and is used to carry small items. Sporrans come in a variety of styles and materials, from simple leather pouches to ornate fur designs.

Another popular accessory for the Scottish kilt is the sgian-dubh, a small dagger that is tucked into the top of the kilt hose. The sgian-dubh is a traditional Scottish weapon that is often worn as a decorative piece with the kilt. It adds a touch of authenticity and tradition to the overall look.

Other accessories for the Scottish kilt include knee-high socks known as hose, a belt or buckle to secure the kilt, and a jacket or vest called a waistcoat. These accessories help to complete the traditional Scottish ensemble and add a sense of heritage and culture to the overall look.