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Information Centre

Kilt Accessories Explained

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Why do you say Jacobite shirts, not Jacobean (and other spelling queries)?

We know that some vendors refer to Jacobean shirts and outfits. But, we favour Scottish traditions. The Jacobean era describes a period of English history that coincides with the reign of James I (16031625). Jacobitism, on the other hand, is a Scottish political movement supporting the restoration of the British House of Stuart. So Jacobite (More...)

How and why do I wear the special kilt hose socks?

Kilt Hose are generally thicker than normal socks, so it is wise to allow an extra half size when choosing brogues or shoes to wear with them. Traditionally kilt hose would have been blue or green to tone with the kilt, or even chequered in a pattern to match the wearer’s tartan. But recently white (More...)

Do I need a cap or bonnet?

A Glengarry or a Balmoral cap is worn by many pipers and others, but whether you wish to wear one is largely a matter of personal taste. The Balmoral is a beret with woollen ball on top and a bow at the back. The Glengarry is more like a U.S. military cap, with two untied (More...)

How and why do I wear a kilt pin?

Ever since Queen Victoria reputedly used her hat pin to secure her kilted skirt modestly on a blustery day, a kilt pin has been worn with a traditional kilt. Its style is entirely a matter of your personal choice. It should be on the right hand side of the kilt, pinned through the front apron (More...)

How and why do I wear flashes with kilt hose?

Flashes are brightly colored strips of wool or cotton that hang down from the folds in the kilt hose. They are in effect a decorative garter, that help to hold the hose (socks) up. Bring the hose turnover down to cover half the double loop of the flash with only the bottom half showing, to (More...)

How and why do I wear the special ghillie brogue shoes?

Always shiny, ghillie brogues typically have highly decorated leather and can feature metal heels for a loud tap when dancing. Ghillie brogues have no tongue, and have long laces that cross back and forth as they are wrapped up the leg and tied halfway up the calf. To tie the laces, start by crossing the (More...)

What is the Sgian Dubh (or Skean Dhu, etc.)?

The sgian dubh is a sheath knife about 6″ long, traditionally worn in the right sock with the handle showing, though strictly speaking a left-hander could wear his on the left. These blades were once hidden in a pocket under the armpit, but it has become customary to position the sgian dubh more openly as (More...)

How do I choose a Belt and Buckle?

These are not strictly needed as the kilt should stay up without it. But a belt and buckle is a traditional part of the Argyll (or similar) styles of outfit. The belt itself can be plain or patterned (such as Celtic knotwork) in brown or black leather. The buckle may be chosen with a motif (More...)

What are the different kinds of sporrans?

Instead of pockets, as well as to protect the wearer’s modesty (especially with light weight tartans) the sporran is a form of purse and is actually useful. Worn from a chain or strap that extends through the loops at the rear of the kilt strap to fasten at the back, hang the sporran about three (More...)

Where can I find more in-depth information about kilts & tartans?

Scotweb’s MD, Dr Nicholas J Fiddes, has written a free illustrated e-book, as a gift to help kilt lovers everywhere. In simple non-technical language it covers every aspect of buying a kilt, choosing your tartan, and accessorising an outfit for every occasion. As a Governor of the Scottish Tartans Authority, and founder of the world’s first (More...)