How To Wear Kilt Attire

How to wear kilt attire

Ever wonder how to wear a kilt, still deciding on whether to get a kilt?

One point I want to make right now is THE PLEATS GO IN THE BACK!

Kilts have been around for centuries, the modern kilt is mostly associated with Scotland. The kilt along with bagpipes had been the symbol of the wild, warlike Highland clans. They were considered by the Lowlanders and English alike as late as the mid-18th century as the clothing of barbarians. This is not so today.

The kilts worn in Scotland are generally called Highland kilts. These kilts are most commonly recognized around the world.

Highland kilts are worn in two ways. One way they are worn informally with a tweed jacket or even a sweater with out a lot of regalia. And the other way is they are worn as a formal dress outfit. A formal outfit would include some of the following Highland Regalia: Glengarry, a black jacket, a tie, a tartan kilt, kilt hose, a dirk, sgian dubh and a sporran.

Now how is all of this put together as you wear one.

Ghillie ShirtLets start off with the Ghille Shirt (kilt shirt) put this linen shirt on first, then take your kilt and make sure the pleats are in the back, the flat aprons go in front, adjust your buckles to a snug but comfortable fit around your waist (a traditional kilt is designed to fit your natural waist not your “jeans waist”). The length of the kilt should come to approximately 1 inch off the floor if you where to kneel down.

Now you have ˝ the outfit on, the kilt and the shirt, now we can move to the Kilt hose and Shoes.

The kilt hose will come up to just below the knee, Fold your hose over and make both hose (L and R) of the same length, if you are wearing hose flashes (bits of ribbon to accent the hose) put them on Kilt Hose And Ghillie Broguebefore you make your hose fold or roll over.

Ghillie Brogues (mostly worn with more formal outfits) are a shoe with no tongue and have long laces that are tied like this: start by crossing the two laces as usual and pull tight. Twist the laces three times. Then pull tight again to produce a vertical thong about one inch long. Pass the laces round behind your ankle, and tie at the front with the remaining lace and toggle left to dangle.

Thistle sporranNow you have your sporran, your kilt has 2 belt loops on the back sides of the hip area, pass your sporran chain or belt thru these.


Some say not to put your wide belt through the loops on your kilt, others say to do so, my preference is not to, the kilt has a rise built into it, and the belt is placed around your natural waist.

sgian dubh and kilt pin

Now depending on if you have other Highland regalia, you can place your sgian dubh in the top of your hose (left or right depending on left or right handed).

If you have a kilt pin place it on the lower right portion of the top apron only (passing the kilt pin to both upper and lower aprons will result in a torn kilt), this is typically placed about 1 - 1 1/2” in form the side and about 3 - 4 inches from the bottom of the apron.

And there you are, you are now sporting one of the best looking outfits a man could ask for.


Full Kilt Attire

Related Guides

What Is A Kilt?
What Kilt Is Best?
Kilts vs Pants
What Is Under The Kilt?
Highland Outfit Reviews