Any attire can be enhanced by the use of accessories. Kilts are no exception to this fact. Accessories are an essential part of the traditional Highland dress, and it will vary according to the time of day and whether the event or occasion you are going to attend to is formal or informal.
The list of kilt accessories is really long. Add to this, that within every accessory category, there are so many varieties. But there is no need for you to despair. You can do with only a select few, and they don’t have to cost a fortune.
For brevity’s sake, we will not go into full detail discussing each and every available kilt accessory there is. Here we will discuss the basics, both for traditional and modern kilts, that will ensure you rock with your choice outfit.
But if you want to go casual, you are free to go that route. You can go with the kilt and nothing but the kilt. That’s how casual you can get. However, for more special events, we do suggest adding a few accessories to make your look pop.
If you want to go traditional, there are only four basic accessories which we feel you need to consider co come across as more “authentic.” They are:
1. A Sporran – A traditional kilt, has no pockets. The only “authorised” pocket for a traditional kilt is a sporran, which is a purse which you can hang on the front of the kilt. Most sporrans on the market come with tassels, but there are also plain sporrans that removes the noise when tassels hit the sporran as you walk.
With few exceptions, sporrans come with a metal sporran chain. These can be a bit hard to your kilt. That is one reason frequent kilt wearers opt for a leather strap.
NOTE: Sporrans with tassels are cheaper than those without. People who don’t like the noise, usually buys those with tassels and simply cut them off.
2. A Kilt Belt – Technically, there is no reason why you should wear a belt with a kilt. A kilt will stay up by means of buckles and straps alone. However, a kilt looks at its best together with a wide belt.
If you wear an untucked sweater (as it should be), it is necessary to wear a belt. If you choose a waistcoat, you can dispense with the belt.
NOTE: Wearing a kilt belt and buckle might be considered already being overdressed for casual wear. But of course, nothing can stop you from wearing one and be a maverick. If it makes you feel good wearing one, overdressed or not, go for it.
3. Kilt Socks – Also called a kilt hose, are common wear with a traditional kilt. They are basically “over knees” and folded down about an inch below the knees, contrary to knee-high socks that end just below your knees.
4. Garters (with flashes) – These are used to simply keep your kilt hose/socks up. Garters always come with flashes. If you find that flashes might look overdressed for casual wear, simply remove them or better yet, don’t mount them.
Garters themselves are invisible when you fold your socks down just below the knees. And if you think the occasion calls for it, you can simply put the flashes on, easy-peasy.
5. Kilt Pin – A kilt pin is for pure decoration and usually fastened to the outer apron, three inches from the bottom of your kilt, and about two inches from the apron fringes. Some say a kilt pin keeps the kilt down in windy weather, due to its weight.
NOTE: Know that kilt pins are not welcome on board a flight, for obvious reasons.
The Utility Kilt
Modern kilts, commonly called Utility Kilts, are basically the same as traditional kilts, but use more comfortable fabrics such as, cotton and denim. They are comfy and easy to wear, and often not needing a belt and sporran. The more relaxed feature of utility kilts, are the primary reason for their popularity in everyday use.
The sporran, kilt hose, flashes may be worn as accustomed to, though they don’t really require them. The absence of these accessories, works just fine, just bear in mind that without them, it will make you look very casual. Be mindful that such informality may not be suitable for certain situations or events.
If you go for a casual look, accessories are an option. You can adapt any accessory you want to wear without question, thanks to the evolution in the fashion industry. For a more formal look, you can simply adapt accessories that are used for traditional kilts.
There is not much need for accessories if you are simply wearing your kit casually. Perhaps the only reason for wearing accessories with utility kilts is during semiformal or formal events.
For formal events, don wing collar shirts with bow ties. For full formal events, a Victorian collar shirt can be your best bet. Pair it with a cravat, or a ruched tie, and you’re more than good to go.
Waistcoats, vests, and speciality kilt jackets go fashionably well with shirts, just make sure to consider the colour that won’t clash with your kilt colour. If decide on wearing a waistcoat, the must-have accessory to wear with your kilt are kilt belts and buckles.
To complete your ensemble, a well-crafted kilt brooch is the way to go. This accessory also helps to fasten your kilt’s flaps more securely. They not only add personality to your already unique look, but they are also efficient.
Just a word of caution, as with any conventional apparel you might wear, never over accessorise. However, should you want to go for a more laid-back casual feel, that is not a reason to skimp on class.
Are You Ready to Flex Your Style?
We at Ozkilts® are here to be a part of your kilt journey in choosing the kilt that best represents your needs and your personality. We have a wide range of selections you can choose from that can match your personal preference and style.
Perhaps you’d want to be laid-back today, and go full posh the next, it doesn’t matter. We have a kilt for you at Ozkilts®. Our kilts are passionately handcrafted by our professional workwear designers, ensuring that you put on something that you, and your mates, can be proud of.