As far as national symbols go, nothing has been so storied as that of the Scottish kilt. As everyone may already know, the kilt is the national garment of Scotland.
The kilt has been traditionally worn for various reasons. It has been worn to show respect, also worn as a fashion statement, and most importantly as a symbol of government protest. Today, it has also come to signify unmistakable masculinity.
From being the basic garb of Highlanders, it has been worn as a uniform, as a formal or semiformal, or a casual, and everyday wear.
Why are Kilts Popular?
Ironically, a ban enforced by King George II in 1746 was the main cause why kilts became popular. The law, called the ‘Dress Act,’ made the wearing of kilts or any other Highland dress, illegal.
The story goes that, King George hoped to use the ban to flush out supporters of the Jacobite armies. They plotted to depose King George, restore the House of Stuart/Stewart, and install Prince James Francis Edward Stuart as king to the British Throne.
The ban was unsuccessful, and instead had the opposite effect. Even those who doesn’t support the Jacobites began wearing kilts as a form of protest for the oppression forced upon them and their culture by England.
This protest led to the lifting of the ban in 1782, or after 36 years of pointless and useless legal oppression, during the time the ban was in full effect. Scotland then had a resurgence of national pride. The tartan restored their spirit and culture, and that pride continues to this day.
Adding to its popularity was ignited by Queen Victoria, who helped add to the romantic nature of the kilt greatly. The Queen and Prince Albert fell in love with Balmoral Castle, it is the royal residence in Scotland near Deeside.
Both of them loved everything Scottish, including tartans, and had deep admiration for noble Highland chiefs. They had their own Balmoral tartan and decked room after room of the castle with tartan accents. The tradition continues up to today with Queen Elizabeth II.
The Appeal of Wearing Kilts as a Fashion Statement
First and foremost, wearing a kilt is a masculine practice conceived as a form of brotherhood. Being seen wearing one immediately draws a contrasting set of reactions and behaviours from people.
In Australia, the kilt is rarely afforded any deep consideration. This could be attributed to the British migrant heritage of many Australians. This may mean that Scottishness is not that exotic enough and be regarded as ethnic.
However, the kilt is a fascinating piece of garment of opposites and contradictions. The sight of it is common enough that people immediately recognise what it is, and yet, it is exotic enough to make a statement that ordinary trousers would not.
Kilts are worn deliberately and intentionally, and those who wear them for years are used to getting attention for their attire. Australians tend to choose lighter-weight kilts that are more suitable for the climate.
The kilt is a classic, and it is a timeless piece to wear. The only times it could be ‘out of style’ is when it is worn improperly.
A kilt is a perfectly acceptable wear for most occasions. The great thing about a kilt is that it is always appropriate – one only has to simply accessorise their kilt appropriate to the occasion.
But You’re Not Scottish
You don’t have to be Scottish, or even of Scottish descent, to wear a kilt. The only requirement is to wear it with respect, and not some form of a joke. It is comfortable, flexible, and a stylish addition to your wardrobe. And, if properly-worn, the kilt can be considered a secret weapon in any man’s wardrobe.
The kilt can be worn as a formal attire with a proper jacket, with or without accessories. It can be dressed down as a semiformal wear, business, casual, and down to an ordinary t-shirt and sneakers – and we are talking of just one kilt here. There is probably no item of men’s wear with such versatility as one kilt.
What Do You Wear With a Modern Kilt
A kilt can be a killer way to draw attention not just to your outfit, but to yourself as well as stand out in an otherwise drab crowd, depending on the effects you wish to convey and the look you want to project. Any bold and confident man can definitely make the kilt look classy.
Ozkilts 100% cotton kilts are similar to a woolen one, primarily due to the comfort it can provide. Being the most laid-back type of kilt, it goes well with colourful t-shirts and vivid socks.
Wearing a button-down shirt tucked into your cotton kilt and rolling up the sleeves is a great way to dress up your kilt. You can also pair your kilt with a plain t-shirt with sneakers for a casual contemporary vibe.
For formal events, you can up your elegance meter by pairing it with a blazer or a suit jacket with a dress shirt underneath. As for accessories in formal events, you may add on a bow tie, a tie, or wear suspenders.
Traditionally, white knee-high socks are paired with kilts. Today, you can switch it up with different sock patterns, colour combinations, and even its length.
As for shoes, a pair of chic brogues or Oxfords will fit the bill for formal events. A combination of a knee-length kilt, an ankle length shoes will make your legs appear longer.
Confidence is Always in Style
Wearing a kilt sends a clear message that a man is comfortable being who he truly is and takes life as he chooses. A kilt-wearing man walking into a bar may cause some to do a double take, but very few will have anything negative to say about it.
To even ask if a kilt is in style is akin to asking a biker if wearing leather is in style. Similarly, the donning of a kilt is an attire for people who make their own style and know what they want.
We are more than certain that not only wearing a kilt is fashionable, but an enviable choice in many places, most especially if one wears it with full confidence. You can’t go wrong in celebrating a culture that wags its bum at enemies to intimidate them.
If you are in need of a kilt for any formal, sporting event, or for any general everyday wear, get in touch with us at Ozkilts® today. We have handmade quality utility kilts that are made of 100% cotton, and we’ll shoulder the shipping cost for free with your purchase.