Can You Wear Kilts in America?
Kilts are commonly worn in Scotland and have a strong connection to Scottish history and culture. As America has a strong connection with Scotland due to a large amount of Scottish immigration to the US in the 1700s, it’s no surprise kilts have resurfaced in American culture. From Scottish Americans repping their heritage, to the increase of kilts seen in the modern fashion industry, here’s all you need to know about kilts in America.
The History of Kilts in America
Historically, established American families like the Roosevelt’s did dress their children in full kilt complete with sporrans and fly plaids. This was most common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries but did not entirely disappear after World War I.
While only wealthy American boys in the 19th and early 20th centuries wore proper Scottish kilts with Highland regalia, many more boys wore the kilt suits that were popular in the late 19th Century, not only for wealthy boys but for the middle-class families of modest means.
In more recent years, the kilt has popped up several times in fashion in various forms. We've seen it in more than a few runway collections, in luxury fashion campaigns, and even on the steps of the Met Gala. The kilt is a commonly referenced item of clothing within men’s fashion campagins, meaning a kilt can be worn today with historical reference to culture, or purely because of its comfortable and popular design.
There are several Scottish festivals held in America that encourage the use of kilt wearing. If you’re looking to attend an event where several others will be wearing kilts, we recommend you read our blog on Scottish festivals here.
Advice for First-Time Wearers
Dressing in a kilt can feel overwhelming, but this is the most basic approach to wearing one.
The kilt is unbuckled and wrapped around the torso with pleats at the back. The buckle in your right hand goes through the hole in the left-hand side of the kilt. Then the buckle(s) on your left hand fasten onto the right side of the kilt. The kilt should be fairly snug but you should be able to put 2 fingers comfortably into the waistband. The kilt should sit above the navel, quite high on the waist.
You can then add in other traditional elements of highland dress, such as a shirt and tie, jacket and vest, kilt belt, sporran and ghillie brogues. To read our full essential guide on how to wear a kilt, click here.
Our Line of Kilts
Whether you’re looking for something casual to incorporate into your everyday wardrobe, or looking for a fully traditional and established kilt, we have you covered at The Scotland Kilt Company. For formal weddings or traditional events, we recommend taking a look at our packaged kilt outfits that put together the intricate details of a traditional kilt outfit for you.
A great example of this is the Prince Charlie outfit.
This package is suitable for formal events like weddings, proms, ceilidhs, Burns night, formal dinners as well as any other formal dress occasion or event. The Prince Charlie is the traditional full dress formal outfit, a classic addition to any wardrobe and gives you many more options than hiring an outfit each time. Once you have this outfit, all you need for a different look or less formal event is just a simple change of the shirt or jacket and you'll have a completely different outfit.
Designed to make you look great for the best possible price, our in-stock Prince Charlie kilt outfit gives you everything you'll need for a full dress kilt outfit; from a full 8-yard kilt to leather ghillie brogues.
This package features all of the formal accessories you would expect with a Prince Charlie outfit and comes with one of our 8-yard casual kilts, available in over a dozen tartans. It comes with everything you would need for a complete package that's ideal for all formal occasions and is long-lasting. Click here to view on our online store.
If you’re looking for just the traditional kilt itself, we offer the 100% Wool, 16oz, 8-yard kilt.
Our heavyweight 16oz worsted wool eight-yard kilt is the very pinnacle of the kilt maker’s art. Only the finest heavy-weight worsted wool tartan fabric is hand cut, then carefully crafted and stitched to create a masterpiece.
The finished kilt is impressive and will look and feel fantastic. Each kilt is made to measure by a kilt maker in Scotland of extremely high repute.
The kilt is made with a full 8 yards of material. The front edge is single fringed; there are two belt loops at the back. Each kilt has 3 buckles and straps for size adjustment. This kilt is pleated to the sett but can be pleated to stripe by request. Click here to view on our online store.
We also offer casual kilts for less formal occasions. More lightweight and machine wash friendly, these kilts are perfect for every day. An example of this is Men's Kilt, 8 Yard Polyviscose in MacKenzie Modern
The Kilt has two leather straps that give the kilt a little bit of give or take on the sizes for example if you are a size 28" you could tighten the up a size 30" to fit.
The Kilt has a 100% Cotton lining for a soft feel when being worn.
This is an excellent first purchase kilt, ideal for Football, Rugby Games, Scouts, or simply fashion wear.
Material length is a full 8 yards, 16oz heavyweight poly viscose. Click here to view on our online store.
Scotland’s strong roots in America have resulted in the prevalence of kilts In American history. We have seen this prevalence evolve into modern fashion and culture in American society today, giving kilts massive relevancy in American culture.
Kilts today are used as an expression of American-Scottish identity, fashion expression and in use for traditional Scottish events.
If you’re interested in exploring kilts in more depth, check out our other informative articles on the history of kilts and how to wear them, or take a look at our online collection of Scottish kilts!