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So You're Going to Wear the Kilt ...

Helpful Tips


A note from the Kiltmaster of the Red Thistle Dancers:


Highland attire is one of the most striking forms of masculine dress. Wearers of the kilt often invest a lot of money in their kilt and kit, but unfortunately when they are new to highland attire they often make errors in how they wear them. The Devil (or perhaps “De'il” in this case) is in the details. 

As someone who has worn the kilt for many years I would like to point out a few common mistakes, that once corrected, will ensure you look good in your highland finery.  Scroll down for tips. 

Kiltmaster of the Red Thistle Dancers

Photo Gallery of Kilt "Do's and Don'ts"

- for entertainment purposes only -

Most Common Mistakes:

(1)  Wearing the kilt too low. While modern casual fashion has men wearing their trousers low on their hips, kilts are made to be worn with the top of the waistband at (or even above) one’s belly button.  The edge of the kilt should fall no lower than mid-knee.  This is perhaps the most common kilt mistake.   

(2) Belt and waist plate worn too low. Unique waist plates and embossed belts add much to the over all look of one’s kilt, but no matter how nice they are, the effect of a sagging belt negates them.  The belt should be worn with the top of the belt very close to the top of the kilt’s waistband. 

(3)  Not enough space (or too much) between one’s sporran and belt. There should be about 3 1/2 to 4 inches between the bottom of the belt’s waist plate or buckle and the top of the sporran. 

(4) Kilt, sporran and waist plate not centered.  This is especially important.   With the lines created by the tartan, it is crucial that one’s kilt be worn squarely with the waist plate and sporran centered.  This will likely mean making a few small adjustments as you go through your time in the kilt, but it is worth it.  

(5) Flashes worn too long and uneven.  Your flashes should show the same length and both be in the same relative position on each leg.  If one imagines the circumference of one’s calf as a clock one should have your flashes positioned at the 9:00 and 3:00 position (or the 10:00 and 2:00 position).  In general having about a half to a third  of your flashes showing from under the fold of your hose looks best.