3 Prime Occasions to Show off Your New Kilt

Posted by Amitava Sarkar on May 10th, 2016

As one of the most iconic Scottish garments, the kilt has centuries of history behind it. Ever since the 16th century, many different varieties of kilt have been worn by Scottish men and boys. Although it was introduced as a full-length garment, the kilt was largely reworked in the early 18th century by Thomas Rawlinson, an English Quaker with an eye for practical fashion. Reasoning that the full-length variant stifled movement, Rawlinson created the kilt as many of us know it today.

In addition to remaining popular in its native land, the kilt is a common sight in many countries that celebrate Scottish heritage. However, people who are new to kilts may have a difficult time determining when to wear them. While you can technically don a kilt whenever the mood strikes, there are some events at which they’re considered customary. If you’re not quite sure when to pull your finest kilt out of the closet, read up on the following occasions.

Highland Games

Highland games take place every spring and summer in Scotland, Switzerland, New Zealand and other countries with sizable Scottish populations. True to their name, these games are, in many respects, a celebration of the Celtic history of the Scottish Highlands. Although this is an athletic event, all of the men in attendance – including the participants – wear formal kilts. The actual games put each participant’s mettle to the ultimate test. Events like the Scottish hammer throw, caber toss and stone put require an advanced degree of resilience and should only be undertaken by people who possess an abundance of physical strength. Bagpipe playing is another staple of Highland games. During the opening and closing ceremonies, large groups of bagpipe players entertain onlookers with an array of traditional Scottish tunes. Certain Highland games even have competitions for bagpipe bands.

Traditional Scottish Weddings

At traditional Scottish weddings, it’s considered customary for the groom, groomsmen and any other men in attendance to wear formal kilts. Even if you’re not of Scottish ancestry, if you’ve been invited to one of these weddings, chances are you’ll be expected to procure a kilt. Fortunately, you should have no problem finding a sleek, affordable formal kilt outfit at Claymore Imports.

Tartan Day Celebrations

Tartan Day, which is recognized as a national holiday in the U.S., is a Scottish holiday celebrated in Scotland, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia that falls on April 6th. This day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, which took place in 1320. Men who take part in the various Tartan Day parades and celebrations are expected to wear kilts. In the U.S., the largest Tartan Day events take place in New York City, though smaller celebrations are held across the country. For example, a weekend-long Tartan Day celebration is held in St. Charles, Missouri on the banks of the Missouri River each year. Being a three-day celebration, this event is held on the weekend closest to April 6th as opposed to the day itself. The festivities vary from city to city, but most Tartan Day events involve traditional Scottish cuisine, Highland dancing and performances by bagpipe bands.

Having been around for over 300 years, the kilt shows no signs of going out of style any time soon. However, since kilts are widely considered formalwear, most people don’t regard them as everyday attire. Anyone on the hunt for a kilt-appropriate formal event is urged to attend a traditional Scottish wedding, take part in the nearest Highland games or start celebrating Tartan Day.

About the Author: Kirk Alish is a Scottish-American high school physics teacher who’s very proud of his rich heritage. Whenever Craig’s in the market for traditional Scottish formalwear, he pays a visit to Claymore Imports. Boasting a stylish selection of kilts, jackets, pipe band accessories and clan items, Claymore Imports is a convenient one-stop shopping destination for anyone with an interest in Scottish culture.

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Amitava Sarkar

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Amitava Sarkar
Joined: May 28th, 2015
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