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What to wear with a kilt

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    What to wear with a kilt



    I've been reading the articles on Dappered for several weeks now and I've been enjoying them quite a lot. I've even picked up a few ideas about things I may go out and look for, but there's one thing about my usual choice of clothing that defies a lot of the advice I've read.


    I wear kilts.


    Now, I'm perfectly willing to grant that kilts are a very unusual fashion choice, and it may be completely impossible, in your opinions, to look "dapper" while wearing one. Be that as it may, I wear kilts, I like wearing kilts, and I am going to go on wearing kilts.


    The advice I'm looking for here is not necessarily how to "dress up" a kilt. I can do that fairly well, I think. In fact that's one of the easiest things to do, because they have become fairly formal sorts of garments, at least when you're talking about the traditional, Scottish kilt (eight years of wool tartan). What I'm really looking more for are ideas about a casual, but nice, kilt look. What kind of shirts do you wear? What kind of footwear? Socks?


    I should note that most of the kilts I wear, on a daily basis, are Utilikilts. I own six of them, wear them nearly every day for 75% of the year, and am even a member of their evangelist program. I'm pretty serious about my Utilikilts, but that doesn't mean that I always want to dress in the "accepted" style (e.g. funky tops, combat boots, etc.).


    So what kind of advice can you folks provide?


    #2


    interesting! i guess i'd want to know two things:


    1. what kind of climate do you live in?

    2. what kind of patterns do your kilts feature?


    having never worn a kilt, i can't speak from experience. but it seems to me that crew- and v-neck sweaters would do well, provided that they make a nice line with the kilt. i'd also try a button down oxford; something makes me feel like a light blue or light gray ocbd with the sleeves rolled up casually would look good with a plaid kilt.

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      #3


      1.) I live in Seattle, so the climate, while it can vary a pretty fair bit, rarely gets super hot or super cold. To that, though, I would add that I tend to be a pretty warm person, which means that in temperatures above 70 I rarely want to do much in the way of layering, and I'm perfectly comfortable in kilts down into the 40s.


      2.) All of my Utilikilts are solid colors. In no particular order, I have khaki, olive green, postal blue (about the same blue as USPS uniforms), chocolate brown, and sage green. I have one other which is an undyed white, but it's old and beat up and really only gets worn for painting and other sorts of things. My traditional kilts is in an Irish tartan named Clan Cian. I rarely wear this one because eight yards if medium-weight wool, wrapped around your hips, is hot!


      Out of curiosity, when you're suggesting the sweaters are you imagining them tucked into the kilt or untucked? The traditional Scottish form would say the former, but I'm not sure that's the way I would want to go.

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        #4


        I mean no offense, but I thought this was a bit of humor at first. I honestly don't think I have ever seen anyone in a kilt besides the Scottish ceremonial kind or the occasional rock concert clips. I will think on it, but my first suggestion is broaden the wardrobe beyond kilts to bottoms that may hold much greater style potential.


        Good luck and if I do find out some good info, I will return with a post.

        Comment


          #5


          I would say if you're not scottish don't wear kilts, but if that's your thing, live and let live I guess.


          I would imagine that any button down shirt should look fine, and lets be honest, people aren't going to notice your shirt when you're wearing a kilt.


          strictly from a curiosity standpoint, what do you do for work? can/do you wear kilts to work?


          you were probably a theatre major, huh?

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            #6


            Not underwear!

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              #7


              You should check out Sean Connery, he's a beast when wearing kilts. http://www.google.com/search?q=sean+...w=1024&bih=690

              "The key to Success is the Quality of Execution"
              I>0<I

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                #8


                in general, a collared shirt. Polo shirts go fine with kilts in a more-casual setting. Of course, the traditional casual accompaniment is a Jacobite shirt; but, I wouldn't risk that unless you are going to a Celtic festival.

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                  #9
                  <blockquote>

                  strictly from a curiosity standpoint, what do you do for work? can/do you wear kilts to work?</blockquote>


                  I work for Apple, managing a 30+ person team of trainers, and yes, I can and do wear my kilts to work.
                  <blockquote>

                  You should check out Sean Connery, he's a beast when wearing kilts.</blockquote>


                  When you see pictures of Sean Connery wearing his kilts you always see him wearing them in the formal dress setting, which is, as I noted earlier, pretty easy to manage. There are very specific things that go along with a kilt in a formal setting. What I'm looking for is more casual advice, especially in the way of footwear. I can, of course, where the traditional hose and brogues, but those are pretty formal looking.
                  <blockquote>

                  in general, a collared shirt. Polo shirts go fine with kilts in a more-casual setting. Of course, the traditional casual accompaniment is a Jacobite shirt; but, I wouldn't risk that unless you are going to a Celtic festival.</blockquote>


                  Thanks for the suggestion, Bookman. I have a tendency to wear collared shirts anyhow, generally staying away from the unaccompanied tshirt. And I would not wear anything like a Jacobite shirt, except under very specific circumstances.

                  Comment


                    #10


                    May I ask what the appeal is or why you got hooked on them? I am curious as it is unusual and seem to be a really tricky thing to pull off.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      <blockquote>

                      May I ask what the appeal is or why you got hooked on them? I am curious as it is unusual and seem to be a really tricky thing to pull off.</blockquote>


                      I've always been drawn to the unusual and the individualistic, going back to a young age. My family never had a lot of money while I was growing up, so I never had the "cool" clothes or shoes or other things that my friends and classmates had. By the time that I could start to control what I wore, I had developed a contemptuous distaste for doing things the same way as everyone else, and I focused much more on doing things in a way which emphasized my individuality.


                      I made my first [traditional] kilt when I was in college, more as a costume piece for Halloween and other kinds of dress-up events. I didn't ever consider wearing a kilt as normal dress, though, until I had been out of college for several years. That was in 2001 and was right around the time that a company named Utilikilts was just starting up. I heard about them fairly quickly and acquired my first kilt from them. At that point I was working at a computer company, in a typical cubicle farm, and wearing a kilt once or twice a month became a way to poke that world in the eye a little bit. I got married in 2002, dressed in the traditional kilt I mentioned in my initial post, and bought my second Utilikilt on my honeymoon (divorced for over a year, now).


                      Over the course of the next couple of years I bought several more Utilikilts and landed at Apple, a Fortune 100 company that still allows for a great deal of creative individuality. It was quite a revelation to be working for that company, yet daily interacting with coworkers who had many visible tattoos, piercings, and, often enough, brightly colored hair. Fast forward six years and I've made a significant place for myself in the company (I leave tomorrow for five weeks of representing Apple in Hong Kong), and have made the kilt one of the signature items by which I'm known to a lot of people.


                      As for the appeal? They're massively comfortable, hugely practical, speak to the individuality and confidence of the wearer, and they start a lot of conversations that might not otherwise have happened. I hope this answers your question.

                      Comment


                        #12


                        @Aaron That answered me. Thanks for the info. I could never pull it off largely due to the confidence factor it must take and it's not my thing, but I am glad to hear of your success while dressing as you wish. I have certainly noticed Apple's open minded policies as my regular "Genius" in my store has a fondness for hats (nothing wild, but just a beret or those loose knit caps) and has some tattoos and piercings as well. There is a variety of people there that many companies aren't known for like Apple. Thanks for sharing and I hope you get some good ideas for your style.

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                          #13


                          I've worn a kilt a few times, mostly with a white shirt, blue wool tie and a tweed vest. A short sleeve shirt might make that look a bit more casual. Or maybe a cardigan sweater? I don't know. KIlts are tough to dress down.

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                            #14


                            Thanks for chiming in, Aedan. I think you're right about them being fairly easy to dress up, and more difficult to dress down.

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