Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
The history of the kilt is a thing tangled in myth, legend, pride and misconceptions. The kilt, the pride of the Scottish since the 1600’s, is also claimed to have originated in Ireland. And the man who claims credit for the creation of the kilt? A British man, Thomas Rawlinson, who lived near Inverness.
Did he create the kilt? Some Brits certainly claim he did. The reason? The average Scotsman was too poor to afford a pair of pants. The British then because outraged because the kilt caught on and gave the Scottish something unique when they were trying to force them to be like themselves. Though this account is interesting, it’s not entirely accurate. (more…)
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
Want to bring your loved ones something special from Scotland? Here are some suggestions of what you can buy.
T-shirts are always unique gift – if you don’t know the specific tastes of the person you’re buying the souvenir for, it might be the best choice, along with things like baseball caps.
Sporrans are small satchels carried in front of the kilt. The high quality ones can be a nice remind of the beautiful culture.
Kilts – the most traditional Scottish wear adorned with the famous tartan pattern is one of the most obvious gifts from the beautiful country.
Kilts come in many colours and lengths, also prices vary from a couple of dozens to even a couple of thousands of pounds. Here, an example of a nice, classic kilt and an option for ladies.
Small gadgets like mugs, funny egg cups or a Lone Piper figurine are always nice and do not cost much. There is a wide variety of these kind of small gifts available and they are always fun to have. (more…)
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010
In general, Scottish kilt outfits have the same elements in common. It is primarily the clothing above the kilt that varies and distinguishes one outfit from another. For those considering purchasing a complete Scottish kilt outfit, there are several different styles to choose from. Two of the most common outfits are the Prince Charlie outfit and the Argyll outfit.
The Prince Charlie kilt outfit is most often worn for formal occasions such as weddings, formal dinners or evenings out. What distinguishes it most from the Argyll outfit is its distinctive jacket and waistcoat with silver buttons on the front, arms and jacket tail. The outfit itself consists of the kilt, two-piece jacket (usually black), dress shirt, bow tie, brogues (shoes), seal skin dress sporran, chainstrap, hose, tartan flashes (worn on the hose), kilt pin (worn on the apron of the kilt) and the Sgian Dubh, an ornamental dagger that is tucked into the hose.
The Argyll outfit is a less formal outfit that can be worn for many different occasions. The outfit consists of the kilt, a more casual jacket and waistcoat, dress shirt, tie, brogues, semi-dress sporran, chainstrap, hose, Sgian Dubh, kilt pin, tartan flashes, belt and buckle (optional).
A length of tartan called a “full plaid” may also be worn to compliment an outfit. This is wrapped around the chest then under the right arm, with the excess material being thrown over the left or right shoulder; the right shoulder for “civilians” and the left shoulder for pipers, clan chiefs and military commanders.
Friday, June 25th, 2010
So you want to look manly in traditional Scottish garb? Well, now that you’ve found that perfect kilt or tartan, you should learn how to wear it properly. Here are some tips:
- The pleated section of your kilt belongs in the rear, as it is primarily used to provide a nice bit of cushion for sitting on, and a kilt with pleats in the front is a telltale sign of someone who failed to put it on correctly.
- After laying the pleats in the back, pull the under apron from right to left, passing its strap through the hole, and buckle it. The top apron should be loose now, ready for you to wrap it over your right hip from left to right, buckle and line up the top edges together.
- Kilts are worn just under the rib cage and they are designed to hang to the top or middle of the knees, depending on where you want them. The straps allow for easy side-to-side adjustments, and again, remember that the double apron section should always be in front. (more…)
Thursday, June 17th, 2010
Most people, when you ask them what do they know about Scotsmen, would answer that they imagine a tall, strong man with fiery red hair, dressed in kilt, standing on a cliff on a misty morning, playing his bagpipes, possibly with some sheep in the background. To be honest, the truth is not as romantic and in many cases completely different from what the world thinks of them. Here are some myths and stereotypes about Scottish people that are not entirely true:
Scotsmen are miserly and reserved because of the hardship their nation went through.
Nothing less true. What many consider avarice is actually being practical. Even though it is often said that expenses are being cut in various fields, in all actuality the nation is developing at least as well as the rest of Great Britain, in some areas even better. Aside from that, on a more personal level, Scotsmen are very open and don’t hesitate to help others in need. Many immigrants praise the way they were welcomed by the natives when they arrived to Scotland.
Scottish dishes are inedible.
This is probably a myth that origins from the famous haggis, which, for many can be a bit overwhelming. But many well known, delicious dishes come from Scotland. Tattie scones, Dundee cake – which is known for its rich flavour – they all come from Scottish cuisine.
Scottish economy stands on… sheep.
Yes, Scotland is known for its sheep. But in recent years sheep breeding business is shrinking rapidly – it is seven hundred thousand pieces smaller than it was seven years ago. Aside from that Scotland has a good coal mining base, oil extraction on the North Sea shelf, well developed metallurgical, mechanical, chemical and electrical industries.
Men that wear kilts are always cold.
It is actually really difficult to feel cold in a kilt. For one, it is almost 23 feet of thick wool covering the area from waist to knees – that in itself is plenty to keep one warm. Aside from that, there are the woollen socks covering the lower legs – if anything, it can only be too warm. And that actually ties with another stereotype – that Scottish men don’t wear anything under their kilts. It probably depends on a person but sometimes, adding another layer could really be a bit much.
Monday, April 26th, 2010
Traditional Scottish clothing is characterised by the appearance of tartan or ‘plaid’ patterns in some form. Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Originally it was made from woven cloth, but now additional materials are also used.
Until the middle of the 19th century, highland tartans were associated with regions or districts, rather than by any specific clan or family. This was due to the fact that the designs were produced by local weavers, with a limited range of local dyes and for local tastes.
[photo by: Lee Carson]
Male Scottish dress includes a kilt or ‘trews’, sporrans and gillie brogues.
The kilt is a knee-length ‘skirt’ with pleats at the rear. It was first worn in the 16th century, by men and boys in the Scottish Highlands. It is typically made from one piece of fabric that is wrapped around and fastened at the side. (more…)
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
If you’ve ever attended a traditional Scottish celebration such as a ceilidh, you may have seen gentlemen wearing loose fitting cotton shirts with a leather laced opening around the throat. These shirts are known as Ghillie or Jacobean shirts, and are a big part of traditional Scottish clothing.
They are the more informal accompaniment to the kilt, and were originally designed to be comfortable for dancing or other physical activities. Many kilt wearers prefer them to the more restrictive and formal waist coat and shirt combination that is also worn with a kilt.
One main feature of the ghillie shirt is the leather lacing starting from the middle of the shirt and running up to the throat. This sets it apart from other loose cotton shirts. Although the ghillie shirt is most commonly known as an accompaniment to a kilt, it predates the kilt and has many other modern uses. These shirts are popular among many history fans and historical reenacters, including Renaissance fair performers.
Of course, a ghillie shirt can worn many other times as well. It is particularly suited for a semi formal occasion, such as a first date. It has a certain charm that other long sleeved cotton shirts lack, and can look especially dashing on men with a more rugged style and features. It’s also great under a suit coat, or for even formal occasions such as a wedding, as long as the rest of the outfit is more conservative. The ghillie shirt is a versatile piece of clothing, with a deep history and the style to continue to be popular.
Thursday, April 15th, 2010
What is it about kilts that most people find intriguing? Kilts are one of the most recognizable pieces of national dress in the world. They may look like skirts, but are worn by soldiers of the Highland regiments, men not known to be sissies. Many women find men in kilts irresistibly sexy, plus there’s that whole “what do they wear under their kilts” question.
Kilts as we know them have only been in existence for a few hundred years. Ancient Scots wore tunics like most men in that time period. A garment of woven wool called a belted plaid was worn over the tunic as a sort of outer garment, coat, and traveling blanket all wrapped up in one. Due to the length, they were pleated, wrapped about the body, and belted. This was the beginning of the kilt.
Kilts are now available in many tartans, representing clans such as Stewart or McDonald. For many years they were only worn on special occasions or by the military, but they are now becoming more and more popular for daily wear. Most men find them quite comfortable. Unlike the tight pants that many men wear, they are not constricting at all. They are comfortable all year round–warm in winter and breezy in summer. (more…)
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
Planning a wedding can be fun but at the same time it can be very stressful. Especially if your wedding is not going to be any normal wedding and you are choosing to use a theme or to involve traditional elements. These can make planning your wedding just that little bit trickier. So here are a few tips if you are planning a wedding in Scotland.
To get your wedding to resemble the weddings of Scotland old, you need to select the right venue. Throughout Scotland, there are castles, manor houses and hotels on lochs that all scream Scottish style. Many wedding venues in Scotland specialise in traditional ceremonies and hosting weddings that create special days that you will remember forever. What sets Scottish venues apart from other places is the historic value they often carry, along with the magnificent views and locations. Stoked in history, from kings and queens to battles, there is a magic that is capture in these historic venues, that emulates class and style. (more…)