Scottish Gifts for Everyone

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Scotland T-shirt 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 Long Kiltcountry.

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…)

A History of Belonging – Scottish Clans and Their Tartans

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Scotland has a history rich with a belief in family, community and loyalty. This full sense of belonging, that seems to be very lacking in today’s society, is drawing people all around the world to discover their clan and connect with a group that has outlasted wars, poverty, and modernization and still stands united.

Clans Parade

As Scotland was settled, regions were created that had their own chief, castle and governing structure. Anyone living in the boundaries of the chief’s domain belonged to his clan. Time, battles, and politics altered borders, creating clans of several different families. Many of these families would change their names to reflect that of their clan Chief. Historically, these regions were signified by a particular tartan. By the late eighteenth century, the tartan specifically become a clan symbol. Only the clan chief could make a tartan pattern the official sign of the clan. (more…)

Complement Your Kilt Outfit

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.

Scottish Words

Sunday, July 11th, 2010
Haggis
Image via Wikipedia

Scottish words have seeped into our language and added all the color and texture of a tartan plaid. In fact, tartan, which is cloth woven in colored checks and intersecting lines, is one of the many words of Scottish origin that is now recognized world wide.

Lassie, meaning a young unmarried woman, and its companion, laddie, a young man, have been popularized through television and song. Most people in Western cultures have heard the Scottish folk song,  “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”. bonnie means pleasing to the eye.

Quite a few landforms owe their names to Scottish origins. Loch, the word for lake, has gained recognition through widely reported sightings of the legendary monster, Nessie. But words like glen, a secluded valley, and firth, an estuary, are also well recognized. (more…)

How to wear kilts? A few tips

Friday, June 25th, 2010
DALBEATTIE, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 11:  Laura ...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

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…)

Scottish Clothing – Traditional Dress

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…)

Kilts – for any Day of the Year

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Three tartans
Image via Wikipedia

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…)

26 Kilts and Tartan Unusual Use/Capture

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Tartan and kilts are defenitely not boring. Just check this out.

Up Your Kilt

Up_Yer_Kilt

[photo by: robynejay]

Kilted Beer

Kilted_Bottle

[photo by: Meggrs]

TartanFlies

Tartan_Butterflies

[photo by: e.mel87]

Kilted Plain

Tartan_Airplane

[photo by Bob the courier]

Lego Highland Dancers

Lego_Highland_Dancers

[photo by: Rob Young] (more…)

Facts about kilts you didn’t know

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010
Campbell tartan kilt
Image via Wikipedia

There was a lot said about kilts and their history. But some facts might not be known more commonly. And kilts is that type of cloth that has an interesting history and many secret facts that is worth to know.

Irish says that there were the one that first gave Scots this type of wearing. So do English people – they also see themselves as kilts inventors and give themselves a credit for this outfit. And what is the truth?

There are some evidence that shows Irish men and English men as the kilt first wearers. Even evidences from 11th centuries. Unfortunately, those evidence aren’t written one but also pictures that are showing probably something else than kilts. So what was the first real document about kilt?

First mentions about feilidh-malo or balted plaid (type of woollen cloth) was found in “Life of Red Hugh O’Donnell” by Lughaidha O’Clery from 16th century. More specifically this cloth was a heavy shawl that
was worn from the top to the bottom of the body, bounding it. (more…)

Sewing A Kilt – The Easy Way

Friday, January 8th, 2010
Spools of thread
Image via Wikipedia

Wanna sew a kilt? Take these few easy steps and you will have your own simple kilt.

First purchase a tartan, a plaid, woven cloth fabric. The best tartan fabrics are found in Scotland, but a reasonable facsimile can also be purchased in any fabric store in the world.

You will need to know the measurements of the hips and the waist of the person who will be donning your Scottish masterpiece. You will also need to know the length from the hip to the knee. These measurements will determine the size of the tartan you will need to purchase. (more…)