How to Wear a Kilt

Posted on July 18 2017


New to kilt wearing? Figuring out how to wear an outfit so steeped in tradition and heritage can seem daunting.

Even if you've been wearing a kilt since you were a lad, remembering how to wear all the kilt accessories can be a challenge. 

The team at Kilt Society™ lives and breathes kilts. We're are all about helping you design and style the kilt outfit you want. That's why we've created this easy-to-use guide so you can rock your kilt with style, no matter the occasion.

The Basics


Let's start with the basics, shall we?

Your kilt should be wrapped around your body with the pleats to the rear and the aprons overlapping at the front. The fringes should fall to your right-hand side.

A kilt is meant to be worn high on the waist (above your navel), causing it to drop down to the middle of the knee.


Shirt & Tie

We offer three types of shirts to pair with your kilt:

- The ghillie shirt is a traditional, loose-fitting shirt. There's no need for a tie: the leather lace can be fastened in a simple knot or left to hang down the front of your shirt.
- Standard wing collar shirts are usually combined with bow ties for a formal kilt outfit. However, they can also be styled down with a straight neck tie for a daytime or outdoor event.
Victorian collar shirts are the most formal option and are usually paired with a bow tie or a ruched tie or cravat.


No matter which shirt you choose, it should be neatly tucked into your kilt.


Jacket & Vest

Whether you choose a casual three or five button waistcoat or decide to go full formal with a Prince Charlie jacket & vest combo, your selection should always complement the colours in your kilt. 

The jacket is normally kept open to show off the waistcoat's polished buttons.

Not sure what jacket you want? There's a guide for that too!


The Accessories 

Belt & Buckle

Kilt belts and buckles generally run wider than normal belts and are only needed when opting not to wear a waistcoat. 

Kilt belts are worn through the kilt loops at the rear and fastened on the front, above the sporran.



Our sporran guide will help you figure out whether you're looking for a full dress, semi dress, or day sporran. 

The chain strap should be brought through the kilt loops at the rear so the sporran can be worn at the front. 


Fly Plaid & Brooch

The fly plaid is a great way to add an extra level of formality to your kilt (and to really make you stand out from the crowd). 

Your fly plaid will typically match your kilt's tartan and is worn over your left shoulder. You secure the fly plaid to your jacket using a plaid brooch


Kilt Pin

The kilt pin is both decorative and functional. It adds a special touch to your kilt outfit, but also helps the front of your kilt from blowing open (especially important if you're opting to go au naturel).

Your kilt pin shouldn't be used to keep your kilt closed, however, as doing so may damage the kilt and alters the way it hangs. Instead, fix your pin to the top layer of cloth on your right-hand side.



Flashes are worn to the side of the calf and help keep your hose from falling down. The garter should be hidden by the top of the hose.

Flashes are great for adding some extra colour to your look. You can choose flashes in a matching tartan or a complementary solid colour - whatever suits your style!



Like your other accessories, your kilt hose should complement the colour of your chosen tartan and jacket. We offer everything from basic kilt hose to Scotland-inspired designs, like our Highland Thistle Kilt Hose.

Whichever design or colour you choose, your hose should be worn to the bottom of the knee with the decorative top folded down. 


Sgian Dubh

If you're really going for that historical look, a sgian dubh is a must. It should be worn tucked into your hose, on either leg, at the side of the calf. The top of the handle should stick out from the top of the hose. 



Finally, the brogues - because no outfit is complete without a pair of great looking shoes. 

We've got a pair of brogues for any occasion - whether you're looking for comfort, a contemporary look, or a touch of luxury. Boots or other shoes also work for a more casual look.

The long laces should be pulled tight. We like to tie them in a half-hitch (over and under), twist three to four times, and wrap them around the calf twice before tying at the side.


Still not sure?

The Kilt Society™ team loves making sure our customers look and feel great in their kilts. If you still have questions, get in touch - we'd be happy to help.


  • Megan: July 26, 2017

    Hi Robert N.

    I suggest checking out our Kilt Society™ Essentials range. Our kilts start from just £45.

  • Robert Nielsen: July 26, 2017

    Hello sweet Megan, what can I do when I can not afford a wool kilt?

  • Megan: July 25, 2017

    Hi Robert. We’d love to help. Popu us a message at and we’d be happy to chat further.

  • Megan: July 25, 2017

    Thanks Stephen! Glad to help.

  • Megan: July 25, 2017

    Thanks Nick! Great suggestion. We’ll keep it in mind for a future blog post – be on the lookout!

  • Nick: July 22, 2017

    Great guide. I would love to see a casual kilt wearing guide as I have been attempting to make kilt wear a regular thing at my university with some success in summer, however I am having trouble with a casual winter look.

  • Stephen Marquard: July 22, 2017

    Thank you for the information it was easy to read and follow.

  • Kevin/Caoimhin: July 20, 2017

    Thanks for all the information in this blog , I continue to state that I am dealing with a very professional outfit! many thanks Rachel for your continued follow up Best Wishes Kevin Durnian/Caoimhin O`Duirnin.

  • robert fyfe: July 12, 2017

    my grandson is wearing my kilt outfit any suggestions it is his graduation in university he has graduated in a law degree

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