When it comes to kilts for those on the outside looking in, at first glance, they may simply think that they are only skirts. But just as the kilt is not a skirt, there are other myths surrounding it that many people who do not personally wear them may believe, and many truths that they may not know. Check out these quick facts on kilts to fine-tune your knowledge before your next trip to Scotland or to your first Highlands Games event.
Kilts have not always been a part of Scottish culture
While the movie Braveheart may have led you to believe that kilts have been around since the 13th century, that is simply not true. The film got it wrong and made people think they had been around for longer than they were. In fact, the first kilt was worn in the 16th century, meaning that they are still a fairly new cultural item.
There is nothing beneath a kilt
That is not always true. Especially during the chilly months of winter and fall, men in kilts will wear undergarments; however, there is a phenomenon called the True Scotsman that is simply a euphemism for men who wear nothing beneath them, just like rumor suggests.
Anyone can wear a kilt
Some people believe that kilts are only to be donned by bagpipe-playing men and Royal Guards, but that is not true. Kilts are able to be worn by anyone. They can be worn on the street, to graduations, to weddings or any other occasions you can imagine. There are even kilts that are designed to be worn by women.
A good kilt will come at a hefty price
If you want something high quality, you have to be willing to pay for it. Companies might offer kilts for under 100 dollars, but those are not actual kilts and won’t be well made. A good kilt is made out of pure wool, which of itself is expensive. Not to mention that there are other accessories like kilt hose, sporrans, kilt flags, kilt jackets and so much more. That can really run up the price, but if you want a good kilt, it is going to be worth it.
The kilt is more than a fashion statement
The kilt is typically worn in a tartan print. This tartan often stems from the family, or clan, that the Scotsman is from. It is a way to represent a person’s heritage and culture. But beyond that, the kilt is practical. It was once worn by warriors because it afforded them greater ease of movement, and at night when it got cold, they could unwrap it and sleep under it like a blanket.
There are some truths to the myths about kilts, and there are some that are just that: myths. Learning about kilts is a very important part of the journey for any person of Scottish heritage to understand when they came from, so keep these facts in mind the next time someone asks.