Of Highlanders and their tartan plaids!
We fell in love with Mel Gibson in “Braveheart” with his ripped body and smart kilt. The kilt represented not only the valor of Sir William Wallace but also his spirit of independence. The word “kilt” has a Scandic origin and has been derived from the Old Norse word “kjalta”. Known as the national dress of Scotland, it was first seen way back in the 16th century when it appeared as the belted plaid or “great kilt”. It was a full length garment whose upper half was worn as a cloak draped over the shoulder.
The exact age of the great Kilt is under debate as earlier illustrations show a knee-length shirt of leather, linen or canvas, heavily plated and sometimes quilted for protection. The kilt is mostly associated with the Scottish Highlands, but was also used in poor lowlands rural areas. Earlier the design used to be a woolen cloak (also known as plaid) worn as a tunic. This tunic may have been plain in color or in various check or tartan designs, depending on how wealthy the wearer was. This fashion has not changed since the times of the Celtic Warriors in Roman Times.
As the availability of wool increased the size of the kilt increased too, with a total width of 55 to 60 inches and up to 7 yards. This garment, also known as the seat kilt was gathered up into pleats and secured by a wide belt. This belted plaid was quite popular among Highlanders during the 17th century and was largely worn for ceremonial purposes. The women wore a version referred to as “arisaid”
. It was worn down to the ankles and was generally made from white tartan cloth with a wide space pattern
The kilt was a popular garment till King George II imposed the Dress Act of 1746
, making it illegal for Highland regiments to wear garments resembling any form of Highland dress including the tartan kilt
The kilt worn today is the lower half of the belted plaid with the back pleats stitched up. Its invention is credited to Thomas Rawlinson, an English ironmaster who employed Highlanders to work his furnaces.
If you are wearing the kilt, treat it as an alternative to trousers. If you want to pair it with a T-shirt and flip flops, do so. If you want to wear it with polo T-shirt and training shoes, go ahead. Just make sure they go with the occasion you are wearing it to. Find the kilt that best suits you in Beverlyheels.com.