I want a kilt - can I have it in Tartan?
Simple answer is yes.
The same as anything you buy for sustained use, you have a few choices to make. But nothing too taxing.
The most common misconception that people have is that if there is a particular tartan design they like that is associated to a specific family - or clan as they are called in Scotland - then they aren't allowed to wear it.
Well, not strictly true! Not anymore, anyway.
Understandably, if you are planning on dining or socialising with any severe traditionalists then you might be wiser to avoid wearing a clan tartan if you aren't actually entitled to by family connections.
But in the main stream - this isn't an issue that will affect most of us.
But there are other choices you need to be aware of, such as what weight of tartan kilt do you want?
The choices are light (6 - 12oz), medium (13 - 14oz) or heavy (15 - 18oz).
The light kilt is highly suitable for hot climates and for the more relaxed functions. The drawbacks to a light to medium weight kilt is that it won't "hang" and "move" like a medium to heavy weight kilt will do.
Bear in mind that the design of a kilt has the pleats to the back and moving forward to the sides. The front is a flat hang. The heavier the kilt, the more natural movement and straightness you will enjoy.
On average most people opt for a medium, unless they know they will be using the kilt for specific official functions or outings.
The specific mill from which your kilt is coming also has a small bearing, in that not all of them either stocks the design of tartan you prefer or make that design in the weight you want. One way to combat this is to determine the mill that you'd like your kilt to come from and then find out what specific selections they offer.
Another alternative is to have the kilt custom made for you - but that can be rather expensive!
Conversely - you don't have to have Tartan you know!
Gaining in popularity and awareness are the Irish and Welsh kilts. The Irish are more widespread with a wider range of choices and they come in plain tartan designs or just simple one color kilts.
It's far more common for an Irish kilt to reflect a particular county, city or state as opposed to a family or bloodline. There they wear it to emphasise their county of origin.
Choosing and wearing a kilt can be fun and dashing. Take your time with the choices to make sure you have one that you feel comfortable in and that gives you a personal sense of pride and you'll find you gain an awful lot more from wearing it than any pair of jeans!
Rufus Steele is a long time write-a-holic who now adds to his fun by writing for various websites.
You can read more of his kilts based articles on Good-Kilt.com