How to Wear a Kilt and Look Awesome

The kilt is a versatile type of skirt that can be styled in numerous different ways. You can always shake up your style by adding various accessories and choosing different types of shoes or socks. Accompanied with modern accessories and bold colors, a kilt can easily become a stylish statement piece of your outfit. 

Depending on the effect you want to produce and the look you’re going for, kilts are a great way to draw attention to your outfit and stand out in the crowd. With the help of accessories such as a hat, scarf, watch, or sunglasses, a bold and confident person can definitely make the kilt look classy. When wearing it, it is important to proudly accept it as a fierce part of men’s wardrobe and wear it with pride. At the end of the day, every outfit combination you choose will be determined by your attitude and the way you wear the wardrobe, your body posture, and how big your smile is while wearing it. 

Pro tip: You can wash the kilt in the washing machine, in cold water. When it comes to the drying part, hanging the kilt dry is the best for keeping the wrinkles to a minimum and not allowing the kilt to shrink. 

how to wear a kilt

Source: macgregorandmacduff

What is a kilt?

The kilt is a traditional piece of clothing originating in Scotland. This skirt symbolized honor for the clan the person belonged to. In other words, it was primarily used as a battle uniform worn by Scottish soldiers. Over the years, it went from being banned to representing a symbol of individuality and rebellion. Nowadays its design and A-line shape makes it a perfect statement piece for weddings, a hot summer day when you’re at the pub or your friend’s barbecue. It has become a socially acceptable garment to wear whenever you feel like it. 

The most important part of a kilt includes a sporran, which is a pouch worn on the front side of the kilt and a belt which holds the kilt up. The main function of the sporran is to serve as a big pocket if the kilt is pocketless. Some other outfit components are a kilt pin and a sgian-dubh, which is a small knife worn as a part of the traditional Scottish wardrobe

How to wear and style the kilt?

This piece of garment is made to be worn at the waist, and the proper kilt length goes to the middle of the knee. The typical kilt pattern is called tartan, and it consists of vertical and horizontal crisscrossed lines. At first, kilts were specifically made of wool, but nowadays, due to the global expansion of fashion styles and the influence of popular culture, there is a lot of experimenting with different materials:

  • Denim kilts
  • Leather kilts
  • Cotton kilts

How to wear a denim kilt

A denim kilt is a modernized version of a traditional kilt. Don’t mix up a denim skirt with a denim kilt. Even though it is made of different materials, the kilt always keeps its traditional features such as the pleated bottom, straight hem, functional pockets, or a sporran. Denim kilts are a great asset for achieving a casual look, and it is especially practical for everyday activities such as running errands, shopping, or hanging out with friends

If you want to step up your dressing game a bit, a perfect combination of an elegant white dress shirt and a denim kilt is very urban, youthful, and extremely comfortable at the same time. Instead of making it appear too serious, a high-quality denim kilt lends a touch of fun to the entire look. It is not an easy task to style a denim kilt, but we have some suggestions to take your look to the next level:

  1. Denim on denim
  2. Flannel shirt and denim kilt
  3. Tie dye shirt and denim kilt

Denim on denim

For a coordinated look, the safest choice that will make sure that your outfit remains trendy and adventurous is a denim shirt. This combination is easy on the eyes, and the lightweight denim material is great when you want to switch it up a bit but stay true to your casual style. Spice up the denim jacket with badges or a design on the back.

Also, to break the monotony, choose a colorful T-shirt and knee-high socks that will become the centerpiece of the outfit. If you want to play with the look, try to tie the denim jacket around the waist and accompany the look with a pair of dark oversized sunglasses or a bag.

how to wear a kilt

Source: nico.mantzke

Flannel shirt and a denim kilt

This combination is not too extravagant, but it can sure look more elegant if paired with appropriate men’s accessories. Combining a flannel shirt and a tartan kilt would look too uniformed, so the best way to express your style is to match flannel with denim. Even though it may seem like a plain combination, with a black leather belt and high-quality leather boots or brogues, this outfit will get a makeover. 

Keep it simple underneath the flannel shirt and opt for a plain, white T-shirt. To add more life to the look, toss a flannel shirt over your shoulders and embellish your wrist with a leather bracelet that matches beautifully with a black leather belt and boots, brogues, or loafers, depending on the time of the year.

what to wear with a kilt

Source: skirts_for_men

Tie dye shirt and denim kilt

A kilt can fit into every style or outfit combination. Even the greatest fashion risk-takers can find a way to make it work. If you are a big fan of colors, and your fashion style is leaning more towards boho or hippie and you still want to incorporate a kilt into the outfit, it is not impossible. A colorful tie dye T-shirt paired with a denim kilt and a baseball cap can be worn to any sporting event or a hangout session. Of course, this combination isn’t appropriate for a formal event, but it can be a go-to choice for everyday activities when you choose comfort over style. 

Another extremely fashionable possibility is to even wear denim jeans, and a denim kilt over them. This is a new and fresh look for people who want to try out something different in terms of style.

what to wear with a kilt

Source: skirts_for_men

Shirt type

Denim shirt

Flannel shirt

Tie dye shirt

Style

Coordinated/elegant

Casual

Sporty

Accessory

Dark sunglasses

Black leather belt

Baseball cap


How to wear a leather kilt

Another variation of the traditional woolen kilt that is catching on in the fashion community is a leather kilt. If you’re thinking about what to wear to a first date or a restaurant, a leather kilt is a bold and unique choice. This edgy look is effective if you want to draw everyone’s attention to your outfit. Leather kilts usually contain leather front panels, buckle closure straps, functional pockets and are sometimes even embellished by chains. This kilt seems inspired by the punk rock era and the popular biker style. There are three classic ways to wear a leather kilt:

  1. Leather kilt and a white shirt
  2. Leather on leather
  3. Leather kilt and a black turtleneck

Leather kilt and a white shirt

The classic white and black color combination is great if you want to stay in the classic lane, but add your own stamp to the look with a leather kilt. Dress up the look with a white shirt tucked into the kilt. Pair the entire outfit with black Doc Martens boots and transform the look from classic to urban. A classic white shirt is a staple clothing piece in every man's wardrobe since it is a perfect way to accentuate denim, leather, or tartan skirts and pants. Tone down the color contrast with a beige leather belt and beige shoes.

what to wear with a kilt

Source: biancachristoff_stylist

Leather on leather

Leather jackets are an indispensable piece of clothing for every season. Whether you wear the jacket tied around the waist as an accessory or as the focal piece of the outfit, the leather pieces such as a kilt and a jacket will help you look more in unison. Of course, you don’t have to choose a head-to-toe black outfit to give off an elegant vibe. For instance, a deep red leather belt and red leather shoes would accentuate the dark outfit and add a touch of sophistication to it.

how to wear a kilt

Source: miss_jalexander

Leather kilt and a black turtleneck

A black turtleneck can enhance the look and make it more professional. In combination with the leather kilt, it is something that can be worn to a meeting or to the nightclub, depending on how you style it. If you wear it with a suit jacket, it is perfect for a meeting, and if you substitute the suit jacket for a leather one, you’re ready for the party. If you want to keep it professional, opt for a navy blue or black color scheme. When you go out, don’t forget to add some accessories to make the outfit pop. Accessories that help in these situations are watches, crossbody bags or even beanies. 

how to wear a kilt

How to wear a cotton kilt

This is a similar kilt to a woolen one, primarily because of its comfort. It is extremely easy to wear and was designed with your comfort in mind. It is by far the most laid-back type of kilt which goes well with colorful T-shirts and vivid socks. Leather and denim kilts are not as comfortable as the cotton kilt, but they can all look classy if the event calls for more elegant wardrobe. 

how to wear a kilt

Image source: kiltsociety

A great way to dress up a cotton kilt is with a classic button-down shirt and rolled up sleeves, that is tucked into the kilt. If you want to look effortlessly casual, you can always pair the kilt with a plain T-shirt and even sneakers. By matching the kilt with sneakers, your outfit will give off an entirely casual, contemporary vibe. 

What colors to wear with a tartan kilt?

When it comes to colors, you can choose from a variety of colors since the tartan is an easy pattern to combine with every color. Mixing and matching different materials is allowed as long as the look is cohesive and appropriately accessorized. Usually, the tartan colors include a combination of three following variations: red, white and green. However, for people who like to play with colors and think outside the box there are also kilt colors that range from yellow and orange to blue and green tartan. Some of the looks that can steal the show include the following color combinations:

  1. Green tartan kilt with red shirt
  2. Yellow tartan kilt with black shirt
  3. Red tartan kilt with yellow shirt 

Green tartan kilt with red shirt

Red and green color scheme brings out the best in each other. These colors are called “complementary colors” so the outfit will appear very vibrant and joyful when these two are standing next to each other. Dress it down with monochromatic leather belts and shoes. Since the colors are pretty light, it is best to opt for dark brown or black shoes or leather belt. 

Yellow tartan kilt with black shirt

This is a color combination that will refresh your traditional style. This time, instead of going with classic black accessories, try pairing the outfit with a yellow bag and yellow accessories. For a day look, choose a yellow bag accompanied with yellow sneakers. For the night, you can still use the yellow bag to spice it up but choose black brogues to maintain the elegance of the outfit. 

Red tartan kilt and yellow shirt

These two unexpected colors will take your look to the next level. Sometimes all you need are colors that enrich the look and are so dominant that you don’t have to accessorize the outfit at all. This is the case here, when you mix two bright colors together, accessories aren’t even necessary to lift it up. This look speaks for itself, so the accessories would just take away from the entire look, instead of elevating it and making it more appealing. A yellow turtleneck tucked into a red tartan kilt is all you need to outshine all other outfits.

How to wear the kilt to a wedding?

Weddings are the most formal events a person can get invited to. If you decide to wear a kilt to a wedding, this means that it needs to be elevated in terms of elegance with a blazer or a suit jacket and a dress shirt underneath. If the blazer is black or navy blue, the shirt can be in some light color such as white, beige, pastel pink and even light blue. On the other hand, if the suit is light grey or light brown, opt for a darker shirt. The beautiful A-line design of the kilt can emphasize the sleek design of the formal garment such as a blazer. 

what to wear with a kilt

Source: usakilts

Apart from some accessories like sunglasses or baseball cap that are not appropriate for a wedding, here are some accessories that can come in handy for a wedding ceremony or a similar formal occasion:

  • Bowtie
  • Tie
  • Suspenders

Bowtie

how to wear a kilt

Image source: kiltsociety

A bowtie is a great accessory for a formal event such as a wedding. When you wear a kilt, that means that you can even pair the bow pattern with your kilt or your sock pattern with the pattern on your bow. if you’re not a tie man, a bowtie is a small but effective detail and a way to embellish your dress shirt. If the bow is patterned, the shirt should be single-colored, because a pattern with pattern looks too confusing.

Tie

how to wear a kilt

Image source: macgregorandmacduff

It is an ongoing battle between a bow and a tie. If you are on the fence about what to choose, just remember that even though bow is easier to style, an elegant suit and a tie will never go out of fashion. Update your timeless style with a single colored or patterned tie. You can also adorn the suit with a handkerchief or a leather watch that matches your shoes. 

Suspenders

Suspenders represent a great choice for people who appreciate a classic and timeless fashion piece. Don’t be fooled by their old-fashioned look, men’s suspenders are actually quite popular. This piece of garment can look amazing paired with a bow. However, their main purpose is to hold your trousers up, so putting on both belt and suspenders is unnecessary. 

What socks to wear with the kilt? 

Choosing socks is the feature that can either make or break the outfit, especially when the socks are not concealed. In this case, the color of the socks tells a lot about the outfit and its wearer. As far as the kilts are concerned, Soxy socks are a great way to dress the outfit up or down. Single colored socks would work better if the kilt is patterned, and vice versa. 

Traditionally, white, high-knee socks were prototypical socks paired with kilts. Nowadays, there is always room for switching it up with different sock patterns, color combinations and length. Apart from different designs that can appear on socks, some classic Soxy sock patterns are:

how to wear a kilt

When it comes to the colors, every sock color you can think of is allowed and possible to mix and match. However, not every kilt material will look good with patterns. For instance, if you chose a leather kilt, dot pattern would look unmatched with the rest of the outfit, so it is better to stick with white or black. Single colored socks are the best if you want to wear a tartan kilt, since they soften the look a bit and don’t make it look over the top. Last but not least, the quintessential tartan kilt will be emphasized the most with single colored socks. According to your style preferences and the color of your shoes, they can be brightly colored or dark. 

Sock pattern

Classic black/white socks

Classic pattern

Single colored socks

Shirt

Leather jacket

Denim shirt

Single colored shirt

Kilt type

Leather kilt

Denim kilt

Tartan kilt


What are the perfect shoes to wear with the kilt? 

When choosing the perfect shoes for an upcoming formal event or a casual occasion first take a look out the window or check the weather forecast. If it is a chilly fall day, and you’re planning on spending the day outside, you will definitely need a pair of chic brogues or Oxford shoes made of high-quality leather or vegan leather that will keep you warm. The combination of ankle length shoes and knee length kilt will make your legs appear visually longer. 

how to wear a kilt

In the winter, when the temperature drops significantly, it is tricky to wear a kilt and manage to look stylish. If you want to meet your friends at the pub and drink hot chocolate on a cold winter day, a way to be stylish and comfortable at the same time is to wear leather boots and cozy socks. 

how to wear a kilt

Image source: kiltsociety

When the temperature goes up, you can wear brogues instead of boots. During the summer, you can replace brogues or Oxford shoes with sneakers. Sneakers allow your foot to breathe and are not as heavy as the brogues. 

what to wear with a kilt

A time of the year when you can wear brogues, Oxford shoes, or even boots is spring. When spring arrives, take out the leather jacket out of your closet and transform it into the highlight of your outfit. A kilt and a leather jacket go hand in hand and look amazing matched with a leather belt and sunglasses.

how to wear a kilt

Image source: eightyards

Final word

Kilts have come a long way from traditional soldier garment to a modern clothing piece worn by men all around the world. We have to admit, not all people can pull it off. All of these rules are not set in stone, but they are just paving the way for you to find your style. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out new styles because only then you will know which fashion path to follow. If you haven’t worn a kilt before, now is the right time. 

Do you believe in kilt magic? Are they making a comeback? Tell us all about it on Instagram!