We spoke to one of the capital’s biggest kilt hire companies to get a professional’s opinion on how to properly don a kilt.
One of Edinburgh’s largest kilt outfitters, The Kilt Hire Co in Haymarket, makes it their business to ensure all customers - renters and buyers - leave the store knowing how to properly piece the ensemble together.
Manager Peter Flockhart has fitted kilts for 16 years and says while there are some elements that come close to a rule of thumb, many are open to interpretation and completely dependent on body shape.
“There’s rumours that grandmothers have been passing down for generations,” he says, “that it should be above the knee or below the knee, even on the knee.
“The army wear it one way and there’s a civilian level so we’ve just taken all the information and gone in the middle ground and said this is what we recommend it to be and generally it’s what most people agree with, but that’s our interpretation of the kilt.”
Peter saysas a general rule the height of a person will dictate the length of their kilt.
“Whoever is wearing the kilt, whatever height they are, you’ll have a set length that will go with that height.
“That’s not absolute but it’s pretty close to the rule.”
When troubleshooting problems, the store manager advises kilt wearers don’t go an extra notch in the buckles.
“A lot of times when people are wearing it and it looks short it’s because people have pulled it in too much,” he says.
“The kilt sits on the hip, so if you pull it in too tight it will pull up above your hip and therefore rise above your knee.
At the other end of the scale, young people like to wear their’s too low down.
Rather than continuing to correct a youthful fashion faux pas, the industry took listened and turned out so-called “hipster kilts” designed to be worn lower.
“In the last five or six years,” Peter explains, “we began to make hipster kilts - another force of the younger people asking for it to sit down.
“We take away the wasteband so the kilt actually sits down and they wear it more comfortably, more casually going to football matches and that type of thing.”
In the video above, you can see Peter walk Sales Assistant Dean through each and every step of the process, including how to position your sporran and how many half-twists to give your brogue laces.