IT HAS BEEN SAID...“A MAN IN A KILT, IS A MAN AND A HALF”
The term "kilt" itself actually means to tuck up clothing around the body, and
is a derivation of an old Norse word kjilt, which means pleated.
Wearing of the kilt or Feileadh Mòr (great plaid) can be traced back to the 16th century to the
Scottish Highlands. Originally made to be worn as a protective cloak for military members, the
kilt was a full length garment gathered up into pleats and held by a wide belt while the upper
half could be worn as a cloak draped over the head and left shoulder.
The “small kilt” becomes widely popular especially in the Scottish highlands. King George II
outlaws the wearing of the kilt as a way to suppress Highland culture. Kilts were being worn as
a fashionable item and many would wear the kilt as a protest to the English government. The
penalty for wearing a kilt included six months imprisonment or 7 years of banishment to one of
the off shore colonies.
Members of the Irish Military adopt the kilt as part of the military uniform. The military
members were exempt from the “Dress Act” ban on the kilt. As a means of identification the
regiments were given different tartans.
The ban on kilts is lifted which ignites a revolution for the kilt in Scotland. The “clan” identifications are
developed, groups or families would wear tartans (plaids) with specific colors associated to their clan.
The small kilt is replaced with the tailored kilt, worn with the
pleats sewn down, similar to the modern Scottish kilt worn today.
Kilts are accepted more widely by civilians and are worn as a form of ceremonial
dress for events such as weddings, sporting events, and holiday celebrations.
The kilt returns to the battlefield in the First World War and worn by the ferocious fighters of
the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment).
The kilt goes tactical and is updated to meet the needs of the modern warrior.