Scotlanders – kilt buying advice?

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  • Scotlanders – kilt buying advice?
  • legend
    Member

    Englanders can play too, know you lot love the skirt action!

    Looks like I’m going to buy a kilt for my wedding this summer (and the two other weddings I’m off to this year). Visited three Glasgow stores at the weekend, and got three very different experiences.

    Store 1: Slaters, busy production line, didn’t really seem to give a shit about helping relieve me of a chunk of cash.
    Store 2: Independent place. Quiet, but again didn’t really seem interested.
    Store 3: Geoffrey (Tailor) Kilts was a bit different! Still making their own kilts instead of buying in. Very helpful and easy to speak to, so most likely to buy there.

    However, I’ve got no idea how to spot a good quality kilt! Anyone here got any advice on good shops (perferrably in Glasgow)? Or anything I should be looking for?

    Cheers

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Geoffrey only sell good stuff. Go there and relax, take their advice on fit and maybe buy a couple of sporrans – I have a nice “dress” one for weddings and the like and a plain black leather one for more relaxed affairs.

    skink2020
    Member

    As above(except for the plain black leather shout)suspicious.
    Bottom of the kilt should be just above the middle of the knee.

    bri-72
    Member

    Can’t recommend where to buy n Glasgow but I was in similar situation last summer. Went to a local independent kilt shop and got a special weave ordered as my tartan wasn’t a tartan anybody had in stock. My view youre going to keep it for life i assume so go somewhere decent rather than buy a mass produced Slaters job. PS if its not a common tartan factor in up to 12 weeks to get the tartan made up!

    They ended up giving me loads of options in terms of yardage and weight. Ended up going for the longer yardage and heavy weight on their advice and thinking more has to be better! They had said their particular weavers heavyweight was more like a medium weight so worth asking for that kind of advice. IMO medium probably fine, if anything think my kilt still on heavy side. Aware of weight when wearing it.

    Sizing, I assumed when they measured me that my size would be for the mid point in terms of the straps. Apparently no, so having lost a few pounds since first measured my new made to measure kilt was too big. So worth checking how they’re measuring translates to the fit. Mine was all sorted in the end just meant another few weeks delay to get adjusted.

    My tuppence worth in terms of advice.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    wrote:

    Sizing, I assumed when they measured me that my size would be for the mid point in terms of the straps. Apparently no, so having lost a few pounds since first measured my new made to measure kilt was too big. So worth checking how they’re measuring translates to the fit.

    Good point. I had to persuade them to make it a bit small as I planned to lose some weight (and I did….)

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    English wearing a kilt?

    ๐Ÿ™„

    Leave it to the Scots
    (Englishman here)

    grum
    Member

    Don’t even leave it to the Scots. It’s a daft made-up tradition innit? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    http://www.history.utoronto.ca/material_culture/rmclean/html/trad.htm

    andyfb78
    Member

    I went all the way to gordon nicholson in edinburgh (and I live in glasgow).

    they were really good, small family affair, makign kilts on site, with all local made stuff.
    mine is a ‘rare and ancient’ tartan too, so extra ยฃ100 for the kilt. just felt like i trusted them.

    Other option was George taylor but have since been told there is an ace independent place in cumbernald, though no idea where though.

    really happy with it, really nice fit, actaully had lots of use since my wedding.

    sniff
    Member

    Got mine at Slanj. Pretty helpful. http://www.slanjkilts.com

    Premier Icon rickmeister
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    The ones lidl sell around Burns Night are made from a material that is probably a fire hazzard but you do get a lot for your cash !

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    grum – Member
    Don’t even leave it to the Scots. It’s a daft made-up tradition innit?

    Admittedly there’s a lot of B/S surrounding Highland wear, largely thanks to the visit of King George and Sir Walter Scott, but there’s even more B/S from the ignorami trying to discredit Highland traditions.

    The feileadh beag (small kilt) is an evolution of the full kilt, and the article wrongly claims it was invented in 1727 by an English industrialist. The oldest surviving small kilt dates from the 1690s, and can be regarded as light summer wear.

    For example the quoted link claims that “tartans probably were regionally based with different patterns belonging to different areas of the country” . Now that is probably true because in the Highlands regions were defined by the clan land borders, so the patterns were de facto clan tartans. Thus MacDonalds in MacDonald clan lands would probably all be wearing whatever tartan was available in their area.

    Bearing in mind that the Act of Proscription of 1746 made possession of or wearing tartan a crime – and this was applied.

    For the first offence,shall be liable to be imprisoned for 6 months, and on the second offence, to be transported to any of His Majesty’s plantations beyond the seas, there to remain for the space of seven years.

    It was repealed in 1782, the proclamation stating

    This must bring great joy to every Highland Heart. You are no longer bound down to the unmanly dress of the Lowlander.

    In any case, surely over 300 years of the small kilt is long enough to establish it as traditional.

    jakey6873
    Member

    Another vote for slanj here too, though I got mine over 10 years ago

    My scots mate once said that any Englishman wearing a kilt belongs to the clan McC**t. That was a few years ago, attitudes may have softened.

    legend
    Member

    In any case, surely over 300 years of the small kilt is long enough to establish it as traditional.

    Regardless, it looks a **** load better than top hat and tails!

    Thanks for the advice folks. Definitely dont need to worry about losing weight, don’t really want to go much below 10st!

    The other annoying thing is that I don’t have a family tartan, meaning that I have to choose from the (approx.) 5,293,000 different ones available – aarrgghh!

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Depending upon your timescales, you might find your choices a bit limited anyway. I do prefer the “ancient” styles for their more muted colours.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Born in Scotland, of Scottish highland stock and even have a family tartan; got married there and buried my father there but have spent the vast majority of my life south of the border so sound as English as can be therefore would feel a total fraud wearing one. Always felt jealous- which is a weird thing to say about wearing a skirt! Only thing worse than a bloke with an english accent in a kilt is a bloke with an english accent in trews! I tried a kilt on once and couldn’t believe how heavy it was.

    Spin
    Member

    trews

    WTF is the point of these? Wear a kilt or wear a suit. Don’t f*nny about looking like a refugee from the Bay City Rollers.

    legend
    Member

    Don’t need it until July so should still have plenty time. Think Murray of Atholl at the moment, very smart and muted too (and the loosest of family connections to that one as a wee bonus)

    konabunny
    Member

    Got mine from Geoffrey Taylor. They’re old school and a kilt for life.

    It’s all madey-uppy dress up nonsense of course so you can’t get too precious about it. i was amused to be flamed by numerous angry Americans and English people telling me that I was wrong to refer to the kilt as a skirt and how I’d never dare say that to a true Scotsman. (It is a skirt – look at etymology of word kilt for example – and I am one).

    Premier Icon althepal
    Subscriber

    I have to say, Slanj on st Vincent’s street were good- I’d hired from Geoffrey Taylor and tried a couple of other independents for quotes but Slanj gave good advice, took the time to talk to me and were competitive price- wise.
    It was 5 years ago but I was impressed..

    Albanach
    Member

    WTF is the point of these? Wear a kilt or wear a suit. Don’t f*nny about looking like a refugee from the Bay City Rollers.

    I have both and very rarely wear the trews which I use for black tie dinners and alike away from home which means I don’t have to lug my kilt about. Otherwise it’s kilt all the way.

    I’ve used Slanj Kilts and Taylors in Giffnock in the past and can recommend both. For sporrans my wife bought me a cracking sporran from this guy:

    Lamont Sporrans – pleasure to deal with! Got the below sporran in black.

    grum
    Member

    Admittedly there’s a lot of B/S surrounding Highland wear, largely thanks to the visit of King George and Sir Walter Scott, but there’s even more B/S from the ignorami trying to discredit Highland traditions.

    Hugh Trevor-Roper is part of the ‘ignorami’? Hmmm….

    http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/research/project/hugh-trevor-roper.html

    Just seems like a misappropriated expression of nationalism to me. Unsurprisingly I suppose people get touchy about that idea.

    No harm in it as a bit of fun but some people seem to take it very seriously.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Yup, part of the English establishment. Didn’t speak Gaelic as far as I know, so bugger all chance of being expert on Highland tradition.

    For a better idea of Highland history read a book by a Highlander Highlanders by John MacLeod.

    Edit: missed Grum’s edit

    …No harm in it as a bit of fun but some people seem to take it very seriously.

    Not fun, many of us take it seriously.

    grum
    Member

    Oh doesn’t know what he’s talking about because he’s English. Yes I forgot historians can only accurately talk (in an unbiased way) about their own country/tradition. ๐Ÿ˜•

    No nationalism here then.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Can you present anything but a biased view if you do not speak the language of your subject? Just read what the learned Romans had to say about the early Britons.

    Nationalism, yes, what’s wrong with that?

    Roll on 2014.

    grum
    Member

    Thin line between nationalism and chauvinism, as evidenced by you in this thread.

    I’m all for Scottish independence btw – I just think there’s no need for all the Braveheart bollox, and it seems to stir up unpleasant characteristics in people.

    And yes I’m sure there was some bias involved in HTR’s work, but then I’m sure there is in John McCleod’s too.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    I tried to correct a mistruth.

    Now we’re way off topic, and you’re starting to sound racist.

    grum
    Member

    Oh come off it – you say someone doesn’t know what he’s talking about purely because he’s English, and I’m the racist?

    So racist I’ve spent every single summer holiday in Scotland for about 10 years and half my family live there. ๐Ÿ™„

    FFS.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    grum wrote:

    Unsurprisingly I suppose people get touchy about that idea.

    Well, somebody on this thread certainly seems to be getting very touchy.

    grum
    Member

    Think anyone would get ‘touchy’ about being accused of being a racist (by someone displaying obvious bigotry themselves).

    Not fun, many of us take it seriously.

    Why?

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    No, it’s absolutely nothing to do with him being English, it’s to do with his understanding of the language of his subjects.

    Where was I displaying bigotry? Your use of the term Braveheart bollox sounds like that to me.

    Premier Icon bedmaker
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    and on the second offence, to be transported to any of His Majesty’s plantations beyond the seas,

    So that’s what happened then Epi ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    grum
    Member

    ‘Braveheart bollox’ is an admittedly rather crude reference to the fact that national myths feed into nationalism/chauvinism/bigotry. I just think its a shame that some people in a great modern country like Scotland feel the need to try and play up a narrow mythologised version of their national history. I know Scots who feel the same btw.

    But American tourists love it I suppose.

    konabunny
    Member

    No, it’s absolutely nothing to do with him being English, it’s to do with his understanding of the language of his subjects.

    Who are his subjects? What is the primary material that he’s missing out on?

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    If you read my first comment, you’ll see that I made a distinction between the actual history and the mythology created by the royal visit.

    To get back on topic, the small kilt was in existence before the mythology started, but was adopted as part of it, and it’s good to see Englishmen getting out of

    the unmanly dress of the Lowlander.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    konabunny – Member
    Who are his subjects? What is the primary material that he’s missing out on?

    Perhaps a read of “Highlanders” by John MacLeod will explain that better than I can. I believe that any history of the Highlands by a person who does not speak Gaelic is going to be missing a lot of the history and culture, and therefore not complete.

    Premier Icon NZCol
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    I love my kilt, had it for 17 years ! I use it for every formal social event, joining, departures and arrivals.
    Got mine from kilt maker in Edinburgh, special weave etc. really well made and an utter fanny magnet. Now has a bespoke possum sporran.

    bigG
    Member

    +1 for Geoffrey Taylor. Got a bespoke kilt, jacket and waistcoat from there for my wedding a few years ago. Cost was huge but it was well worth it. I would strongly suggest going down the bespoke route rather than standard off the shelf.

    Absolutely feels like a kilt for life, in fact I think I’ll hand it down to the next generation

    konabunny
    Member

    I believe that any history of the Highlands by a person who does not speak Gaelic is going to be missing a lot of the history and culture, and therefore not complete.

    But Trevor-Roper isn’t talking about the highlands, he’s talking about the Scots appropriation of (pseudo-) highlander dress.

    Another vote for Slanj. Fortunately got a friend who’s a kiltmaker, but got the rest of the outfit from Slanj in Glasgow. Very helpful staff, recommended.

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