Exploring the iconic Scottish kilt

The Scottish Kilt is a cultural symbol of Scotland. If you want to know more about the history and significance of the iconic Scottish kilt, this blog is for you.

The History of the Scottish Kilt

The Scottish kilt traces back to the 16th century. Evolving from the ‘féileadh mòr’ in Gaelic or great kilt, which Highlanders draped and belted around their bodies, the modern Scottish kilt took shape. Over time this transformed into the tailored kilt we recognise today, with its distinctive pleats and tartan patterns.

Initially worn by Highlanders as everyday attire, the kilt soon became a symbol of Scottish identity and pride. The authorities even banned the kilt after the Jacobite uprisings in the 18th century. This was part of a series of measures to suppress Highland culture. However, by the 19th century, the kilt had become a fashionable garment worn by Scots of all backgrounds.

Traditional scottish bagpiper in full dress code at Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven
Kilts and bagpipes are iconic symbols of Scottish culture.

Tartans and clans

One of the most interesting parts of the Scottish kilt is its link with specific tartans. Each tartan represents a clan, family or region. Tartans are intricate patterns of colours and stripes woven into the fabric, each with its unique history and symbolism.

Identifying your family’s tartan can be a deeply personal experience, connecting you to your Scottish ancestry. Whether you have Scottish roots or admire the look of these fabrics, there’s a tartan for everyone. Search for your clan’s tartan.

Handmade welcome plaques for sale with various clans and their tartans. Ciaid Mile Failte means welcome in Gaelic
Clans and their unique tartans.

Purpose and usage

Traditionally the Scottish kilt was a garment for both work and formal occasions, making it very versatile. It provided warmth and freedom of movement in Scotland’s rugged landscapes. Today the kilt remains an integral part of Scottish ceremonial dress. The kilt is worn proudly at weddings, Highland games and other special events.

Beautiful Scottish couple groom and bride. National traditional clothing - kilt. Couple holding hands during wedding ceremony.
The kilt continues to be popular at Scottish weddings and formal events

Where to buy a kilt in Inverness

If you’re inspired to buy your own Scottish kilt, Inverness offers several reputable shops where you can find the perfect kilt for you.

Chisholms Highland Dress: Operated by a local Inverness family with a multigenerational legacy in kilt-making. Chisholms stands out as the top destination for Highland dress in its diverse forms, earning a reputation as the ‘Savile Row’ of kilts due to its exceptional tailoring and craftsmanship.

Ben Wyvis Kilts: Located in the heart of Inverness, Ben Wyvis Kilts offers a wide selection of kilts, tartans, and accessories. Perfect for those looking to embrace Scottish tradition.

Highland House of Fraser Kiltmaker: This esteemed kiltmaker specialises in bespoke Highland attire, ensuring each garment is perfectly tailored.

Group of Scotsmen lined up in kilt
Kilts are traditionally worn at Scottish weddings and Highland games.

The Scottish Kilt

The Scottish kilt is more than just a piece of clothing. It’s a symbol of Scotland’s spirit and heritage. From its humble beginnings to its modern-day dress, the kilt continues to be an iconic look from Scotland.

So, whether you’re attending a special event or simply want to embody Scottish tradition, consider wearing a Scottish kilt from one of Inverness’s esteemed kiltmakers. Embrace the history, wear it with pride and celebrate the timeless allure of the Scottish kilt.

If you want to find out more about our beautiful Scottish wedding venue in the heart of the Highlands, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.