How to Wear Highland Dress

Guidelines to Wearing Highland Dress

Many people wearing Highland Dress for the first time are often unsure of the correct procedures when dressing. The following notes and illustrations are based on questions we are repeatedly asked by our customers and have put together to ensure you are wearing your outfit correctly and therefore… Looking your best in Highland Dress.

Helpful Hints: The easiest order in which to dress is to start with the socks, shoes, flashes and sgian dubh. Once you are correct below the knee, put on your shirt and tie, followed by the kilt, sporran and chain. The belt (if appropriate) comes next, with the waistcoat (if appropriate), finally being completed by the jacket to finish the outfit.

We have created our guide in a few formats, pick what suits you best from the following:

  • A You Tube video that demonstrates how to put on a Highland Outfit
  • Our Hot Spot images allow you to click on the numbered spots to see instructions for that item

How to Wear Highland Dress

1. Socks

Start by putting on your socks.

2. Shoes

Your shoes come next.

Start off in the usual manner by crossing the two laces and pulling tight.

Holding this foundation, twist the laces three times and pull tight (this will produce a vertical thong of approximately 1″).

Cross the laces around the back of the ankle, bringing both laces back to the front.

Tie in a normal bow, to the outside of the ankles, leaving remaining lace and toggle to dangle.

3. Flashes

Worn to the outside of the leg, directly above the sock the turnover down, covering approximately half the double loop.

4. Sgian Dubh

The Sgian Dubh is normally tucked into the outside top of your kilt hose (sock).

You’d keep it on the side of your dominant hand (for example, right sock if you’re right-handed.)

Only the hilt (handle) sticks up visibly from the top of your hose.

The blade, inside its safety sheaf, is down inside the stocking.

5. Shirt & Tie

The bow tie is normally worn with the Prince Charlie outfit with the most appropriate style of shirt being the wing collar.

(Note: There is no shirt supplied with any of our outfits.)

For those wearing the Day/Evening outfit, the silver/grey wedding tie and normal collar shirt are recommended.

6. Kilt

This is worn with the pleats to the back, and should sit well up on the body – approximately 2″ above the waist.

The bottom of the kilt should rest at the middle tie of the knee cap; touching the ground if kneeling (this is the old fashioned regiment method)

Our kilts have double sets of straps and buckles for added adjustability and either set can be used, dependant on what suits and individual best.

7. Sporran & Chain

This should be centred to the front apron of the kilt, with the chainstrap fed through the loops at the back of the kilt.

When worn with the Argyll outfit, should sit approximately 3-4 fingers width below the belt.

In the case of the Prince Charlie outfit, no belt is worn due to the fact that the waistcoat is there instead and the sporran should sit a couple of inches below the points of the jacket.

8. Belt

It may not be necessary to wear a belt with your kilt.

If the kilt is a god fit then the belt can be omitted from your outfit.

If you are wearing a belt then thread it through the belt loops at the front and side of the kilt.

The belt should not be threaded through the loops at the back of the kilt as these loops are intended for attaching a sporran.

9. Waistcoat

Put on your waistcoat and fasten the buttons.

10. Jacket

Finally put on your jacket and fasten the buttons.

Your Highland outfit is now complete.

Dear Customer great care has been taken in the preparation of your outfit to ensure everything is perfect for your big occasion. Please try everything on at your earliest opportunity to ensure that you are 100% satisfied with the fit and condition of your hired or purchased goods.

Should you require any further help, please call us at the most convenient store and ask for the Hire or Sales department. We will only be too happy to answer and questions you may have.

We hope you enjoy wearing your Highland Outfit and would like to thank you for your custom, both on this occasion and for any future functions.