Halloween and Costume Kilt Guide

Can Kilts be worn as a Costume?

I firmly believe the answer is yes.  While I understand there are some in our community that may disagree, I firmly believe that a kilt can be used when wearing a costume or be the costume when desired.  This does not degrade the tradition or heritage of the kilt just as using a vintage style of pants or dress does not degrade the tradition of those garments.  There are basically two ways you can wear the kilt as your costume this Halloween and I will discuss them below.  Either one can look fantastic and really make your costume a cut above (no pun intended) every other costume at your Halloween event.

Disney's Brave Photo Shoot

I wanted to show how this was done so I took the last year to get the right items so my wife and I could dress up as characters from Disney's Brave.  My wife took the part of Merida the main princess character.  I went with Ryan MacIntosh, one of the suitors for Merida.  It was super fun to dress up and even more fun to ride a horse in a kilt!  Here are a few highlights:

Two different ways for wearing a kilt as a costume

In this scenario the kilt is center piece of the costume and really defines what the costume is. In most cases this costume would be easily recognizable and most people would say something like, "Hey! You are a Scotsman this year!." Now, this does not mean that every Scotsman wears a kilt or wears the kilt like you. It is just a general, recognized piece of clothing very unique to Scotland and is easily recognized by others that do not wear kilts.
When wearing a kilt as the costume, there are typically certain accessories that you would want to wear to complete the look or outfit. While these are not 100% necessary, they are a great way to give you a more authentic look and feel.

1.  Sporran - This is the pouch that hangs on the front of the kilt either from a chain belt wrapped around you or from hangers / suspenders attached to the belt or belt loops.  In my opinion this is a necessary accessory to give you that authentic look.  Also, since traditional kilts don't have pockets this is where you keep all your important stuff that you normally would put in your pockets.

2.  Traditional Belt and Buckle - UT Kilts does sell some utility style belts and buckles; however, for this type of outfit you definitely want the wide leather belt with the large Scottish buckle.  These vary in color and style and you can usually find something that matches well with other things you will be wearing
3.  Kilt Pin - While I personally do not wear a kilt pin 100% of the time, in this instance I would make sure to have one.  It is worn (if you are looking at the kilt while wearing it) at the bottom right side of the front apron.  The kilt pin not only holds down the front apron in case the wind decides to blow and possibly show your 'heritage', it also adds the extra bit of pizazz to your costume that really can bring it up a notch.  There are lots of kilt pin designs that will match the look you are going for.

4. Kilt Hose - These long socks are also a very necessary part of the Scottish kilt look.  They are not your ordinary pair of socks as they not only have a design up the leg and into the hose cuff, but are extra long to allow you that extra material at the top to cuff over the hose to cover the kilt flashes.

5.  Kilt Hose Flashes - These are not 100% necessary in my opinion but do add a nice flare to your already amazing looking kilt hose.  They can either be made in the same material as your kilt or in just a plain solid color.  They are strapped around the leg below the knee and the the hose are cuffed over them to only expose the lower half of the flash

2nd -  The kilt is part of or added to the costume

In this particular situation a costume has already been chosen and the kilt is an upgrade or a way to make the costume look different or unique.  There are many reason's why someone would, as example, take a traditional pirate costume and put on a kilt instead of pants.  However, the main idea is the same here:  The kilt is not the main part of the costume necessarily, but rather a part of it.  Without the other pieces of the costume, it may be hard to tell what the person was going for by wearing the kilt.  Because there are so many different ways to add a kilt to a costume, we won't take the time here to go through all of them.  Generally speaking, you can take many different costumes and put a kilt with them to get a very unique and different look

Unlike wearing the kilt as the main part of the costume, there are no specific accessories that you need to wear in this situation.  It is all going to depend on what  the costume is.  Some costumes a sporran may not help while the hose will.  It will depend on the look and feel that each individual person is looking for.

One last thing to mention is that while I have two specific definitions of how kilts work for Halloween and costumes, they are most definitely not set in stone.  There is a lot of overlap between the two.

Just wear the kilt and forget about everything else

I think sometimes people that wear kilts get wrapped up too much in what other people think or what is or is not traditional.  Don't worry about that stuff!  When it comes to Halloween, costumes, and kilts you should feel free to do whatever you think looks good.  Don't let anyone else tell you how to wear your kilt.  Kilt on!