Robert MacDonald Bespoke Kiltmaker, Vancouver , Canada

Westcoast Kilts

Robert MacDonald Bespoke Kiltmaker, Vancouver , Canada

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No matter how fat or how lean, EVERY ONE OF US USES HIS KILT AS A CORSET! We fatties use the kilt to curtail our guts, and the skinny guys need to haul their kilts tight so that they don’t slide down over their (non-existent) bums.

So far so good,

No matter how fat or how lean, EVERY ONE OF US USES HIS KILT AS A CORSET! We fatties use the kilt to curtail our guts, and the skinny guys need to haul their kilts tight so that they don’t slide down over their (non-existent) bums.

So far so good, but the problem here is that if you’re not careful, you can permanently alter the appearance of your kilt so that smart-arses like me can tell at a glance what you’ve done.

Here’s how to put the kilt on properly:

  1. Put on your hose, shoes and shirt and then hold the kilt across your back so that the last pleat on each side is the same distance from the middle of your back.
  2. Suck in your gut if need be, then bring the inner apron across your middle and buckle it.
  3. Pull it as tight as you think you must. This puts the entire ‘load’ (to use the engineering term) on the canvas across the back and in the inner apron, and not on the outer apron which everyone can see.
  4. Now bring the outer apron across and buckle it, but only just firmly enough so that it lies straight. It’s too tight if the stripes on the front apron assume an open-‘S’ shape to any extent.
  5. Centre the kilt to your shirt buttons (you can reach up under your kilt to pull your shirt down tight at this point.)

In the normal course of wear, a properly-fitted kilt should not shift at all once you’ve put it on in this fashion.

I have participated in really violent and strenuous behavior such as Rugby football, hill-running and “Mess Mountaineering” while wearing a kilt and had to do nothing more than reach up under to tug my shirt down to restore a presentable appearance.

A note about the length of your kilt:

Far too many men wear their kilts too low on their legs. If you can’t see at least part of your knees in the mirror, your kilt’s too low. If you can’t see any leg at all then you are a girl and you are wearing a skirt.

Your kilt should hang no lower than the middle of your kneecap – better if it just touches the top of your kneecap.

There’s an old tale that If you kneel with your legs shoulder-width apart, the back of your kilt should just brush the ground. In all my years I have NEVER known this to work!

Better yet, simply look down at your kilt as you climb a flight of stairs. If the kilt projects unsupported, it is too long. If the whole length of the kilt lies against your leg, it is probably the right length.

Better 1 inch too short than 1/4″ too long.

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Robert MacDonald Bespoke Kiltmaker, Vancouver , Canada