Tartanpleats, I am making a new thead re Albyn School Kilts for Kids. I hope my assuptions are correct. This was a thread some five years ago.
The boys were wearing their Kilts for a charity day. It is pleasing to see the Kilt being worn by boys young enough to be our grandsons.
However I am sure the purists would remind us that only one laddie was wearing a sporran. His sporran was a dress sporran , not a day sporran.
Very few of the Kilts were the Traditionally correct length. Most of the Kilts were not buckled to the waist. The waist and hem were not straight to the wearers form.
No belt was worn with the Kilt for shirt sleeve order. It looks as though there is a trouser wearing member of staff in the group photo.
Every photograph tells a story.
Who is responsible for ensuring that whatever part of the Scottish National Dress these youngsters wear to school with their school uniform, they wear it correctly ?
Is it the parents, before the child leaves his home, or is it the School , as it is part of the school uniform ?
With regard to the girls Kilts. There was a recent sale of Albyn Girls Kilt school uniform by John Lewis, the uniform supplier. As far as I could see fom the dimensions many of the garments available were below the knee , Kilt Skirts. The back and front photos showed that the apron wrap was ladies left handed. The number of pleats I counted was twenty two. In a male Kilt of a similar waist I would expct to see twenty eight to thirty one pleats. My conclusion is that the girls garment is clearly a femail Kilt Skirt.
I do not have sufficient knowedge to claim to be a Kilt Purist . It is my opinion that I am not entirely satisfied regarding the Quality of the publicity the school has given itself regarding the standard of the the Uniform worn within the School. I feel that we, as a generation, possibly only have ourselves to blame for this sad state of affairs. Kiltiekid...2.1.16.
kiltiekid kiltiekid
70+, M
2 Responses Mar 2, 2016

you're going back some!

As I recollect the original post, it related how the kids at that school responded to Kilts For Kids Day, a fundraising project run by the Children 1st charity (formerly the SSPCC) which encouraged kids to wear kilts to school on a particular day as a fun activity instead of their normal school uniform as part of a school charity fundraising project - this was supposed to be held on 3 days a year (St Andrews, Burns and Tartan Day), but I must admit I am not aware whether this is still ongoing.

It is not unreasonable to presume that the boys were wearing their own kilts, and as you point out the lengths varied considerably. However, given that it is likely that they would probably only wear kilts for special occasions and not as normal daily wear, this is what would be expected in any group of kilted youngsters - at that age they grow quickly but due to the expense of a kilt what would happen normally is that the kilt would be bought with a view to getting several years wear, hence at for the first year the kilt would be slightly long (just over the centre knees), in the second year it would be right (at top knees), and in year three it would be slightly short (1-2ins above knees) as the lad grows. However, there are many who maintain that kids look much smarter wearing this shorter length and accordingly argue that this should be regarded as the "right" length. Certainly looking at old photos the shorter kilt seems to have been the norm.

However, it has to be borne in mind that the project was "Wear A Kilt" and not "Wear Scottish National Dress" and was intended to be fun and not formal, and accordingly a considerable degree of laxity should be given - just getting them to wear kilts to school should be regarded as an achievement! With regard to sporrans and belts, again since the kilts are being worn casually there is no insistence for either, and the two sporrans that are on view are semi-dress, again not surprising for "own" kilts only worn on special occasions. I would agree, however, that the teacher should have worn a kilt too!

The school uniform for girls, originally a proper kilt, is now a kilted skirt - cheaper and easier to clean. Re number of pleats, I would not expect a child's kilt to have the same number of pleats as an adult kilt, which vary according to the length of material used and the size of the sett - a small sett like Black Watch is much easier to multipleat.

Tartanpleats, thank you for your comments. I brought this old posting into the I wear a Kilt group as a reference as to how youngsters wear the Kilt. As you stated, the Kids are not wearing the Kilt in a sense of uniformality as The School Uniform. My comment was how the parents considered it was acceptable to send their Kids to school in a Kilt. Some of the Kids were possibly wearing borrowed Kilts. It is reasonable to assume that the wee kilties were not the same age and therefore not in the same class.
This would accounts for the Kilts not being the same length:- As the Kilt would be a bit long when the boy started school with a new Kilt. He would then grow into the garment and grow out of it. If his mothers guess was correct, his Kilt might last for his years at a particular school. However in our school days clothing may have been bought on coupons and Family "hand me downs" were a common practice. Kiltiekid 3.3.16

These were not school kilts or worn as part of a school uniform but simply kilts worn to school for one particular day so presumably their own or, as you suggest, some may have been borrowed specially for the occasion, but I would not take this photo as being a typical representation of how Scottish youngsters normally wear the kilt - it was just a one-off bit of fun for a fund-raising project. I only know of one school (private boarding) where kilts are still regularly worn as daily wear, although there are several others where kilts are worn on special occasions - and all are worn properly and much smarter than this, albeit again with varying lengths depending on the lad's stage of growth! Most parents aim to get at least three years wear from a boy's kilt, with the length at the beginning allowing for growth, and the time for renewal put off until the lad complains of its shortness!

As a parent (and grandparent), although my own were/are what could be called properly kilted, I would have been happy to send them to school for a fun kilt day dressed like any of these young boys - even the shortest one there is still an acceptable length - the whole point was simply to wear a kilt, no more, no less, and if the youngster was happy to go to school dressed like any of these then so should the parents be.

As for family "hand me downs", my own first kilt was one of these, from a cousin who participated in Highland Dancing and had needed a new one for competitions. As such it was actually a girl's kilt (fastened on "wrong" side) but for youngsters this is perfectly acceptable, and being a dancer's kilt was made from a longer piece of material and had many more and deeper pleats than was usual for a child's kilt (so that it "swung" properly during the dances) and I wore it until it could be regarded as short by any measure.

Tartanpleats , thank you for comments on dance Kilts.
I saw a gent at a function . His Kilt really swung when he jived. I would assume it was maximum eight yard length but must have been light weight to really swing. The biggest problem with this type of dance Kilt is the constant need to continually re press the pleats.
My cheap Gold Kilt is very full on the length and very light weight. Kiltiekid 3.3.16.

When I mentioned a dancer's kilt I was referring to the very lightweight but full 8 yard kilts worn by competitive Highland Dancers, not the medium weight worn by ceilidh or Country Dancers. These lightweight kilts with full deep pleating have a remarkable swing, as evidenced by anyone who has watched or participated in proper Highland Dancing, and being of lightweight and fine material have very sharp pleats. The drop length, and indeed EVERY item of a competitive dancing costume, must comply with the rules of the governing bodies.

Perhaps you have missed a point I was making, or was my text unclear.Should I assume that you consider it is acceptable to allow a youngster to leave his home without his Kilt being buckled at the correct position at the true waist ?
Further to this way of learning to Dress ones self, the photo shows that the Kilt was not worn with both sides of the waist buckles set to the true waist.
The effect of this is that the hem of the Kilt does not sit level and look correct ,what ever the length of the Kilt. ,.....................................................,
The school has chosen to make a photographic record of how kids wore Kilts within the school grounds. The event may have been a kilt wearing fun day. Why have neither the school or the parents taught the kids how to wear the Kilt ,as a male garment, correctly ?
How can one suggest that the kids look smart, and wear their Kilts with Pride, if they have never been taught to pull their Kilts up and buckle the Kilt correctly at the waist ?

Actually I think you missed the whole point of the photo - it was NOT a photographic record of how kids wore kilts within the school grounds, it was NOT intended to be an illustration of how to wear the kilt properly - what it WAS intended to be was showing the kids at the school making an effort to support a charity by participating in a kilt wearing fun day, and as such they are more to be applauded rather than criticised for minor infractions.
It is probable that several do not actually own a kilt but borrowed from a friend/relative and so may be unaware of how to size/wear it properly - eg the kids in ankle socks - if you own a kilt then you will certainly also own the long socks to go with it! The laddie on the left is wearing quite a short kilt, the appearance of which is exaggerated by his wearing ankle socks - if he had had long socks on he would have looked ok and indeed many maintain that young lads look best in kilts worn at this shorter length. Conversely, some have overlong kilts which would either have been bought to allow for growth or again borrowed.
As for how they looked when they left home - who knows? It is quite possible that their parents had them sorted properly at the beginning of the day, but boys will be boys and behave as boys do, and young kids this age are notorious for being relatively careless about how their kilts look - after a few hours they are nearly all always drooping or partly turned - as anyone who has had experience of youngsters this age and kilts will tell you!
So please let's not be hypercritical and instead just applaud them for wearing a kilt to this charity fund-raising fun day event - better to have participated, however badly, than not even tried in the first place.

Tartanpleats, re multipleating. The Girls Kilt skirt in my waist size is 22 pleats . My Kilt pleatings vary from 28 for Black Watch to 31 pleats on my Anchient Mackay.
I have also noticed that the position of the Sett of the tartan on Black Watch Kilts varies half a sett pattern across the Apron from Kilt Maker to Kilt Maker, given that the Sett is exactly the same size. Also the pattern on the edge of the hem varies from Cloth to Cloth . Kiltiekid. 3.3.16

Although having absolutely nothing to do with the topic under discussion, there is no correlation whatsoever between the number of pleats in adult kilts, children's kilts and kilted skirts. It is patently obvious that with a much shorter length of material to utilise, children's kilts must have fewer pleats than adults', and kilted skirts can have as many or as few pleats as the maker wants to have - generally a kilted skirt is also made from a much shorter length of material and has much shallower pleats, 1-2ins deep compared to a proper kilt's >3ins, and obviously does not swing to the same extent. Many of the cheaper kilts, such as those sold as casual kilts at around £50 by EWM, also have shallow pleats so that there is a greater number from a shorter length of material (usually about 5 yards).

A properly made kilt will have the sett centred across the top apron ie the whole or part setts at each side will be the same size so that the appearance is balanced and the wearer can see where the centre is to line up with the navel when putting it on. It doesn't really matter whether they are whole or part setts to the sides as long as they are even, and is dictated more by where the end of the fabric was cut coming off the loom or roll than by anything else.

Thank you for clarifying my posts as raised on this thead. Going back to the original subject of laddies wearing their Kilts to school, it is nice to see the laddies have sufficient self confidence to be proud to wear the traditional Scottish Kilt in public.
Long may this Scottish Tartan Kilt wearing tradition last. ...Kiltiekid...5.3.16.

6 More Responses

I'm not a kilt purist either but I have been studying the construction of kilts and have read Barbara Tewksbury's book on making kilts. I might have her last name misspelled. I'm planning on making a box pleated kilt. When having children wear kilts, the length and fit is going to be off. Children grow. It can't be helped. The number of pleats on the kilt will vary and there's a lot of variables that go into deciding how many pleats there are on a particular kilt. I also think that insisting a sporran be worn every time a kilt is put on is a bit silly. If I'm out working in the garden, I don't want a sporran on. And a belt is not a necessary part of wearing a kilt but many people think belts are a nice addition. I never wear one. As for shirts, I say dress for the occasion or the weather. If I'm working in my garden, I might not be wearing a shirt.

Mossonarock. Barb is a Kilt Maker on X Marks the Scot. Canadian Webb Site. Book should be good read.
You might be confused as most of the current users of this webb site ,which you are currently using, are U.K. Scots or south of the boarder in Anglo Saxon England. The Webb Site is believed to be based in Seattle.
There is a correct way to wear the Scottish Male National Dress for the occasion, be it casual , Day wear or Evening Dress. This has been the subject for stories and debate for several years. If you trawl through the Archives you will see how we choose to wear our Kilts today, and how we have worn the Kilt in our younger years.
The whole matter of wearing the Kilt correctly is a complicated issue as A Traditional Kilt Maker may or may not know how the Gentleman should wear his Kilt correctly.
It is my opinion that a gentleman should know how his Kilt should be worn before going to a Kilt Maker to be Measured to have his Kilt made to his measurements.
However if you are not wearing a traditional Kilt, you are not in this Ball Park of traditional Gentlemens fashion.
The modern lightweight casual Kilts are popular in Sweeden , Canada and USA. etc. but they are not traditional Scottish Kilts.
A traditional Kilt is very expensive. I am still wearing a Kilt I bought in Scotland thiry five years ago. Too cold for fulltime wear in the winter so I bought a heavier weight winter kilt. Two and a half days hand stitching for a Kilt Maker using eight yards of cloth. One way to get into Kilting correctly is to Hire a traditional Kilt which you are satisfed fits you correctly and try wearing it full time for a weekend. However others may dissagree with my statement.
Go back and trawl X Marks. See what they are saying. look at their photos. All the archieves are clearly recorded.
My post, on which you are passing comment is part of a series of threads on wearing the traditional Kilt . In this case the Kilt is being worn to School. How the youngsters should wear their Kilts is a matter I have put open for debate based on my obsevations. This does not clarify how any boy in my family should wear his Kilt to this School. The Photo is in the school charity boys Kilt wearing section of the School Webb Site. My post is my observations on how these youngsters are turned out to wear their Kilts to School. There are sections on our E. P. webbsite which clarify our members Kilt wearing experiences at school some forty years ago.
Regarding how you make your Kilt, X Marks Kilt Makers can give you answers to specific Kilt Making questions, provided you know the qustions to ask.
You may wear a Kilt the way you wish to wear your chosen Kilt. You may be told that you look very Smart. You may be told you are not wearing your Kilt correctly.
My advice to you is do what you want to do, but make sure you know what you are doing. You have the freedom to dress any way you want, as nobody really cares what you wear. Best of Luck ...Kiltiekid. 2.3.16

You do know more about kilts than your posting led me to believe. Its been a few years ago but I have read through a lot of the stuff on Xmarks and communicated with the folks there. After buying Barb's book, I communicated with her some about some making kilts. I still haven't gotten around to making mine and won't till next winter perhaps. Like I said, I plan on making a box pleated kilt. However, although I have Scot ancestry, I'm not sure it matters if I wear a kilt in a non-Scottish way. I don't pretend to be a Scot. I don't mean to be disrespectful or ignorant but I like the kilt and I want to wear it in a way that works for me. When I wrote what I did about children wearing kilts, I did so with the memory of some of Barb's thoughts on how to size a kilt for a kid which in a word can be summarized as adjustable. Well, that's how I understand it anyway.

Mossonarock, Thank you for your compliments. Tartanpleats posting on this thread, may clarify the situation for you.
Remember, if you are intending to make a Kilt to wear in the Winter, It will need to be a heavier weight than one you would wear in the summer.
If you are considering getting a Kilt for next winter, check Field Textiles webb site for heavy ex Miliary Kilts. You may find a Kilt to your measurements which may be the same price as the Length of winter weight
woolen cloth for you to make your own tartan Kilt.
WARNING The general consensus of opinion is that a military weight Kilt claimed to be 20 oz may be too warm for your type of wear. The newer Military Kilts may not be as heavy as the older ones. If you have no yardstick, you may not know what you are looking at, when you see a Military Kilt.
I spoke to Field textiles on the phone. They informed me I could return their Goods for a Refund.
What they say to you may be different. You will see from our webbsite that the system of measurements for an ex nato stock military Kilt is metricated and the height of the wearer is included in the sizing measurement. Try looking at the site as waist and hight of wearer vary in the ranges of garement available. As far as I can remember the measurements are Hight ,waist ( that is true waist between hip bone and rib cage) and girth. That is measurement around seat to waist. Check Barb's book. Traditional Hight of hem ; top of the Knee Cap
I obtained a brand new Kilt from them in Four Days.
Cost more than a used or second grade. Fits me like a glove. Heavier than my 16 oz winter weight. Claimed to be too warm. Wait for it. Box pleated to the stripe. Very stiff pleats. There again, my other three Kilts are progressivly lighter weights.
How you wear your Kilt is your personal affair.
Unless you attend a rally or a function you may be unlikely to see another Kiltie. Please reread this compleat thread and note Tartanpleats comments.
Getting into Kilting is a steep learning curve. Go for it.
Kiltiekid.. 3.3.16.