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The Question - What Do You Wear Under A Kilt?

 

This famous question is one which every boy and man who wears a kilt has to face.   Many non kilt wearers also often ask this question to those of us who wear kilts.  

In another posting kiltpants asked for information regarding types of underwear worn with the kilt and the following provides some details for the period from the 1940’s through to the current day.   I grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s and first wore a kilt when I was about 9.   I have worn kilts on a fairly regular basis since then and still do.  I wore green or navy blue girls knickers on all occasions until I was around 17 and then started to wear nothing under my kilt for normal day to day wear, only wearing green or navy blue men’s bikini briefs when I am at functions where I will be dancing and there is a high probability that my kilt will swing high enough to reveal what I am wearing under my kilt. Although I found the knickers comfortable to wear I find wearing nothing is even more comfortable.  My notes include personal experiences and also those of family, friends and other acquaintances.   

I have split my notes into two periods – firstly from the 1940’s to the 1970’s and secondly from the 1980’s to the present time.   I have also included some notes regarding dancers and the practice in the highland regiments later in these notes.   

During the 1940’s to the 1970’s the vast majority of boys wore girls school knickers under their kilts. The most common colours worn were bottle green and navy blue but other colours including maroon, brown and grey were also worn. A small number of boys wore tartan undertrews (usually referred to as “trews”) in a tartan which matched their kilt.   By common consent these were not very comfortable. I knew two boys who had been wearing green knickers for a few years and when they were around 12 or 13 started to wear trews instead of knickers.   Both found the trews quite uncomfortable and after only a few months reverted to wearing green knickers again. There is fairly general agreement that white underwear is inappropriate for a kilt and only very rarely did any boys wear such underwear. When some boys reached the age of 13 to 15 some boys started to wear gym pants usually black, navy or green instead of knickers.  A small number of boys wore nothing under their kilts. This was usually due to either family traditions or traditions within some Scottish private schools.   

Men’s coloured underwear only started to become readily available in the early to mid 1960’s.  As a result until this time as boys reached adult hood many continued to wear their knickers and indeed some still do to this day.   After the mid 1960’s some men started to wear normal men’s briefs under their kilt, usually black, navy blue or green. On reaching adult hood some boys started to wear nothing under their kilts but they were in the minority.    

During the period from the 1940’s to the 1970’s a very significant majority of men wore underwear with their kilts. In the early part of this period this was quite often trews as these were frequently worn in the 1930’s and usually lasted for many years. Trews largely went out of fashion in the 1940’s and were replaced by girls school knickers as the knickers were considerable cheaper, readily available in appropriate colours and most found them far more comfortable. As a result although it was quite common for men to be wearing trews into the 1950’s when these wore out they were normally replaced with either bottle green or navy blue girls knickers.   As noted above by the mid 1960’s coloured men’s underwear started to become readily available and many men progressively started to wear men’s briefs (usually black, navy blue or green)  instead of knickers.  By the end of the 1970’s a majority of men were still wearing underwear mainly men’s briefs but also knickers. Trews appeared to have virtually disappeared by this time.   

By the 1980’s bikini style briefs had become available for boys which were similar in style to the girls knickers and also widely available in dark colours. These became the garment of choice for most boys instead of girls knickers. Also from this time the practice of girls wearing school knickers was on the wane and were opting for more fashionable garments.   Boys no longer appeared to change to wearing gym pants as they grew up but continued wearing briefs until they reached adulthood.    

Although a majority of men were still wearing underwear in 1980, since then it has become progressively more common practice for men to wear nothing under their kilts. Currently it would appear that a very significant majority choose to wear nothing under kilts. This appears to be particularly the practice of younger men with those under about 40 rarely wearing underwear with those primarily wearing underwear being those men who grew up in the 1940’s to 1970’s and continued to wear knickers or briefs as they entered adulthood. Boxer shorts are occasionally worn but many men consider these inappropriate for a kilt as the legs of the boxers could be visible with the swing of the kilt whereas with knickers or briefs the kilt has to swing quite highly before any underwear becomes visible.  

Dancers wear coloured underwear, preferably toning with the colour of the kilt as this is part of the dress code laid down by the Scottish dance governing bodies.   This has been the case of many years and before the early 1960’s these would have been either green or navy blue girls knickers as before that time no coloured men’s underwear was available. Since that time coloured men’s underwear became more readily available and most dancers now wear black, navy blue or green men’s briefs under their kilts. Some may still wear girls green or navy blue knickers.   

My understanding regarding regimental regulations in the highland regiments is that these changed during the course of the 20th century. I have a friend who served in a highland regiment during the 1950s and the 1960s. During that time the regulations were very strict and required that no underwear be worn at all times other than when taking part in organised sports or highland dancing. Frequent inspections took place with solders having to walk over a mirror in the guard room or by a sergeant walking down the ranks with a small mirror attached on a cane to ensure that the regulations were being complied with and that they  were correctly dressed (undressed). Any one found incorrectly dressed had to immediately remove the offending garment and was also put on a charge. I understand that officers also had to comply with the same regulations but it is not clear as to whether they were subject to inspections or not. In the early 1900’s it appears that officers may have worn trews under their kilts but this practice appears to have stopped by the 1950’s.  

The current policy in the highland regiments regarding underwear with the kilt appears to be as follows:-  

“Underwear will be worn when:  

1.      Taking part in organised sport

2.      Highland dancing

3.      At any time ladies are in the Mess (which would include mixed dancing)  

At all other times it is discretionary.”  

It is not clear whose discretion – the wearer or by order.  As a result of the change in regulations it appears that inspections have either been eliminated or only take place very occasionally.   

I am not sure of the exact timing of the change but it appeared to be probably sometime during the 1970s.   Despite the change in official regulations I understand that currently virtually all soldiers in the highland regiments continue the long standing practice of not wearing underwear with the kilt unless they are taking part in the activities noted above.  This does not surprise me in the slightest as traditions in the highland regiments are maintained wherever possible and also, there is a fairly general consensus that a very significant majority of Scots currently choose to wear nothing under their kilts for normal day to day wear and only wear underwear when taking part in potential revealing occasions such as dancing and taking part in sports such as Highland Games.  

I understand that it was normal practice in some Scottish private schools with Combined Cadet Forces to adopt the military practice of the time with regard to underwear with the kilt when in uniform. I have heard it that Queen Victoria School follows the official regulations for under-kilt wear (or not). As this is a boarding school for the children of Service personnel I would not be surprised if this was the practice.    I note from another article that Captaindog went to this school and perhaps he can confirm if indeed this is the practice.        

highlander22 highlander22 56-60, M 71 Responses Nov 23, 2009

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My answer for the question: "what are you wearing under your kilt" is , "Socks and shoes lassie".

mahsud<br />
Sorry but obviously I failed to make myself clear in this particular topic - it was the history/origins of the kilt which interested me (and presumably trewscot too) - what was (or wasn't) worn underneath was merely an incidental minor sideline or by-product of this research, as some old documents/reports when describing Highlanders' garb also commented on what was - or wasn't - underneath, and the current amicable "disagreement" between trewscot and myself is more to do with our personal views on the reliability/verifiabilty and interpretation of our respective sources of information rather than anything else.<br />
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It is easy to get sidetracked! And have enjoyed the insight you have provided it to the history of the kilt.

And look forward to further insights based on your research

While in tune with tartanpleat's view which I quote
"However, I am sure that this somewhat esoteric discussion is a complete bore to just about everyone else, and as you say perhaps it is best that we go forward in friendly disagreement and simply enjoy each other's (and everyone else's) contributions, whether serious or frivolous!' ,
I find it interesting and amusing that people are still prepared to spend time, could I say "researching" this particular topic.

Given the many diverse topics which appear to gain funding in the name of academic research, do you think the question posed and which continues to generate interest could make a successful application for such funding?

mahsud,
As someone who has spent a lifetime in academic research and the need to source research funding, the short answer is "no"!

Appreciate the definitive answer. Is the proposal template burned in your consciousness?

Trewscot / Tartanpleats / macdi / kiltie

I saw the recording of the 2012 Tattoo on the BBC earlier this week and it looked to me that the vast majority of the QVS dancers were wearing dark shorts under their kilts, I guess either black or navy blue. I did not notice any dancer wearing turquoise/light blue with yellow trim shorts of the type shown in the photograph.
Tartanpleats may be right in guessing that the wearer of such underwear was from the Scots College Melbourne rather than QVS.

I would be surprised if the QVS dancers did not all wear underwear in accordance with the SOBHD rules. I note that it was rumoured that the boys were issued with navy undertrews as part of their uniform some 30/40 years ago. From the evidence of the recording of the 2012 Tattoo it would seem that navy undertrews may still be the uniform for the dancers.

I recently came across an article in a relatively recent Royal Caledonia Society South Australia newsletter (2006) which included an article on “Queen Victoria School Under – kilt Regulations”.

I quote this article from the newsletter:-

“A Scottish gentleman was talking to the Highland Dance teacher at the Queen Victoria School in Dunblane (the successor to Gillin Anderson). This school is a boarding school for the children (originally only boys) of Service personnel including those in straitened circumstances. The school is run very much on Army lines. She told the Scottish gentleman that the school follows the official British Army regulations for under-kilt wear (or not) which are:-

Underclothes will be worn when:

1. Taking part in organised sports
2. Highland Dancing
3. At any times ladies are in the Mess (which would cover mixed dancing)

At all other times it is discretionary.”

My current understanding is that “discretionary” means at these times that the wearer may wear underwear or go regimental accordingly to their personal preference and if wearing underwear may choose the type and colour of such underwear.

When underwear is worn I also consider that briefs/knickers/short trunks etc are the most appropriate and that boxer shorts and other “leggy” garments are not suitable. I have to say, and this may relate back to my younger days, that I still consider dark colours such as black, navy blue and green are more appropriate for kilt underwear rather than brighter and lighter colours.

I suspect that today the QVS boys and girls may well choose a wide variety of types and colours of underwear to wear under their kilts with possibly some of the older boys choosing to go regimental on occasion.

Highlander22

I note that you say that the "vast majority" of the QVS dancers were wearing dark trunks under their kilts. While this may be true in 2012, when you look at the Sword Dance of 2008 at the Tatoo it is evident that a number of the QVS boys appear to be dancing using their "discression" and there are a number of times when I am sure their bare backsides are visible in the film clip.

Macdi
As you note it does appear that a number of the QVS boys appear to be bare under their kilts when dancing the Sword Dance at the 2008 Tattoo. I would have thought that as this was against the school “rules” it was not in accordance with the expectation of their dance teacher. I suspect that the boys dancing bare under their kilts were either doing this as part of a “dare” or always ignored the rules and wore nothing under their kilts on all occasions.

Highlander
I suspect that the QVS dancers had not a care in the world on the esplanade. I guess that they had not considered modern hand held high definition low light cameras offering low level closeup shots until the 2008 tattoo tape was analysed by freeze frame techniques. Previously long dark shots from the stands above. I suspect the 2012 observations are nothing to do with school rules, RSCDS etiquette or military tradition. I suspect the order came from the BBC!

Ronnie,
I cannot think that the BBC would mind about kilts flying to reveal the back view. In the UK this would not be a problem. The boys could have been wearing strings which would mean that they were decent should a front shot be visible.

I think they should be allowed to wear whatever they like and the school should not dictate. Like all kilties it should be personal choice.

1 More Response

trewscot
Since the dancing display at the Tattoo was a joint one between QVS and the Scots College, Melbourne, perhaps we should give the kids from QVS the benefit of any doubt and say that must have been one of the Aussie dancers!

I have to say I'm with macdi on this one. I think the style - yes to briefs/knickers/short trunks etc and no to boxer shorts or any other "leggy" garment - is far more important than the colour.

trewscot
I just said I had a tendency to write like that - I didn't say this was written in that style!

trewscot
Firstly let me apologise - I realise I have an unfortunate tendency to write in a slightly lecturing/hectoring manner on this topic, and rather than have the desired effect of stimulating discussion regrettably it can unintentionally offend or upset others, and if it has had this effect on you then I do apologise - that was not my intention.
As for "still more to find" - no, I don't think so - I gave up researching this subject some years ago after becoming a complete bore on the topic and I have no wish to start again! Notwithstanding this, it is rather difficult to recognise the sources of your "evidence" since you haven't actually supplied any indication as to what the "evidence" is, let alone where it came from.
The other problem I found when researching this topic is that information and opinions change over time as new discoveries are made and/or old documents etc are re-interpreted or re-translated - for example there are modern scholars who now disagree with some of the opinions/conclusions in H. F. McClintock’s Old Highland Dress and Tartans, yet this was once widely regarded as being almost the "bible" on the subject.
With regard to public kilt removal, without any substantive evidence I have to say I remain unconvinced that this is anything other than individual idiosyncracies.
However, I am sure that this somewhat esoteric discussion is a complete bore to just about everyone else, and as you say perhaps it is best that we go forward in friendly disagreement and simply enjoy each other's (and everyone else's) contributions, whether serious or frivolous!

Always enjoy tartanpleats, your erudite responses.

tartanpleats,
"I have an unfortunate tendency to write in a slightly lecturing/hectoring manner "
Something we agree on!
(Sorry, couldn't resist!)

It's always good when people are prepared to challenge and debate. It makes the various groups we subscribe to much more interesting.

I believe that we need to move on from what used to be worn under the kilt to what is worn in the present day. We want to encourage men, of all ages, to wear their kilts whenever possible. This has to start with boys and encourage regular wear as teenagers, young men and onwards.

If underwear is chosen, for either activity or comfort, then the modern fabrics are much better than those of earlier decades. As we all know, the kilt is a very warm article of clothing so we all need to accept short pants of whatever colour can be worn.

Reference to dark colours for pants under a kilt is no longer necessary. Anyone who has seen a kilt lift in the wind - or seen a sitting kiltie - will know that you see legs then the pants - black, green navy or whatever. The pants would just as well be red, orange, stripes or whatever. Sometimes it is better to wear a brighter colour since it does reduce people trying to take a look. If you are wearing underwear, they look, see, smile then move on. If you are going "true" then you need to ensure that your activity and sitting position is appropriate.

However, the colour is not important. Comfort and giving confidence is key.

Kiltie,
I only wore bottle green pants until I was about 4 or 5. After that time it was just normal coloured briefs. At about age 10 I didn't like the colour of my pants being announced to the class at school so started wearing patterns/stripes. If wearing underwear with my kilt, I have grown up wearing whatever colour of pants meets my mood at the time.

From experience I have found that the colours, although bright, can stop people peering and staring at your knees until you move.

I do wear dark kilts and yes I have worn red, orange and green (as long as my kilt does have the colours within the tartan) I did even wear yellow to go with the yellow line in the kilt but this was not the most sensible colour for under a kilt since it does really stand out against the dark.

Since at some point when wearing your kilt your under kilt atire will be seen, I have found that the fashion colours are just as good and the comments from the onlookers are the same!

Trewscot

As you say, “facts are chiels that winna ding” – but in order to become a fact there needs to be substantive supporting evidence preferably cross-referenced to more than one source otherwise it remains simply as a personal view/opinion. As I said previously elsewhere, I spent several years researching/reading everything I could find on the origins/history of the kilt as a hobby (sad, isn’t it!), and one of the conclusions I drew was that actually there is almost a complete lack of information on the origins of the kilt and no-one really knows how it came about, and your suggestion of bedding becoming a combination of bedding and clothing is but one possibility – but why pick on circa 1580 for this development?

As for the name femoralia simplicissima, while my Latin isn’t all that good femoralia does indeed mean a form of breeches (a literal translation is “between the femurs”), but it was used by the early Romans purely as the name for a form of underpants – to be worn under the short tunic worn by actors, dancers and gladiators and so on as a modesty covering for their private parts liable to be seen during dancing, exercises etc – does that sound familiar? Simplicissima I have only ever seen used in botanical terms, and I suspect someone has put the two Latin words together in an attempt to give the perception of authenticity!

As for the concept of the acceptability of removing the kilt, I can recollect only ever reading one account of this from I think sometime in the 1600’s, where the writer was in an inn/tavern and was shocked when several Highlanders took off their kilts, but this was apparently due purely to the heat in the room and nothing to do with “accepted” or normal practice. As for modern times ie up to the 1950’s, you will doubtless recollect that we (and others) discussed this at some length in another forum and I don’t propose going over all that again apart from simply re-stating that absolutely no-one else had heard of this practice – including those who were around in the 1940’s and 50’s.

As ever, I stand to be corrected if there is indeed evidence of the early development of the kilt and of such a practice!

"everything I could find"
I hope you will not think me rude if I say that you still have more to find - you do not seem even to recognise the sources (yes, plural) of my evidence. Just keep looking - it's not sad - if you're still stuck in six months, I will reveal all.
As for public kilt removal (inevitably anecdotal), we have previously agreed that different communities operate in different ways and so I might have accepted that this was just a Northeast habit except for a conversation with Hugh MacPherson's widow many years ago that confirmed the same practice in Edinburgh (no less!)
All of my contributions to this site have been intended as helpful (all right, occasionally frivolous) as I am sure have yours and we may just have to go forward in sincere but friendly disagreement. You and I and all of us just want the best for the future of our National Dress.

trewscot
Sorry, but as far as the views expressed in your first paragraph are concerned I think you may be in a minority of one!

tartanpleats,
I knew you would say that! I don't think there are many "views", just facts and "facts are chiels ...". Even if I were in a minority of one, it wouldn't bother me - on this site, we're all minorities in a minority.
Just crazy eccentrics, all of us. Maybe one day....

May I reiterate a pedantic quibble of mine. We do not wear "underwear" with a kilt because it was originally an OVERgarment. It was the Highlander's bedding and was only wrapped around the shoulders as an extra protection in cold weather or if the wearer expected to sleep away from home. Around 1580 someone decided that it would be easier to carry if half was stuffed through a waist belt thus covering the short trews ("femoralia simplicissima") that were the normal garment of that time - thus we have the old form of the kilt. Of course changes came with the passage of years but the acceptance of being quite decently dressed even if the kilt were removed was still around until the 1950s (however hard to believe some of you may find this). Whatever the recognised disadvantages of the old tartan undertrews they were quite acceptable as "public" wear (and, of course, were so standard at that time that there was no such thing as "the question").
Then along came all sorts of garments that would generally be regarded as "underwear" and therefore of ribald interest and moreover made the kilt just that little nearer to a sk-rt. Of course, there are diehards who go with gym/swimming/athletic shorts to try to circumvent this. And there are those for whom wearing no undergarment at all indicates manliness (and a variety of other positive feelings).
Now, as we have all said, we want to encourage the wearing of the kilt and there is always going to be a tussle between "tradition" (whatever that is) and fashion (which is of the moment) and in addition there is the activity for which the kilt is being worn. For me, the emphasis is always on dignity, and yet, probably through our own fault, our national dress has the world over become the object of "titter, titter, I wonder...." Maybe you like that - maybe you don't want to be dignified - lighten up, you say - maybe Rob Roy would have worn Spongebob Squarepants boxers if they'd been around. Maybe he would - I'm sure he liked to "go with the flow".

Am in total agreement kiltiman about encouraging wear of the kilt, and as to underwear that is wholly a matter of personal preference.

I agree with Macdi and Kiltie that the important thing here is to encourage the wearing of the kilt on a more regular basis. I still wear navy blue or green school gym knickers with mine but also over the years have worn black or dark blue mens slip briefs and also white ones. It was just the fact that some of us, as has been frequently said here, were brought up as boys in kilts wearing navy blue or bottle green knickers as the were discreet and available so I think that stuck for me. However its a fact that mens underwear and boys has changed and its a case of what they want to wear nowadays. My wife used to tut tut when I wore white pants and sat down in the house in my kilt and she saw my pants. Nowadays even she accepts that its only a pair of pants after all and kilts are kilts. By the nature of the garment there will always be a situation where someone will see whats under it.
Lets just encourage the wearing of the kilt and lets face it we dont go around intentionally flashing our underwear.

"My wife used to tut tut"
I think wives go in a circle of nagging, bless them. I'm sure the matter will be addressed again in future. Why on earth did a staunch kiltie like yourself ever buy white panties, anyway?

I didnt buy them and they wernt 'panties'. They were mens slip briefs and were handy when I put the kilt on. Not my first choice but as has been said here if they are under the kilt then what does it matter. I wear them to keep me decent and also for comfort. Thanks for the 'staunch kiltie' tag though, its nice to hear that and its true, I am.

Sorry, kiltieman - I was teasing you. If your wife bought them, then she has no right to complain. And I'm certainly not "tut, tut"-ing!
" if they are under the kilt then what does it matter" seems to imply nobody will know.
"I wear them to keep me decent" seems to imply that they will.
As a full-time kiltie, I just never buy white undergarments of any variety.

In response to trewscot and kiltie, if we wish youngsters to wear the kilt as an everyday garment then we need to accept that they will wear their normal underwear. While the style may be suggested we need to accept that the colours are quite vivid at present.

I do not see anything wrong with colours. If you see black briefs or trunks you see the underwear. It might as well be red, blue, turquoise, yellow or whatever colour. Hopefully any colour will go with the tartan.

Many boys wear trunks with stripes and patterns. We should encourage the wearing of the kilt and encourage the confidence of the youngsters to wear their kilts for general wear as well as dancing.

I quite agree. That was the point I was trying to make. We just go with the flow!

highlander22 in his original post asks about under-kilt wear at Queen Victoria School. I just came across this<br />
<br />
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mandyerush/7768989460/<br />
<br />
which suggests that even the dancers have a very "wear-whatever-you-like" approach. I suspect that this is a girl but the boys are probably just as bad. Surprising that the dancing teacher did not give some firm guidance on suitability! The non-dancing pupils are quite likely to be even less traditionally attired.

Kiltie,
"dont suppose boy( or girl?) was fussed or expected to be seen on flickr.com"
Any young person knows how ubiquitous phone cameras are especially for a dancing display at the Tattoo! Remembering how my daughter's dancing teacher insisted on SOBHD rules it seems surprising that a pseudo-army demonstration team would be "laissez faire". The girl (they seem rather feminine shorts) may have done it for a dare.
I had heard that 30/40 years ago, the boys at QVS were issued with navy undertrews as part of their uniform but this may be another myth. I certainly have the impression that, in days gone by, private boarding schools used to stipulate specific under-kilt wear as part of uniform requirements. I'm all in favour of personal choice but I only ask that the kilt be worn with dignity even by youngsters.

I agree with Kiltie.

With video and still cameras on mobile phones being so discrete these days, any of us who were a kilt must expect that pictures are taken.

From my experience the picture is taken using the light settings on the phone to achieve a good clear picture. It can then be shown round the group with the person taking the picture. The entire group then see and can pass comments. Unfortunately there is usually nothing you can do about it.

Therefore I can imagine that kilt wearers may wish to go with the times and discard the black, green and navy in favour of modern colours. At least they wear the kilt with pride.

macdi,
If one wished to "go with the times" one would wear jeans and a baseball cap!

One wears with what one is most comfortable, Jenniifer, depending on the occasion.

Jennifer,
Even men don't HAVE TO wear nothing. My impression is that very few women follow this practice - dark coloured briefs (especially Highland dancers) or athletic shorts (especially in pipe bands) are the usual.

Thanks for the information. However, there is one question unanswered: how about girls and ladies, I wonder whether they also have to wear nothing underneath their kilts in Scotland?

Tbest of my knowledge Jennifer, girls here who wear kilts will mostly wear black briefs or indeed briefs to match the main kilt colour under their kilts. Highland dancers normally wear black briefs or gym knickers which usually stretch and allow for movement while remaining comfortable and girls in pipe bands wear mainly the same. I suppose the choice is the same for girls and women as it is for men. Wear some sort of pants if you want or nothing if you prefer though I think the girls go for the'safe' option ie briefs.

As to underwear you will find quite a variety of suggestions and opinions as to individuals' preferences on EP.

Hope you enjoy the kilt wearing expereince and are encouraged to repeat it.

This weekend I will be wearing a Kilt for the first time, at a wedding of 2 Scottish friends. The groom is also wearing the Kilt and have been informed that he will not be wearing underwear. They have said it is up to me (I'm a non Scot). But I have made the effort of hiring a Kilt and all the gear and am looking forward to be part of something special.

Jamie

I hope you will enjoy your kilted experience - maybe you will even become a "Kilt Konvert".
Let us also hope that none of the Scots present embarass their National Dress by any unseemly behaviour. YOUR choice of undergarment - or none - is entirely up to you.

I'd be more embarrased about showing knickers and slip than my attributes. My missus wouldn't be amused either.

Ahhh but the folks that 'insist' on seeing will be the most embarassed.

I make sure my secret is safer than the government looking after state secrets.

I like to wear pink silk french knickers and matching half slip very comfortable.

My experience is that about half of the men in the group I belong to will wear black underwear and a half slip in the winter time. During the summer is a different story, depending on where you are and what activities are going on.

nylonslipmaniac<br />
There are indeed some who wear a half-slip under their kilts under the pretext of calling it a kilt liner - if you go to the forum and chat board for this group you'll find the discussions there under the heading of "kilt liner".

Does anyone wear a slip under their kilt ?

When I finally summoned up the courage to buy a kilt a number of years ago, I decided that, out of respect to my Scottish heritage, I should at least try wearing it in the so-called traditional manner, without anything underneath, and see how I felt about it. <br />
<br />
The first time I wore it in public was for a low-level walk in the Highlands, on a delightfully fine day, with just a gentle breeze blowing. True to my resolution, after changing in the car at the start of the walk, just before setting out, and after some hesitation, I rather furtively slipped off my underpants and tucked them in my sporran, just in case! I had worn the kilt indoors in private of course, but this was the first time outside, in public. Off I went, and I found that I immediately loved the feel of wearing the kilt outside in the fresh air. I loved the feeling of freedom, the comfort of the kilt itself, and the feel of the cool breeze on my skin. I found it an absolute delight to walk in. At the same time I confess that I felt extremely self-conscious. I was undoubtedly attracting attention from passers by, and initially I felt rather embarrassed as we exchanged greetings. I felt very aware that beneath the kilt I was completely bare from waist to knee. Nevertheless, in only a moderate breeze, the kilt stayed easily in place, and I found that the reaction to it was almost always positive, several folk saying how it was good to see the tartan. Had the reaction been otherwise, I think I could have given up, but I found that as I carried on walking I gradually grew in confidence, and felt increasingly proud to be wearing my kilt and celebrating my heritage. I felt all the prouder that I was wearing it in the traditional manner, and began to rather enjoy the feeling of daring. I did not entirely lose the feeling of self-consciousness that first day, but when I got back to the car, I was on something of a high. Not only had I had an exhilarating walk through some beautiful scenery, but I was extremely proud to have tried out my kilt. I felt several inches taller…..and my pants were still in my sporran!<br />
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Since then I have never looked back. I wear my kilt whenever conditions allow when I have the opportunity to walk in the Highlands. Since that first day, I have never worn anything underneath, as I have come to love the feeling of freedom, I am proud to respect tradition, and I rather enjoy the curiosity of the ladies! I am not, however, a traditional purist. I respect others’ decision to wear something underneath if they wish. I’m happy to accept that, outside the military, civvies can really do as they please. I just prefer to go without. Further, I do believe that this places one under the obligation to sit down with care! Similarly, I don’t usually take the kilt on the high tops, because the wind is generally too strong there. I don’t think it’s sensible to wear the kilt without underwear when it’s likely to be up about your ears, and I’d rather not wear it at all, in circumstances where I can’t sensibly wear it traditionally. In short, I don’t think that irresponsible exposure is particularly clever, and deliberate exposure is not clever at all. Nevertheless, I think that when wearing the kilt without underwear, one has to accept that accidental exposure will, from time to time occur. As long as this is accidental, no-one should get uptight about it, and, as a kilt-wearer, one just has to “grin and bare it”!<br />
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I have found only one downside to wearing nothing under the kilt on a longish walk, and that is chafing in the groin area. It seems to depend on the heat of the day, and sometimes the wind, but in any case, after suffering a couple of times, I have found that applying a little Vaseline to the area before setting off works for me, and I have had little trouble since. This may be TMI for some readers, but experience tells me it can be a real consideration!<br />
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But that’s not a good note to end on. Suffice to say, I love my kilt, I love to wear it traditionally, and it makes me proud of my Scottish blood!

I have worn a kilt on many occasions, first time I wore one was when I played in a pipe band, like most of the other boys I wore briefs, As 15 I started to go to Scottish Country Dancing, I became a member of the RSCDS and went to classes to learn and also to dances. At this time I started to wear nothing under the kilt and have never worn anything underneath since.

I notice you started Scottish Country Dancing at age 15. Were there many others of that age group taking part in what might, on the face of it, be regarded as an older person's activity? - however much fun we may know it to be. If you were something of a lone pioneer, I applaud your courage and determination!
Also, were you not unusual in choosing to wear nothing underneath for Scottish Country Dancing? Is this not one of those occasions when, with ladies present, and the kilt liable to fly up, some under-kilt wear is recommended? Were you ever embarrassed in this way? Anyway, I applaud your courage again!

yes I was one of the youngest guy there,but it was something that I enjoyed. I did not have any embarrassing moments, but I did shock one of the older guys who was surprised when I mentioned that I had nothing on under my kilt. The shock for him was when I lifted the back of my kilt up to prove it. lol I have to admit I did see my fair share of men's bare bums.

A quick look at your many experiences indicates why you wear nothing underneath!

Well, you were clearly not the only one wearing nothing underneath. I expect the ladies enjoyed the dances! Going back a bit though, having been used to wearing briefs under the kilt in what was presumably a junior pipe band, what was it that decided you to go without when you were 15? And how did you feel the first time you wore the kilt in public without them?

It was actually after a discussion on the bus home from a pipe band competition, someone mention about not wearing underwear . I decided I wanted to try it so next time out I went commando. It was about this time that I started going to the Scottish Country Dance classes and have never worn anything under the kilt since.

So did you first actually do without briefs while out with the pipe band? If so, did you tell the others and what was the reaction? Did you start a new fashion?

Yes I did go with out any briefs at the pipe band competitions, but I did not tell any of my band mates. I would leave the house wearing them and at the earliest opportunity I would slip them off and put them in my sporran. One of my band mates did find out, but that is a whole different story.

We'll leave that story - unless you want to tell! But why did you bother wearing briefs to leave the house if you were going to slip them off later? Were you concerned to conceal your choice from your parents? Or concerned to be discovered by others en route? And can you remember what you felt like the first time you marched with the band with nothing at all underneath? Daring? Shy? Self-conscious? Anxious? Proud?

I wore them to conceal it from my parents, It felt daring to go with out them. the first time I removed them I was so nervous but the thrill was amazing. I will post the story elsewhere about getting caught as it lead on to more between the two of us.

OK, davidre, thanks for sharing your experience. Well done for taking the plunge at that age. Happy kilting!

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In most circumstances, as I would under trousers so trunks or breifs (not boxers though, they hang too low) But then I don't give a hoot about a gust of wind or how I sit even though I wouldn't purposely flash. A bit like little girls at school - who cares if anyone notices? Sometimes regimental if I'm sure no kids will be around me. I love wearing the kilt casually and will continue to do so.

In most circumstances, as I would under trousers so trunks or breifs (not boxers though, they hang too low) But then I don't give a hoot about a gust of wind or how I sit even though I wouldn't purposely flash. A bit like little girls at school - who cares if anyone notices? Sometimes regimental if I'm sure no kids will be around me. I love wearing the kilt casually and will continue to do so.