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Kilts. From Sylvia Plath to Harry Styles

"The kilt is a valuable collectable (thanks to Sylvia Plath) and has found new status with men thanks to Harry Styles. Tartan/plaid is also back at Dolce & Gabbana. Kilted Yoga is big in Scotland - and now you can order your own bespoke tartan, by video. So what's up with the kilt?"

The Joy of Kilt

Kilts are highly collectable (Sylvia Plath) worn by present and future monarchs (Kate Middleton, Harry Styles) and have become yoga wear, in their native Scotland, below.

Kilted Yoga

“Is anything worn beneath the kilt?” is usually followed by “No Sir, it’s all in perfect working order.” Kilted Yoga, below, has become wildly popular around the world, but particularly in the Scottish Highlands. This is from The Social on YouTube.

The Tartan Pencil Skirts

Pencil skirts made from tartan are more flattering than the traditional man-size pleated kilt. Harrods sell a Dolce & Gabbana tartan pencil skirt at high designer prices. Just like Vivienne Westwood before them (with her iconic tartan handbags) the Italian fashion house has rediscovered tartan fabric. Harrods are styling this just as it might have been seen in the Fifties/Sixties with bare or bare stocking legs and classic stillettoes.


















Bespoke Kilts

Why not have your own custom-made tartan skirt or proper kilt from The Scotland Shop, though? You can choose the length and cut, and the fabric. Perfectly fitted to you and your derriere (with your own tape measure) each bespoke kilt or tweed/tartan skirt takes 5 weeks to create and costs £150.00.

Best of all, you can choose your family name tartan. Try your mother’s side of the family, and your father’s too, if you don’t succeed with your own name. Or – choose by colour. Highland Rose is a stunning pink, for example. That’s the Bowie tartan (left) of which more, later.

Kate Middleton and the Kilt

Seventeen magazine has a good story on wearing tartan. Kate Middleton (as she was before her marriage) courted William with a cardigan and long tartan skirt, with her favourite suede boots. This takes away the bulky masculinity of the kilt worn by her male relatives (Charles, Prince of Wales for example) and offers long, flattering A-line lines with a soft, sexy cardie. This is a new interpretation of the cashmere twinsets (cardigans and jersey) plus kilt, traditionally worn by Her Majesty the Queen.











Harry Styles and the Kilt

Fashion icon Harry Styles took his cue from the old kilt styling of Gaultier (who like Vivienne Westwood, based collections around tartan) and went what looks like full wind machine and trampoline for VOGUE – below. These images were seen around the world.











Comme des Garcons and the Kilt

The Blazer and kilt worn by Harry here are from Comme des Garçons Homme Plus, with Falke socks, and brogues from The Contemporary Wardrobe Collection. Harry was photographed by Tyler Mitchell for a collectable edition of Vogue, December 2020. Men like Harry Styles have liberated the old-fashioned kilt. The kilt has always been in VOGUE and is seen here on the cover of the New York Collections of Autumn 1945. Here, it is fitted into a far more fashionable and flattering pencil skirt.




















Choose Your David Bowie Tartan

There is an Amnesty International tartan, to choose from, at The Scotland Shop, along with eight flattering dark Black Watch tartans – or a tartan known as Bowie Ancient (for David Bowie fans), Select  your preferred cuts for delivery – including a mini skirt or long maxi-skirt, or the classic 1950’s pencil skirt design. You can book a virtual appointment with The Scotland Shop if you’re not sure about your measurements. They also have cashmere, tartan ribbons and a special selection of Tweed.

The Sylvia Plath Kilt

This kilt owned by Sylvia Plath has shot up in value in recent years. It began life at Bonhams’ auction house in 2018 when it sold for £ 2,125 (AU$ 3,881) and then in November 2021 appeared on sale for six times that price. With Sylvia’s name tag neatly sewn into the fabric, it’s hard to see why anyone would ever want to alter it for daily wear (mini kilt and fishnets?) even if kilts are having a fashion moment in the Twenties. (Photograph: Nina Hill, Unsplash; Main image: Liz Fitch, Unsplash).



(Photograph: Nina Hill, Unsplash; Main image: Johnny Wang, Unsplash).

Credited news sources.

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A kilt featured here in Vogue Autumn 1945
A kilt featured here in Vogue Autumn 1945
Kilt image by Nina Hill via Unsplash
Kilt image by Nina Hill via Unsplash