Kilt

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The kilt is a knee-length garment with pleats at the rear, originating in the traditional dress of men and boys in the Scottish Highlands of the 16th century. Since the 19th century it has become associated with the wider culture of Scotland in general, or with Celtic (and more specifically Gaelic) heritage even more broadly. It is most often made of woollen cloth in a tartan pattern.

Although the kilt is most often worn on formal occasions and at Highland games and sports events, it has also been adapted as an item of fashionable informal male clothing in recent years, returning to its roots as an everyday garment.

Contents

History

The kilt first appeared as the great kilt in the 16th century, a full-length garment whose upper half could be worn as a cloak draped over the shoulder, or brought up over head as a cloak. The small kilt or walking kilt (similar to the "modern" kilt) did not develop until the late 17th or early 18th century, and is essentially the bottom half of the great kilt.

Variants

The name "kilt" is applied to a range of garments:

  • The traditional garment, either in its historical form, or in the modern adaptation now usual in Scotland (see History of the kilt), usually in a tartan pattern
  • The kilts worn by Irish pipe bands are based on the traditional Scottish garment but in a single (solid) colour[1]
  • Variants of the Scottish kilt adopted in other Celtic nations, such as the Welsh cilt and the Cornish cilt
  • Other skirt-like garments designed for men, but more or less different in structure from the Scottish kilt, including contemporary kilts
  • Certain types of pleated wrapover skirt worn as school uniform by girls.

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