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Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Canmore Highland Games

How To Wear A Kilt

Canmore Highland Games

Raise yer kilt game (but not too high) for the Canmore Highland Games Sept 4-5, 2021*

Frank's Lost Arts

SNEACHDA! (Gaelic for Hurrah), the Games are back and you best get your kilt awright.

The kilt dates back to the 1600’s, when Scottish Highlanders began wearing six-metre lengths of woolen cloth draped over their shoulders and belted at the waist. The garment has since evolved into today’s more skirt-like form and can be seen on the lower halves of (ahem) handsome men all over the world. Scot or not, you should take any excuse to wear one. Here’s how:


  • Aim for a length that hits the centre of your kneecap. Any shorter, and you risk indecent exposure. Any longer, and you look awright numpty.
  • Put the pleats at the back
  • Add accessories like hose (long socks that sit just below the knee), shiny brogues, a leather sporran and a collared shirt and tie. Of course, a glass of good scotch is the best kilt accessory of all.
  • Choose a universal tartan unless you belong to a specific clan. Can’t go wrong with the Canmore Malcolm Tartan (the official, registered tartan of The Malcolm Hotel) or the Canmore Highland Games Tartan)
Secrets shared in The Malcolm plaids


  • Think of your kilt as a costume or a uniform. Unless you’re in a pipe band, you can style it any old how. Want to pair it with a hoodie and flip-flops? Give ‘er.
  • Lose sleep over the underwear vs. no underwear question. Traditionally, kilts are worn without breeches (unless there’s a tornado warning or a chorus line dance number involved), but your bits are your business – do what feels right.
  • Go wild with epaulettes, swords, dirks or powder horns, and definitely don’t stick eagle feathers in your bonnet. While Scots are happy to share kilts with the world, eagle feathers have a cultural significance that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Doubt you wanted to pluck an eagle anyway.

See you, kilt awright, September 4-5 in Canmore. *Best check the website to confirm:

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