Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kilted Review!

As September quickly approaches, kilts are once again on the blogosphere's mind, and I'm sure that many of you will be curious about where to get your own non-bifurcated leg garments.  Heritage of Scotland has quickly become my "go-to" kilt shop, and they were kind enough to recently provide a few items for me to review.

Going through their well stocked shop, I settled on some of the key basics to a kilted outfit.  A kilt, matching flashes, and a good pair of hose.  Just add a sporran and kilt pin to the mix and you'd be set!

For your money, it's darn near impossible to beat their 8 yard Polyviscose casual kilt.  Typically less than $70 (depending on exchange rates) you're getting a heck of a kilt.  I wanted to add a splash of color to my mix this year and went with the Stewart Royal tartan.

Image from Heritage of Scotland

The kilt is loaded with features.  Three leather straps with chromed buckles, along with 3" belt loops-

Sewn down pleats to keep them nice and sharp-

Lined waistband with hanger loops-

Snazzy double-fringed apron-

Hand crafted kilt pin not included*

Depending on where you shop, I've seen these options on "custom" kilts add anywhere from $20 to $60 in price.  Sizing is spot on with their instructions, and I'd lean towards the snug size, as the straps give more adjustability than you think.  I could probably get away with a size smaller if I wanted.

The 16 oz. material wears well, and is very comfortable.  It has just enough weight to hang right and keep its shape, but still breathes well and isn't itchy like traditional wool can be.  The most I've had to do with any of mine is a light touch with a warm iron to sharpen up some of the pleats (no matter how hard I try, I still get them a little messed up when sitting down sometimes.)

If you're looking for a good "entry level kilt" and aren't too picky on the tartan, this is the kilt for you.

Something that really rounds out the kilt outfit is a quality set of hose (socks for us Yanks) and complimentary flashes.  Sure, you can wear just about any knee length socks and some Doc Marten's, but it's the little things that make you look sharp.  The "plain" Gents Kilt Hose HoS offers are along the same lines as the kilt, high quality for a comparatively low price, really anything but plain.  There's something about the cable-knit pattern on the cuffs that really finishes off the look.

They are available in a wide variety of colors, and I went with the black for the versatility.  White or cream would also work, but I think that's a bit too formal for day wear and black will match any tartan.

Flashes pull double duty, both helping to keep your socks up, and to add another little splash of color to compliment your kilt. I went all out and got matching Stewart Royal tartan flashes, but you can always get solid color ones in the primary color of your kilt's tartan.

HoS has a decent selection of tartan flashes to match most of the casual kilts. They feature an elastic band to keep them snug around your calf, and are adjustable thanks to the hook and loop (Velcro) closure.  If you're shelling out for one of the less common tartans, they can hook you up too.  If you're getting tartan flashes it's always a good idea to get them at the same time as the kilt too, as the colors and material will be consistent between them.

Nicely finished with a good backing to prevent fraying.

As I mentioned earlier, simply add a sporran and kilt pin to the above items, and you're good to go.  Of course you can always add a belt and a vest and look damn good too while you're at it (forgive the harsh flash... it was late into the beer tasting party we hosted a couple weeks ago...)

(The socks are less "see through-y" in person...
the flash just really brings out the pasty skin
my Third-shift schedule has given me...)

Heritage of Scotland is a great source for any of your kilted needs, and I will be proud to wear this one as I continue to crusade against cancer this coming month.


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