One of the Scottish national symbols is kilt, a traditional garment of modern Scottish and Celtic (more specifically Gaelic) culture typically worn by men (from Wikipedia).

The original kilt was known as the feileadh mhór (philamore) or “big wrap”. After the ban and during the 1800s the kilt evolved into something like what we wear today. This is known in Gaelic as the feileadh beag (philabeg) or little wrap.
The top and bottom parts were separated, the top half (the plaid) being worn over the shoulder and detachable for comfort. The bottom part was now tailored with sewn in pleats but no hire companies were on the horizon just yet.
Originally the apron of the garment (the front part) was left unattached but one story, possibly apocryphal, has it that during a visit by Queen Victoria kilt wearers were subjected to strong winds revealing to her majesty what was worn underneath! Perhaps that’s why she became so fond of Scotland.

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The kilt has now become more like formal dress wear rather than a practical garment. It is commonly worn in Scotland at occasions like weddings and formal functions and is acceptable on all occasions where dress code is black tie. The Kilt can be worn in conjunction with various other garments such as ‘The Bonny Prince Charlie Jacket,’ ‘The Argyle Jacket,’ or the military jabot, and with belt and buckle, sporran (the furry purse), bow tie, kilt pin, kilt hose (socks), sgian dubh (real blade or replica -tucked into the socks), garter flashes, and ghillie brogues (shoes).

Good kilt is made from 100% wool and it can be either 4 yards (3.7 meter) or 8 yards (7.3 meter) long! The back half of the kilt is pleated, the front half (apron) is two overlapping panels. A true kilt is completely handmade, and combine with the material required and its accessories, no wonder that one kilt package can easily costs more than £600 (USD 12,000 or Rp 12 millions!). And it’s also very heavy. The kilt set can weight up to 6 kilograms! Check how they make the kilt here.

The tartan – criss-crossed pattern with unique sequence of colours and shades- of a Scottish clan is authorised by the clan society for use by members of that clan for kilts, ties, and other garments and decorations. Every clan with a society has at least one distinct tartan. Now there are also many tartans registered for families, districts, or institutions (click here or here for example). It is considered proper to wear a clan tartan if the wearer is associated with the clan by name, by blood (from the mother’s side as well as the father’s) or by legal adoption.

True Scotsman wears nothing underneath the kilt (unless if it is hired one, for hygienic purpose). And no, it’s not a rumour or a fairytale. But where can you see guys in kilt in Jakarta and make sure that they are indeed true Scotsmen? Well, St. Andrew’s Ball (usually is held in every November) and Jakarta Highland Gathering (this year it will be held on Sunday, 25 May) would be good places to go.



  1. I found it amazing how the Scottish keep the proud of their tradition even when the world found it so weird.

    I salute them for that, really.
    And btw, i drop by to also say: Happy Women’s Day :) !

  2. Well, there’s nothing like the feel of your kilt swinging in the breeze. Better yet if you can have stand them over a blowing fan and do the Marilyn Monroe thing :)

  3. Now at last we’ve arrived at the very heart of Scottishness. It’s strange, how somehow these Scots men manage to look very manly wearing them.

    @elyani: Oh, oh, naughty, naughty girl..

  4. Finally Woken says:

    @Mulia: how you do think foreigners looking at the konde or sanggul? Some say it looks like helmet, big hair tucked at the backside on woman’s head. Or man wearing sarung (sarong) or jarik. Or the man behind reog ponorogo mask who has young man as his wife. Or bat-eating habit in Manado.

    I think weird is a concept developed in our head based on our background, experience, and encounter with other cultures.

    Nothing is definite or absolute.

  5. Finally Woken says:

    @Elyani: kilt doesn’t swing, normally. It is at least 4 kg weight, because it’s made of thick wool. Only if the wind blows so hard we might be lucky enough to peek what’s underneath *wink.

    @Colson: you’re right. I’ve had a picture taken with at least 12 men wearing kilt, never been happier!

  6. true mba. that’s exactly what i mean. how many modern indonesian now going out with sarung or konde? kondangan or at home sometimes. but other than that, rada gensi kan..

    when i was in Ireland, they had rugby match and the bar were full of people wearing kilts. and i was amazed. i wish indonesian are just that proud of our culture, and not so carried away by the homogenization of the world which makes local culture become weird, strange or so called out-dated.

    i should start with me ya..i’l use more baju kurung ijo deh-to express my betawian 😀

  7. Finally Woken says:

    @Mulia: thanks to my mum, I (sometimes) actually wear kebaya encim (but with jeans, not sarung), in summer :)

  8. I recently stumbled across your blog and have been following along slowly. I decided I should leave my first comment. Im not sure exactly what to say but that Ive really enjoyed perusing. Interesting blog. I will continue coming to this website now and again. I have also subscribed to the rss feed for any updates.

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  10. Ann Galloway says:

    Who is the gorgeous man modeling the brown tartan kilt?

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