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2021-03-03 00:00:49

Why do men in Scotland wear skirts?

Why do men in Scotland wear skirts?

The most recognizable element of the Scottish national costume is the kilt. Long ago it was worn with pride by the highlanders, it was a symbol of courage and honor. Today, of course, the kilt is a unique phenomenon in the world.


Skirts were not only worn by the Scots. In ancient times, the Greeks wore chitons (draped dresses), and the Romans wore tunics . Pants were considered barbaric clothing and were ridiculed because they were invented by nomadic peoples: they prevented rubbing of the feet on the skin of an animal when the nomads rode on horseback. In the fourth century AD, Emperor Theodosius introduced a ban on wearing trousers at the legislative level. Failure to comply with the law was punishable by deprivation of civil rights and expulsion.

Now wearing skirts is common in Southeast Asia and Oceania.

It turns out that the skirt itself on the man is not so surprising. It is the kilt that causes amazement, because the Scots see it as a symbolic value, and the northern climate is not very fond of this tradition.

The invention of the kilt

Initially, a kilt was a large, thick piece of woolen cloth (something like a blanket). It was worn only by the highlanders. Kilt warmed, provided freedom of movement, changed the blanket at night. During the fight, the kilt was easy to throw off in order to fight light.

The Scots themselves do not know why the plaid has turned into a skirt, becoming a national element of the wardrobe, because in the mountains it is not practical. Apparently, the point is in symbolism: even when the plaid was no longer worn, the kilt was still a symbol of dedication to Scottish traditions and love of freedom.

The kilt as we know it now, the Scots began to wear around the 16th century. The tartan (checkered pattern) indicated the clan affiliation of a man.

In the second half of the 18th century, after the defeat of the Jacobites, the British banned the Scots from wearing a kilt, interest in which revived in the 19th century.

The kilt survived only thanks to the royal regiments, which, as an exception, were allowed to continue wearing skirts in the 18th century. Every man can wear a skirt with an ordinary cage, but the presence of a certain ornament on it presupposes compliance with the rules. A tartan (ornament) of any locality has the right to be worn only by those who are related to it. Violation of the rules can lead to conflict.

At the moment, the inhabitants of Scotland have restored and registered several thousand ornaments. There are about 6,000 tartans in the global registry.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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