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Scottish dress: Wikis


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The term Scottish dress describes the traditional dress of Scotland. It is often characterized by the appearance of tartan (plaid) patterns in some form.

Male apparel includes kilt (or trews), sporran, sgian dubh and ghillies. Gillies, or Gillie Brogues are traditional thick soled shoes with no tongues and long laces. The laces are wrapped around and tied above the wearer's ankles so that the shoes do not get pulled off in mud and muck. The shoes lack tongues so the wearer's feet can dry more quickly in typically damp Scottish weather. The Gillie Brogue is named after the Gillie, the traditional Scottish gamekeeper and outdoorsman.

Female apparel also includes women's shoes also called "Gillies" that are tied on the same way, but have thin soles for indoor wear and dancing. Traditionally, women and girls do not really wear kilts, but may wear ankle-length tartan skirts. A tartan sash or shawl may also be worn to indicate clan affiliation. Women may also wear "Dress Tartans" which are modified to include white threads woven into the patterns. "Dress Tartans" were intended to demonstrate prosperity because the wearer could wear the tartan without fear of it being soiled. Also tartan containing white is worn to social events where the white indicates a tartan dress that would not be stained by mud or bloodshed.

The Scottish cultural icons of tartan, the kilt, the tam o'shanters, the accent and bagpipes are widely but not universally liked (or flaunted) by Scots. Although often maintained that their establishment as symbols for the whole of Scotland only dates back to the early 19th century and specifically to the pageantry for the visit of King George IV to Scotland organized by Sir Walter Scott, this is not entirely true. The royal seals of Kings Alasdair I (1107), David I (1124) and Calum IV (1153) carry the image of the Kings dressed in kilts just as some members of the British Royal Family are wont to do today. The accounts of the chief treasurer to King James V for the year 1538, show that £22.16.6 was spent on Highland Dress which shows that Scotland's Kings have always shown a fondness for it and that the kilt and its accessories have long been considered symbols for the whole of Scotland and long before the House of Hanover decided to adopt it.[1]


  1. ^ UHI Millennium Institute, Mac-Talla, Saturday September 8, 1894 Pg 6 (Canadian Scottish Gaelic newspaper)


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