When you think of an outfit incorporating a kit, you rarely think about the shoes. This is understandable because a kilt is such a vibrant piece of attire that it becomes the focal point of any outfit it features in.
One of the best things about living in Scotland is the clothing. The kilt, usually worn with a traditional Scottish shirt and nothing else (male) or with a blouse and full skirt (female), is probably the most famous Scottish clothing item, but it certainly isn’t the only one. In recent years, particularly among those who have never been to Scotland, wearing a kilt/shirt/tie combination has become extremely popular.
Pulling off a kilt is not as easy as it sounds. Each complimentary piece is as crucial to the outfit as the kilt itself. So, let’s dive straight into some of the best shoes you can rock with your kilt.
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Brogues are traditional Scottish shoes that date back to the 16th century. Modern brogues were initially made for outdoor walking. The shoes also feature small holes on the toe caps that are primarily aesthetic nowadays but played an essential role in their early days.
You can never go wrong with brogues if you’re going for a semi-formal look. There are two types of brogues you can wear with a kilt.
Ghillie brogues are the first type and have two striking differences from other brogues. The first difference is that ghillie brogues don’t have a tongue. This historically allowed the shoes to dry out quickly. The second and most noticeable difference is that ghillie brogues have longer than average laces. The wearer should wrap around his ankle instead of the standard position and tie them just below the calf. The laces were elongated initially to keep them out of the mud and dirt but gradually evolved into a fashion statement.
Ghillie brogues are a common sight at informal events such as Ceilidhs or weddings. They are also seen as the most traditional footwear that can be worn with a kilt outfit.
The next type of brogues that can go well with any kilt outfit is day brogues. These brogues are also commonly known as wingtips, especially in the US, because of the W shape in their toe caps. Wingtips also have aesthetic holes on the toe cap but also have a tongue and short laces, unlike their ghillie counterparts. These shoes are also arguably suitable for any occasion. They are an excellent option for people who want the ease of tying short laces and the practicality of wearing them to any event.
A kilt is even harder to pull off in the winter when low shoes are just out of the question. However, you can try a few types of boots with your kilt, keeping in mind that the outfit’s success will be determined by matching all the clothes with the footwear.
Highland boots, for instance, blend seamlessly with a leather kilt-based outfit. You can complete the leather on leather outfit with a leather top.
High-top leather boots are another type of footwear you can wear with your kilt in the winter. An ideal leather boot outfit incorporates a denim kilt and a casual shirt. You can also sweeten things with a suitable jacket.
Oxford shoes are some of the most effortless footwear to wear with a kilt. They can be recognized as semi-formal shoes with eyelet tabs sewn under the vamp. Simply put, the shoes’ eyelet tabs form a “V” shape on the lacing system.
As the name suggests, Oxford shoes were born in the prestigious British institution of higher learning with the same name. It’s believed that Oxford students, tired of wearing boots around campus, designed the shoe themselves for increased comfort.
You can wear oxfords with a kilt, long knitted, and a formal jacket for a distinct look. In spring, you can spice the outfit up further with a leather jacket matched with sunglasses and a leather belt.
Modern fashion has tried with great success to break the monotonous t-shirt, jeans combination that is associated with sneakers. Nowadays, it is common to see people wearing sneakers with formal and semi-formal outfits.
As a result, the sneaker-kilt combination has been gracing urban trends and even the runway. So you can replace the brogues, oxfords, and boots with sneakers for your kilt outfit in summer. Of course, a kilt will look better with low-top sneakers, but high tops can also work with a leather kilt.
Other Accessories to wear with a kilt
As we’ve already established, kilts were initially worn in Scotland with plain shirts. However, with their inception to modern fashion, contemporary styles have become the norm. Here are some things you can wear to sweeten your kilt outfit:
While a kilt is not your typical office attire, you might still need to wear it to formal events like weddings. You can add a tie to your kilt, shirt, and suit jacket outfit when dressing for such an occasion.
If the jacket is navy blue or black, you can wear a white or light-colored shirt. However, if the shirt is dark gray or brown, go for a darker shirt. In both cases, a patterned tie will be an excellent addition to the outfit.
Suspenders seem to work with any classic outfit. Kilts are no different. Pairing your suspenders with a bow will leave your kilt outfit turning heads.
Just like ties, bowties are a great way to flaunt your dress-shirt for formal events like weddings. If you wear a patterned bow, your shirt should be plain. Then, you can match the bow’s pattern to your kilt or socks.
To sum it up
Fashion is what you wear. Style is how you wear it. Fashion integrates every aspect of your life, and even the clothes you wear will increase your appearance and add to your self-confidence and attitude. Many people assume fashion is limited to clothing, but that’s just one aspect of it. You should therefore rock your kilt with confidence and leave heads turning.