The moment I think of Scotland, my mind automatically jumps to an image filled with all things plaid. Luckily, Scotland has lived up to that image. I love walking passed store windows filled with all things tartan (plaid) and seeing people sporting the look without a care in the world. Personally, I can’t rock the plaid pattern. I’ve tried and its failed too many times to count. In the U.S. I see it mostly in the fall, but here, it’s perfect for all seasons.

Today we had the honor of visiting one of Scotland’s most prestigious tartan/kilt companies. Kinloch Anderson prides itself in producing the highest quality tartans a variety of events ranging from mostly casual to incredibly formal. I knew that Scotland was home to many kilts, but I never actually knew what kinds of things they were worn for other than playing the bagpipes. After hearing a phenomenal lecture at Kinloch Anderson, I walked away with an entirely new mindset on kilts and the history behind it.

First and foremost, I learned what a tartan was. Tartan is simply another word for plaid or the pattern used in the kilts. There are endless amounts of different tartans that are used to create the clothing. Some patterns are specific to royal families and can only be worn exclusively by them. Others can be personally specialized for events, different families, or various occasions. I think its incredibly interesting that a plaid pattern can be exclusive to ones blood line. In America, a family owning a pattern would be completely uncommon. Here, it’s incredibly normal and considered prestigious. I love being able to surround myself with culture that doesn’t emulate that of the United States.

kilt 5

One thing that was stressed at Kinloch Anderson was the fact that tartan originated in Scotland and is seen as a gift they were able to share with the world. I absolutely love that. It’s easy to just see plaid and nothing other than a pattern, but being able to dig deeper into it, I appreciate the history that truly embodies it. Hopefully someday I can figure out how to make plaid work for me because i’d love to hop on the bandwagon and rock a Scottish look.