In America, a man wearing a skirt would probably spark some conversations.. but in Scotland, it is completely normal and actually very respected. We visited Kinloch Anderson today and learned all about the Tartan (also known as a kilt). Kinloch Anderson is one of the most successful kilt companies in the world; they are going on six generations of a family run business.
Every tartan is different from the other – some tartans are passed on from generations and only a person from the family can wear that kilt. Kinloch Anderson has actually made tartans for the Royal family (by appointment that is). The tartan tells a person who they are and can tell a someone where that person comes from. Each tartan at Kinloch Anderson starts at 500 pounds; they are handmade (hand sewn) and it takes over eight hours to make. They are actually heavier than I expected them to be.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, a Scottish man in a tartan is a very respected man. They take pride in their tartan! A Scottish man wearing his tartan is like an American man wearing a nice suit and tie. In America, when a man is getting married he is usually dressed in a nice suit and tie, but in Scotland it is very unlikely than a man is not wearing his tartan to his wedding.
A few people in my group went to Catholic school growing up and asked our presenter if the plaid skirts from school had any significance to the tartan. She said that plaid in America is the same as tartan. Our presenter said it’s not plaid, it’s tartan. I guess Americans have it confused!
Michigan State has their own registered tartan – the “Spartan Tartan“. You can actually get the plaid look at MSU stores on ties, pajama bottoms, scarfs, etc.
It was cool to learn about the tartan and how respected they are in Scotland. I never knew how important a tartan was to a Scottish man, but after learning about them, I now respect any man I see wearing his kilt.