Why did Scots start wearing kilts?



Kilts are not unique to Scotland. Simple tunics were common in ancient times, but by the medieval period were associated with backward, more primitive cultures. In Scotland, clansmen of the Highlands wore a large sort of blanket known as a belted plaid. is was fixed by a belt around the waist as a skirt, and also went over the upper body. Lowlanders, however, thought the belted plaid demonstrated the primitiveness of the Highlanders. e Highland clans who fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 wore the belted plaid, but after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden, the plaid was banned by order of the London government. Meanwhile, a simpler kilt, consisting of a basic pleated skirt attached with a belt, had been developed by an Englishman named Rawlinson for the workers at his iron foundry at Glengarry. It was adopted for Scottish regiments by the British as an acceptable way of integrating Scottish culture into the British army. Ocial approval for the kilt came in 1822, when George IV wore one in Edinburgh. Tartan was a popular pattern for both belted plaid and kilts but the idea of specific tartans being associated with particular clans is largely a Victorian invention.

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