A guide to the kilt jacket

A kilt jacket is one of the most universal pieces of clothing a man can own. Originating from the 17th century, kilt jackets have survived the test of time in fashion and are traditional attire in a highland wear outfit. But what actually is a kilt jacket? how is it different to a normal formal jacket, well this post covers all things kilt jackets including, differences, styling, origins, styles and bespoke jackets.

Kilt jacket

What is the difference between a kilt jacket and normal jacket?-

traditional kilt jacket

A kilt jacket is traditionally identified as a key part of highland wear attire, designed to compliment a kilt and its tartan. There are many different styles of kilt jackets and they all have distinct unique features. Kilt jackets are traditionally worn in Scottish and Irish formal wear. Kilt jackets are typically made from high quality wool for comfort, warmth and durability. Kilt jackets are more decorative & formal than your standard formalwear jackets with accents like satin lapels, velvet trims, shaped pockets, cuff and shaping.

A normal formal wear jacket like a blazer or suit jacket tend to be more simple and use lighter thinner materials like cotton or polyester. Kilt jackets are typically worn as part of a highland wear outfit but a normal formal jacket can usually be styled down more.

Kilt jackets are usually more tailored & longer in sleeve length and slightly shorter on the body, allowing them to be styled well with a kilt outfit.

kilts for sale

Where can I wear a kilt jacket?

Despite being formal jackets, kilt jackets can be worn to a wide array of events such as weddings, ceilidhs, christenings, galas, parties, dinners, burns suppers, awards, graduations, balls & Scottish themed events.

Due to the variety of kilt jacket options there is more dressy styles suitable for formal occasions like Prince Charlies or more casual day jackets like Argyll tweeds suitable for semi formal events.

Kilt jackets are key wardrobe staples as they are designed to last a lifetime and can be styled up or down to your events and customised to your individual style.

What jacket do I wear with a kilt

How can I style a kilt jacket?-

When styling your kilt jacket with a kilt, most people follow the traditional styling, your kilt jacket would be styled with a tartan kilt, formal sporran, chain straps , a belt, shirt, tie, waistcoat, jacket accessorised with your kilt hose , ghillie brogues, kilt pin, Sgian Dubh and possible shoulder plaid.

Kilt jacket buttons are typically shiny or antique finished, it doesn’t matter which you have but they should match the finishings on your accessories to tie the whole look together.

If you want to style a kilt outfit with tartan trews, the jacket would be styled with a shirt, tie, trews, belt and brogues.

For a more semi formal casual look you could style your kilt jacket with a smart pair of trousers and shirt. Wearing a kilt jacket elevated a formal outfit and is a great way of standing out in the best way and embracing a piece of Scottish tradition and culture.

Where did they come from?-

Kilt jackets were introduced in the late 1700s and early 1800s as a piece of more formal outerwear. There are a few main styles of jacket and the kilt jacket has evolved over the years while remaining true to its Scottish heritage and design. Designed to be styled with a kilt the kilt jacket became popular through Scots outside of Scotland wearing it for formal occasions.

The Prince Charlie jacket-

Prince Charlie kilt jacket

The Prince Charlie jacket is one of the most iconic staples of highland wear and is easily one of the best formal jackets to wear due to its simple but impactful design. The Prince Charlie jacket is the most formal of the kilt jacket styles and is appropriate for most formal / black tie events. The Prince Charlie can be styled in a formal kilt outfit or with smart trousers or trews.

The Prince Charlie jacket was introduced as a well tailored formal jacket in the 1920s and often referred to as a “Coatee”, over time it is now referred to as “PC”. The unique style and design of the jacket made it suitable for black tie events.

The Pc is more cropped in jacket length but features longer sleeves, and a tail panel at the back of the jacket. The jacket features 3 diagonally positioned buttons across each side of the front and an additional 3 buttons of the side of each sleeve. All tied together with braided epaulettes with buttons on the shoulder and 8 buttons on the back of the jacket.

The jacket is also paired with a 3 button Pc waistcoat and this is usually a black/navy coloured jacket with multiple button options.

Tweed kilt jacket

The tweed Argyll jacket-

The Argyll jacket is the most easily styled jackets for a kilt outfit as they come in an array of colours and feature a one button closure with scalloped 3 button cuffs, epaulettes, scalloped pockets and pair with a 5 button waistcoat. These jackets can be paired with shiny, antique, real stag horn or imitation stag buttons.

The Argyll jacket is a less formal jacket but can still be dressed up or down for day or night occasions. The versatility of the argyle makes it a great choice for those investing in a kilt jacket and can be worn with our without a 5 button waistcoat, often paired with a belt and buckle.

These jackets look great for more casual styling with smart trousers and informal styling as well. The tweed fabric adds a subtle texture and is made from 100% wool, designed for longevity and durability.

Black kilt jacket

The Argyll/Braemar jacket-

The Argyll Braemar jacket is one of the most common jackets to be styled with a highland wear outfit or trews. The design imitates a more simplified look of the Prince Charlie jacket and is suitable for formal/ semi formal occasions. Made from pure wool they provide a luxurious feel as quality jackets.

The Argyll Braemar jacket features a more elevated look coming in black and navy tweed with braided epaulettes, 3 button sleeve cuff, one button closure and 3 button pockets. These types of jackets are typically paired with shiny or antique finished buttons to match the accessories.

Due to their dark colour and more elevated look they pair well with almost any tartan for formal occasions. These jackets are paired with a matching 5 button waistcoat.

Bespoke jackets-

You can even have a bespoke jacket made, this allows you to build your dream jacket including all the small details, we have hundreds of tweeds from you to pick from in a variety of styles, you can go on to customise your buttons, lapels, pockets, epaulettes, lining, sleeve cuffs and vents. This allows you to have a truly one of a kind jacket suited to your style, personality and needs allowing maximum wearability and will last you a life time in your wardrobe as an enduring statement of quality.

If you have any enquires on stock or bespoke kilt jackets we would love to welcome you in store or alternatively you can reach out to us at [email protected] or call us on 0141 889 4879.

You can also browse our full range of buy jackets here.

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