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Burn's Night Burn's Supper Christmas Highlandwear Kilt Kilt Hire Kilts Kilts for Sale Robert Burns Scotland Scottish Clans Scottish History tartan traditions traditions Wedding Kilts

Tips on Wearing a Kilt!

Highland wear can be a tricky business! Especially for men wearing a kilt for the first time. It’s a whole new experience and we want to make sure you get everything just right so your outfit looks perfect! Houston Kiltmakers want to assist you any way we can so have a look below at our useful hints and tips on highland wear!

1. Put your socks on first; make sure ribs on socks are running vertical and not twisted. Top of socks should be parallel and same length. Put the garter flashes on socks to the outside of your leg, making sure there is a three to four inch gap between the top of the socks and bottom of the kilt. About one inch below the knee is an ideal resting point for your socks.

2. Put your sgian dubh down the right leg of your sock. If you are left handed it can be worn down your left leg.

3. Put your ghillie brogue shoes on, twist the laces three to four times and take round back of the calf. Return them to the front of your shin about 2/3 of the way up and tie in a normal bow quite firmly and show to the front or side as preferred. If you find the laces are constantly slipping down and becoming loose then wrap them lower down your leg or round your ankle a couple of times.

4. Put on your shirt making sure any creases are ironed out, and put your cufflinks on.

5. Make sure the kilt pin is on the front apron only, on the fringed side of your kilt about two inches from the bottom and side of the fringe.

6. Put your kilt on making sure it is a good fit and it sits well up (about one and a half inches above the hip bone). Then look at the front apron and make sure the centre line is down the middle of the kilt so it is well balanced with pleats to the back. When looking in the mirror the kilt should be in an A shape with the sides well balanced.

7. Clip the chain strap onto the sporran, then put the chain strap through the kilt belt loops and fasten your sporran at the back of the kilt. Make sure the sporran is centred to front apron, positioned about four to five inches below the top of the kilt. You can rest the chain strap on top of the kilt buckles if you wish. This will secure the sporran a bit better.

8. Then put the belt and buckle on covering the chain strap. We recommend jacket wearing a belt as if you remove your jacket and waistcoat during an event the outfit will look bare, so we include a belt with all our hires. Check that the belt buckle is about one to two inches above the sporran.

9. If you are wearing a shoulder plaid, fasten under your left hand jacket lapel and fasten with plaid brooch onto jacket only.

10. Put on your waistcoat, then jacket. Make sure the jacket is fitting square on, with the waistcoat buttons, tie, sporran, buckle and kilt centre line all straight up and down. If driving to a venue, we advise that you hang the jacket up in the back and put it on when you get out the car. Try not to drive with your jacket on as it may crease.

11. Finally put on your tie, bow, ruche or standard tie.

12. Make sure you have a dram in your sporran flask and have an optional sprig of heather for your button hole.

We hope this information helps! Please comment below with any questions!

Houston Traditional Kiltmakers Est. 1909

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Burn's Night Burn's Supper Christmas Highlandwear Kilt Kilt Hire Kilts Kilts for Sale Robert Burns Scotland Scottish Clans Scottish History tartan traditions Wedding Kilts

Hiring vs Buying… Making an informed decision!

Bute Heather Tartan Kilt Collection
Bute Heather Tartan Kilts

There’s always an occasion to wear a kilt to. We have Burn’s Supper in January and then for the old romantics maybe a Valentine’s Day Wedding in February. Christenings, funerals, parties, through to May when Communion ceremonies start and then wedding season begins! Whether it’s your own event or that of friends or family there are sure to be many events to keep your social calender full at the weekends right through to the festive period and Hogmanay, then your back to January getting your kilt ready for Burn’s Supper again!

A kilt is a garment that last a lifetime and one that will never go out of fashion. However; with so many choices of tartan the fashion concious customers may opt to hire for each individual event and try a new tartan every time! Other may choose to buy their family tartan or a couple may decide to merge their clan tartans to create a new family tartan and have it specially woven for their wedding. It can be hard to decide whether to hire or buy but here is a quick breakdown to help you make an informed decision.

Hiring

As previously mentioned hiring may be ideal for the fashion concious kilt wearer. You can pick a different tartan each time you hire. This can often be a good option if you are one of the grooms men and need your kilt to coordinate with the bridesmaids dresses. If the grooms men plan to hire for a wedding always remember to ask your kilt maker if they provide a group hire option as this can be very cost effective! Houston’s offer a group hire option where if 5 men hire kilt outfits the groom will get his for free!

With a choice of 130 tartans Houston’s is the place to go as most hire shops have a choice of between 6 an 16.

Always ask how much you need to pay and whether or not it is refundable due to cancellation, you never know what might happen and you don’t want it to cost you!

Make sure your hire outfit includes everything you will need, you don’t want to discover on your wedding day that you are minus one shirt!

Buying

Often men will hire as buying a full kilt pack can be very costly. However; Houston’s are one of the few who provide a hire and buy option where if you buy your kilt we will provide the rest of the outfit for hire free of charge. We also have a kilt sale on and are offering 20% off made to measure kilts until the 28th February 2013 so there is no better time to buy! Using this option you can build up your kilt pack over time.

If you choose to buy a kilt it truly is a garment that will last a lifetime. So, many will choose their family tartan for its sentimental value. This made to measure garment can be cut for growth so it can be let out if you lose weight or alternatively it can be let out if you gain. That way the garment could also be passed on to the next generation of the family. Also if you buy your kilt for your wedding day, in the same way your wife keeps her dress you will have your kilt as a wonderful reminder of the best day of your life, difference being you can wear yours again!

If you are buying your kilt for a specific occasion make sure you allow 6 – 8 weeks for the production process.

Hiring is a great option for local customers as they can visit the shop easily however; for customers purchasing overseas buying is your only option unless you will be staying in Scotland for your event.

This is a short pro’s and con’s list to give you a better idea of what your options are. We hope this helps! Please feel free to ask us any questions we will try and help you in any way we can!

Don’y forget to find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HoustonKiltmakers1909
and Twitter: @Houstonkilts

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Highlandwear Kilt Kilt Hire Kilts Scottish Clans Scottish History tartan Wedding Kilts

Scottish Weddings

When couples decide to jet off to get married the usual destinations are the exotic locations of Italy, Spain, Mexico and America. With these destinations within such close reach many may wonder why Canadian couple Fraser and Laura flew thousands of miles to get hitched in Scotland. It may be unclear to many but as a true Scot born and bred, I can tell you that what Scotland lacks in sunshine it makes up for in beauty, history and a rich culture. Scotland is famous for its rich culture, historic landmarks, and picturesque lochs. It is recognized in world cinema within classics such as Whisky Galore! and Braveheart. Character Stephen in Braveheart looks round at the army of Scotsmen standing strong and proud in their kilts and tells William Wallace “The Almighty says this must be a fashionable fight. It’s drawn the finest people”. It is true, that as well as the beautiful sights in Scotland the traditional dress is just as striking and symbolic of our wonderful country.

Fraser and Laura of Toronto, Canada got engaged after two years together and decided to fly almost 3,300 miles to marry in the town where Fraser’s ancestors lived before venturing across the Atlantic. The couple were not entertained by the standard practice of getting married in the popular wedding destinations of the Caribbean or Mexico, and with both Laura and Fraser’s ancestry dating back centuries to Scotland it seemed like the perfect choice. More specifically, as Fraser’s relatives had been married in Paisley Abbey centuries before that is where the couple set their hearts on for their big day. The couple faced quite a challenge arranging a wedding through only email and phone calls, but it was a challenge accepted and completed without fail. The couple commented that all the businesses they used within Paisley were particularly helpful (Oh and yes the happy couple did hire their highland wear from Houston Kiltmakers!).
It just goes to show that sometimes the most unlikely of places make the most special memories.

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Highlandwear Kilt Hire Kilts Kilts for Sale Wedding Kilts

What every Groom should know about weddings!

What kind of Kiltmakers would we be if we did not offer to help you out on the biggest day of your life? Having sorted out men across the world with their wedding kilts for the last 100 years we like to think we are the experts . So whether you popped the question this Valentine’s day or have set a date in 2011, you need to start thinking about a kilt to hire or buy as soon as possible.

Here at Houston’s we know that women are normally in charge and you may not even have a say in the cake, flowers, table plans or the venue. Your friends may mock you as you have to miss the football match for a meeting with the Mrs so be prepared. But one thing you simply have to get right is the Kilt.

Now unlike the beautiful bride who wears her dress once then either sells it on ebay or stores in the attic, as a Groom you are making a lifetime purchase. Start by using the Houston Kiltmakers Tartan Finder to ensure you are wearing the right Scottish tartan kilt, we have EVERY tartan in the world on display in our showroom so are spoilt for choice!

The Grooms Wedding Checklist

  • The Outfit – make sure your kilt is the right tartan, it matches your Best Man and Ushers and it fits!! If you are buying a kilt make sure the kilt measurements are correct and you try on BEFORE the big day.
  • The Wedding List – remember you have to compromise and this is the first test with your future wife. The seating plan may cause a few headaches but
  • The Best Man – choose someone reliable who will not forget the rings, throw you the best stag do and not embarrass you too much in your speech!
  • The Speech – this is the part when you are under the spotlight. If nervous keep it short and sweet but remember to say how gorgeous the bridesmaids are, compliment your new wife, thank both set of parents oh and try to throw in a joke or quirky one liner.
  • The Stag Do – probably one of the highlights but our advice is NEVER have it the night before, plan ahead and give you and your friends a few weeks to recover.  It is popular to go abroad but don’t forget that Scotland is full of great outdoor spots and city nightlife!
  • The Honeymoon – now with your wife to be taking control of most of the wedding plans this is your chance to help out. Remember to choose something you BOTH would like and if you can keep it a surprise.

Now all that is left to for you is to get to the church on time and remember to say ‘I Do’! Congratulations and don’t forget to post any wedding pics on our Facebook Page and if you need help on how to wear your kilt then check out our You Tube Channel. Good Luck.

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Highlandwear Kilt Hire Kilts Wedding Kilts

How to choose a Scottish Tartan?

The Scots are known across the world as one of the friendliest nations. Our friends at home and abroad often ask us to help them find out what tartan kilt they should be wearing and want to find out more about their Scottish Heritage.

Each Scottish Clan or family name has its own tartan, Clan crest and Clan motto. In the past, official Clan tartans were governed by the Clan Chief with final approval being made in the Court of the Lord Lyon of Arms which governed Scottish heraldry.

Finding out what tartan and clan you belong to could not be simpler.  Houston Kiltmakers have 2 easy ways to help you find the right tartan for your Scottish kilt.

Houston’s Kilt Tartan Finder

  1. Just enter the name of the clan, tartan, or plaid you wish to view into Houston’s Tartan Finder to learn more about your Scottish roots.
  2. You can easily browse Houston’s range of tartans by surname. Just type in your surname and we will search our tartan database that includes EVERY Scottish tartan in the world to come up with a match.

Don’t worry if your surname does not come up with a specific clan or tartan. There are lots of tartans that anyone can wear, you don’t even have to be Scottish! Our owner Ken MacDonald also took inspiration from the Isle of Bute and designed an EXCLUSIVE Houston’s Bute Heather Collection that looks very modern and is perfect for a contemporary Scottish Wedding. Don’t forget you can post any kilt kilt pictures on our Facebook Page,  tag yourself and share the love of all things Scottish!