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Highlandwear

Real Men Wear Kilts!

Its prom season in Scotland! High school and University student are finishing their exams, completing their final submissions and counting down to party time! We are rushed off our feet with numerous prom and graduation Highland wear bookings. The majority of young men wear a kilt to the prom or grad ball. Well lets face it, a guy wearing a kilt in Scotland is hardly out of the ordinary! We were however STUNNED to hear that a young man was banned by his school board from wearing a kilt to his prom!

In an article posted online by Huffington Post, it was reported that a senior high school student in southwestern Illinois had his request to wear a traditional Scottish kilt to prom denied after the Principle supposedly said men should ‘dress like men at their senior prom’. A comment the principle later denied making.

The pupil had bought a kilt in his family clan tartan and hope to wear the outfit in honour of his Scottish and Irish roots. The student made his initial request to the principle which was denied. He then took his case forward to the school board who stated that the kilt did not comply with the district dress code.

First of all, we find it bizarre that a pupil needed to ask permission to wear a traditional form of dress, especially when that outfit consists of smart shoes, jacket, waistcoat shirt and either a tie or bow tie. The only issue appears to be with the kilt which is made of very expensive fabric. Highland wear is by no means informal. Tartan itself has consistently stayed in the height of fashion for centuries! Highland wear is of the highest quality garments in both its worth and its aesthetic value, why else would all the Scots be wearing it to weddings?!

This article was posted last year however; we wondered if this school still felt the same way. The story comes as a surprise, particularly as there are many Scottish and Irish families residing in the United States and thousands more who descend from the Scots!

All we know is we wear our kilts with pride an would urge others to do the same! If you are of Scottish descent you should count yourself lucky to have descended from such a smashing bunch of people! Some people may not like kilts and so, each to their own. However; we love our national dress and don’t agree with the idea that when requesting to wear a kilt the young man was told he must ‘dress like a man’ at his prom!

REAL MEN WEAR KILTS!

Article sourced from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/w earing-a-kilt-to-prom-il_n_1389612.html

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Burn's Night Highlandwear Kilt Hire

How to dress like a true Scotsman!

Autumn Bute Tartan

 

Highland wear can be a tricky business, especially if you are wearing a kilt for the first time! It’s a whole new experience and we have comprised some top tips to make sure you get everything just right and are dressed to perfection! Houston Kiltmakers want to assist you any way we can, so have a look below at our quick fire guide to dressing like a true Scotsman!

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 the top of your socks.

Kilt socks and sgian dubh

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 as shown by the arrow positioned in the image (below), 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.

Kilt centre

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. 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.

 

Prince Charlie Jacket

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

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

Wing collar shirt and bow tie 

12. For further information on tartans as well as advice on what to wear and how to wear it please view our helpful video clips at www.kiltmakers.com/tv/

13. To download our brochures and view our buy range please visit www.kiltmakers.comto view our hire range go to www.kiltsforhire.com for any further information or help feel free to contact us by phone +44 141 889 4879

 

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Burn's Night Gifts Highlandwear Kilt Hire

Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Nowadays the internet allows us to buy almost anything from anywhere in the world. With that much choice it’s hard to know where to go or even, where to start! Many people now look to customer reviews to highlight which companies are the most reliable and sell the best quality products.

As a retailer customer satisfaction is paramount, nothing means more to us than seeing a happy customer! Sometimes words on a screen just aren’t enough to convince you of a company’s quality. At Houston’s we can assure you our products are authentic and made in Scotland. We use only the best quality and have the greatest wealth of knowledge to help guide you. We have helpful and friendly staff working in our family run business which has been flourishing now for over 100 years… but like I said, sometimes words on a screen aren’t enough. That is why we are including photos!

Our customers often send photos of themselves in their highland wear from Houston’s so we thought we would share these with you. If your considering buying or hiring highland wear from Houston’s we are certain you will have a positive experience with us! See the smile’s on our customers faces if you don’t believe us!

Houston's Modern Bute Heather Tartan

 

Above is Antonio Vezza in a Houston’s Own Modern Bute Heather Tartan. Antonio took part in the 2013 Hampden Kilt Walk! Hundreds of participants took part in the 26 mile trek from Hampden to Loch Lomond to raise money for a range of Scottish Children’s Charities! Antonio remembered only at the very last minute he had forgotten to hire a kilt for the event! Not to worry Houston’s were on hand to help with a last minute hire!

 

Isn’t this a great photo of our customer Steve Baird and his wife? They donned their highland wear for a cultural diversity day at the school they work at in Houston, Texas!

 

Our customer Albert Davy from Austria purchased kilt packs for himself and his sons from Houston’s and sent on photos taken on 25th December at a photographic studio in his village and on 31st December at the New Year’s Eve Ball in The Vienna Imperial Castle. Some guests there believed Albert to be the Scottish Ambassador as his outfit was worn to perfection! Albert said “We had so much fun an received a lot of honours when I said “I’m a semi-Scotsman” telling the story of my ancients in Dumbarton”.

So don’t take our word for it, take our customers, word for it! After ‘the customer is always right’, right?

Categories
Highlandwear Kilt Hire

Houston’s to the rescue!

Houston's Own Modern Bute Heather Tartan

 

The Kilt Walk is a wonderful Scottish Charity which supports various Scottish children’s charities including Yorkhill Children’s Hospital and CLIC Sargent. The Kilt Walk charity is rapidly progressing with sponsored walks taking place all over Scotland. All funds raised are divided between 6 core partner charities. Donations are made to other children’s charities when a group nominate which organisation they wish their sponsorship monies to be granted too.

The walks take place in three length options in 26 miles, 13 miles and a 10K to suit all participants. Hundreds of people took part in the most recent Hampden kilt walk on 21st April 2013 and naturally in our line of business we though it was a delight to see such a large crowd in their kilts and the prospect of them all gathering in order to raise money for sick and disadvantaged kids was just the icing on the cake!

Now, as you can imagine one of the most prominent features in the kilt walk is of course, the kilt! So when one of the participants Antonio Vezza FORGOT to hire a kilt the initial reaction was SHOCK! HORROR! …Enter Houston Kiltmaker’s! Not only had Antonio forgot to hire but he was out the country for the week before the event. However; help was at hand! Thanks to Tony’s trusty work colleagues and a helping hand from Houston’s (and the wonders of modern technology) we were able to collect all his measurements while he was in Spain and arranged to have his kilt collected for him ready to wear for the kilt walk!

 

Houston's Own Modern Bute Heather Tartan

 

Tony was delighted with his kilt and could not get over the perfect fit considering we didn’t fit him personally in store… what can we say? we’re good! Tony sent on his personal thanks to Houston’s and was good enough to send on picture of him in his kilt. His colleagues all commented on the beautiful tartan and excellent quality, it seems Tony turned a few heads in his Houston’s Own Modern Bute Heather Tartan!

We were happy to help. Houston’s have an extensive hire stock which is available to hire as late as the day of your event; although we always advise you book as far in advance as possible to get exactly what you are looking for.

Houston’s would like to wish a hardy well done to all who participated in the kilt walk!

For any kilt hire or buy inquiries please call +441418894879 or email us on shop@kiltmakers.com

 

Categories
Burn's Night Gifts Highlandwear Kilt Hire

Houston Kiltmakers Official Kilt Ettiquette Guide 2013 ©

KILT ETIQUETTE GUIDE
Midnight Bute Tartan

Kilts can be a tricky business, especially if you have never worn Highland wear before! There are various styles of Highland wear which can be worn for dress, day or casual wear. To make sure you get everything just right read our kilt ettiquette guide for information on tartans as well as advice on what to wear and how to wear it.

Who is entitled to wear a kilt?

Ancient Bute Heather Tartan

 

One question we constantly get asked is: who is entitled to wear a kilt? Is it only for Scots or people with Scottish ancestors?

Answer: Anybody can wear a kilt!

Almost every country in the world has got some sort of tartan link. In England you have Cornish, Northumberland and Manx (Isle of Man) tartans. The Irish tartans consist of county tartans such as Ulster, Co. Mayo, Galway and Kildare and the Irish national tartan. We also have lots of Welsh tartans.

Over the past 400 years Scots have travelled the world reaching every corner of the globe. They have fulfilled a rich diversity of trades and professions including traders, missionaries, engineers, doctors, teachers, naturalists and inventors to name only a few. Within Europe many French, Spanish, Italian and German families have Celtic roots and are often of Scottish decent; whilst further afield there is a strong Scottish connection within America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Russia. We export to every country in the world from the United States to the Falkland Isles.

 

Tartan

What Tartan can I wear?

Most customers will choose a clan tartan based on a family name. This could be either a person’s own surname or that of a parent or grandparent. However; you can wear any tartan for any occasion. Traditionally hunting, ancient and weathered tartans were worn with tweeds and day jackets for outdoor functions, hunting and highland games. Dress and modern tartans were worn with formal functions and black tie dinners. Nowadays people tend to choose tartan for its aesthetic value, a family or clan connection; or to coordinate with wedding colours.

 

Modern Bute HeatherMidnight Bute Tartan

 

If you do not have family or clan tartan to choose from you can choose a tartan that anyone can wear. You can choose from a range of national tartan such as Scottish National or American National. Often over the years one has heard people explaining they have the right or that they are entitled to wear this or that tartan…. in fact no such right, in any legal sense, exists for them or anyone else ….the only considerations which govern the wearing of a particular set are usage and good taste (quote from Scottish Tartans Authority director Brian Wilton). Nowadays people tend to choose a tartan to coordinate with wedding or colours or purely for its aesthetic value. Greys in particular are currently in vogue and very popular amongst kilt buyers. Pictured above are examples of Houston’s own Bute Heather Tartan Designs which are predominantly woven in greys, purples and blues. There are only a few hundred tartans that are privately owned and require permission to be worn.

 

Weight of Tartans

19 oz kilts are generally for regimental wear but are available in around six tartans.

16 oz/17oz kilts are the largest range available with a choice of around 14,000 tartans. Heavy weight kilts are the best as the kilt sits and swings better. Heavy weight tartans can also be Teflon coated making them stain proof. Contrary to popular belief, heavy weight kilts are not any warmer than medium or lightweight kilts. It is in fact the top half of your outfit such as your jacket and waistcoat that generate heat. The majority of jackets are heavy weight however; Houston’s have perfected their own super light weight jacket which has a great cut and comfortable fit.

13oz Medium weight kilts are normally produced for Irish and Welsh national tartans. Medium weight kilts come in a choice of around 1000 tartans.

11oz light weight cloth would normally be woven for ladies skirts, gents’ trousers and waistcoats, children’s kilts, children’s trousers and ties. Kilts do not have a hem around the bottom of the garment however; children’s kilts can be cut for growth. A hem of around 2 to 3 inches will be added, and can then be let down when the child grows a bit taller.

8 oz fabric is used to make coordinating ties or bow ties and also ladies dresses.

Wool, like the 11oz lightweight cloth can be used for ladies and gents’ trousers and waistcoats.

Silk is available in 80 tartans and can be used to make ties, bow ties, waistcoats and ladies dresses.

Cotton and Poly Cotton can used to make napkins and shirts.

 

Teflon Coating

Stain Proof

 

At Houston’s we were the first to Teflon coat/stain proof all our tartans, which makes our kilts and jackets fully protected from rain and stains. The fabric is even beer proof! The wool has the same handle and is fully breathable, making them safe to wear to rugby and football matches. We calculate that over the life span of your kilt you will save approximately £180 to £260, not having to get your kilt dry cleaned as often. This also helps the environment. The Teflon coating lasts a minimum of 18 dry cleans.

 

Samples and Swatches

If you would like a sample or swatch of tartan we offer these free of charge to customers. If you live locally there will be no charge for postage. If you live overseas there will be a charge of £5.00 GBP for postage as we ship thousands overseas. If you proceed to order from Houston’s this amount will be deducted from your final cost. We would also suggest that if a colour has already been chosen for the theme of a wedding e.g. if the colour pink has been chosen for the bridesmaids dresses it is helpful to bring a sample of the fabric into the store when inquiring about hiring or buying for the event. This allows Houston’s to show you the best coordinating tartans and furthermore, give you the option to have ties made to coordinate with your chosen colours.

 

The Reputable Mills

At Houston’s we tailor our kilts from pure wool tartans woven by Scotland’s top quality, reputable mills. We have all mass produced tartans by Lochcarron, House of Edgar, Strathmore, Bute Mill, Martin Mills, Batley & Dalgleish in 250 swatch book forms available to view in store.

 

Kilt Yardage

The traditional 8 yard kilt is the standard measure of gents’ kilts. The kilt sits high on the waist, a couple of inches above the hip bone. This would be worn for formal occasions, and it is recommended that the 8 yard kilt be woven in a 17oz heavy weight fabric as this sits and swings better when worn. Some men’s kilts are still woven in 6 yards of cloth however 8 yards is the standard measurement for gents. 6 yard kilts are now more commonly made for women’s kilts.

Jackets

Prince Charlie Jacket

 

Prince Charlie jackets are worn to dress occasion such as black tie dinners, balls, graduations and weddings. It is traditionally worn with a 3 button waistcoat with a black bow tie and a white standard or wing collar pleat front shirt. Alternatively it can be worn with a plain black or white front shirt, with double cuff and cufflinks.

The Prince Charlie jacket traditionally comes with shiny buttons and the silver wear to match however; antique buttons and silver wear have of late become more popular.

The jacket is more popularly worn with a spread bat wing shirt or a standard collar, plain front shirt in white or black with a plain or tartan ruche cravat. It can be worn with either a 3 or a 5 button waistcoat however; we recommend a 3 button waistcoat with tartan ruches. Prince Charlie jackets must be worn with dress sporrans and black or off white kilt hose or tartan hose. We strongly recommend you wear a belt and buckle as if you take your waist coast and jacket off for dancing you will not be properly dressed without a belt and buckle. Therefore we offer this as an option. A ruche tie should NOT be worn with a small wing collar shirt as the wings are too small. Please Note: We do have some dark navy jackets with shiny buttons that look best with modern, dark, navy tartans to be worn with navy or off white kilt hose.

ARGYLL OR BRAEMARS

Braemar Jacket

 

The Argyll or Braemar are general jackets for any occasion, with shiny, antique or black button options. They are suitable for weddings, dinners, balls, graduations, christenings, burns suppers, highland games, ceildhies, garden parties, funerals and general day wear. Both can be worn with a plain tie or tartan tie (with or without a waist coat) or for evening wear with a bow tie (with or without a waist coat). With a ruche cravat a five button waist coat must be worn.

Argyll or Braemar can be worn with a black or white plain front shirt with a double cuff and cufflinks, with ruches or long ties. Bow ties must be worn with a pleat, front wing or standard collar shirt depending on the occasion. Ruche cravats worn with plain, standard or spread wing shirts must be worn with a waistcoat. Dress or semi dress sporrans can be worn or alternatively for a day event a leather sporran can be worn. Either black, off white, tartan or coordinating colour hose should be worn with your outfit.

TWEED BRAEMAR

Tweed Braemar

 

 

These jackets are for day/casual events, weddings, highland games, funerals, etc. Jackets should be worn with plain, tweed or tartan ties or ruche cravats, with optional five button waistcoat. For some weddings spread bat wing shirts can be worn with a ruche cravat. We recommend you wear a semi dress, day or dress sporran depending on your shirt and tie option. When choosing your hose you must pick a colour similar to that of your jacket for example you may choose grey or black if your shirt and sporran are black. Off white hose must NEVER be worn with a tweed jacket.

SHERRIFMUIRS, REGULATION doublets, MONTROSE, KENMORE doublets

Sherriffmuir

 

These should be worn for the same occasions as Prince Charlie jackets and a jabot shirt and cuffs, or a tunic granddad collar shirt or alternatively a spread bat wing and ruche cravat.

JACOBITE

Jacobite

 

Jacobite jackets and waistcoats can only be worn with Jacobite shirts. These are considered to be casual outfits.

SPORRANS

Sporrans

For general dress occasions a semi dress or dress sporran should be worn for day wear either a day or semi dress sporran. Your sporran should always be centered on the front of the kilt. The only exception to this is when dancing with a partner. The sporran should then be worn to the side upon the hip so not to damage a ladies dress.

SGIAN DUBH

Sgian Dubh

 

 

Sgian dubhs are to be placed in outside of right sock, showing only one inch of the sgian dubh. When entering company, raise the sgian dubh to about two inches above the top of the sock. This is to show that you are still partly armed when everyone sees you. There after you should once again conceal your sgian dubh so only one inch is visible.

HOSE

Kilt Hose

 

When choosing hose you are best to select a colour that complements and coordinates with the tartan or jacket. Traditional colours are off white, black or navy. Grey should be worn with a grey tweed jacket.

GARTER FLASHES

Garter Flashes

Garter flashes are used to keep your socks up. However; in olden days showing your tie or flash symbolised a single status letting ladies know you were available. Flashes that were tucked away were symbolic of married men and men who were courting.

PLAIDS

Shoulder Plaids

 

Shoulder plaids can be worn with dress jackets for weddings. They can be worn for photos then removed and put on top of the top table or cake table for decoration. Piper plaids must only be worn with Montrose or piper doublets.

DRESS CODE

Midnight Bute Tartan

Suggested dress code by De Bretts should be included on the bottom of invitations, as both ladies and gentleman will want to dress in accordance with your suggested dress code. This will often be dependent on the wedding venue. It should be noted on the invitation if you wish ladies to wear a hat. Below is a description of men’s dress.

Highlandwear: either; day, day/tweed, dress, black tie/evening wear or white tie.

OR

Morning Wear: We suggest not mixing morning wear with highland wear. Therefore; if you wear morning wear you should incorporate a tartan tie, ruche or hanky to pull together your outfit and coordinate it with the other guests wearing highland wear.

OR

Lounge Suits

OR

Black Tie, is either Highland Wear or Black Evening Suits

OR

Smart Casual

BEST MAN DUTIES

Best man duties include looking after the groom before, during and after the wedding. Duties also include organizing the hires of outfits for the groomsmen. This includes fittings, collection and return of hires, etc.

FURTHER HELP AND INFO

Ken and Ewan MacDonald

Owner of Houston’s Ken MacDonald has had his own kilt for over 30 years and it is well maintained due proper care and storage. For further information on tartans as well as advice on what to wear and how to wear it please view our helpful video clips at www.kiltmakers.com/tv/

Categories
Burn's Night Highlandwear Kilt Hire

KILT MAINTENANCE GUIDE

KILT MAINTENANCE GUIDE

A kilt is a garment that will last you a lifetime and so it is very important that you buy a heavy weight cloth and have it made by a reputable kiltmaker. A kilt is a man’s old faithful friend and most men will usually own one kilt in their lifetime. Therefore taking proper care of your kilt will not only ensure it stays looking its best for years to come but will also allow the kilt to be passed down the generations as a family heirloom. Read on for advice on maintaining, cleaning and storing your kilt to keep your Highland wear in tip top condition.

Stain Proofing

To ensure your kilt is well taken care of it is recommended that your kilt be Teflon coated. This will make your kilt stain (and even beer!) proof. All Houston’s own designs are Teflon coated but this is available for 350 other tartans which are not an original Houston’s design and on special weave tartans.

stain proof

At Houston’s we were the first to Teflon coat/stain proof all our tartans, which makes our kilts and jackets fully protected from rain and stains. The fabric is even beer proof! The wool has the same handle and is fully breathable, making them safe to wear to rugby and football matches.

We calculate that over the life span of your kilt you will save approximately £180 to £260, not having to get your kilt dry cleaned as often. This also helps the environment. The Teflon coating lasts a minimum of 18 dry cleans.

Dry Cleaning

Kilts are all wool and so CAN NOT be washed. Teflon coating protects your kilt making it stain proof. However; if your kilt is not Teflon coated you need to take special care when attempting to remove a stain. If you are attending an event and a drink is spilled on your kilt you are best to splash water on the stain immediately. Kilts CAN NOT be submerged in water but an affected area of around one or two square inches may be treated. Later when cleaning the affected area you should use warm water and a mild soap and gently rub the stain, but we cannot stress enough this should be used only on the small affected area you SHOULD NOT attempt to clean the whole kilt using this method. Attempting to clean the kilt in this fashion could shrink the waistband and ruin your garment. If you have a separate swatch or cutting of your tartan we strongly recommend that you stain it in the same way your kilt was stained to use it for experiment before cleaning your kilt. For example, if your kilt was stained with red wine you should pour some red wine on the separate cutting or swatch of tartan and treat it with warm water and mild soap as advised.

If the stain does not lift we would then suggest that you send your kilt to a reputable dry cleaner to have the stain removed. In the UK dry cleaners will be more experienced in cleaning kilts however; overseas your dry cleaner may not be familiar with the garment and so if you are having your kilt professionally cleaned we still recommended to give your cleaner a small sample of tartan to practise first. This will rule out any potential damage, as cleaners worldwide might not have cleaned a kilt at all before. As a made to measure garment you want to eliminate any risk of damage.

Content of Kilt

Kilts are 100% all wool with cotton canvas and lining.
They have leather belt straps with metal buckles.
DRY CLEAN ONLY
DO NOT TUMBLE DRY

Transporting

Kilt Carrier
Kilt Wardobe

There are various ways to store and transport your kilt and highland wear. Our deluxe carry carries your kilt, jacket and all accessories and is available in Grey or Navy. The deluxe carry has a kilt tube which your kilt can be rolled up and stored in. The deluxe carry includes a large zip cover which we refer to as the wardrobe this will be used to store your jacket. The large zip bag also has pockets to hold your shoes, shirt, sgian dubh, sporran and other accessories.

Wood Clamp Hanger

We also stock wooden clamp kilt hangers, which are great for hanging your kilt.

Kilt Carrier

If your kilt becomes creased in storage you can lightly steam it. When storing your kilt in the wardrobe you should make sure that it is contained in a protective cover with moth balls so there is no risk of damage or wear.

FURTHER HELP AND INFO

Ken and Ewan MacDonald

Owner of Houston’s Ken MacDonald has had his own kilt for over 30 years and it is well maintained due proper care and storage. For further information on kilt storage and maintenance and to see Ken and his 30 year old kilt please view our helpful video clips at www.kiltmakers.com/tv/

We appreciate all feedback please comment and let us know if you have any questions!

© Houston Traditional Kiltmakers 2013

Categories
Highlandwear Kilt Hire

Tartan… The Celebrities Favourite!

Houston Kiltmaker’s is the only shop where you can physically see every tartan available. You might not be too impressed by that but; what if we told you there are around 14,000 tartans? Ahhh… now we have your attention! What can we say we love tartan, of course we are biased being a traditional Scottish Highland outfitter! However; it seems we aren’t the only ones who love tartan.

Tartan is an ongoing celebrity trend and it’s not just men rocking kilts, ladies have also bought into the tartan trend. Although kilts and tartan are a traditional form of dress adaptations of these such as tartan shirts, skirts and dresses can be found in high street fashion stores. Modern fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood have introduced tartan to the catwalks of the most high profile fashion shows giving highland wear a modern edge. Moschino is one of the latest high profile designers to introduce tartan to their line. Tartan has become a noticeable celebrity trend with various styles been worn by stars such as Kiefer Sutherland, Chris Noth, Billy Connolly, Sean Connery, Rihanna, Katherine Jenkins, Taylor Swift, Victoria Beckham, Kylie Minogue and Emma Watson to name only a few. Furthermore, tartan has recently been worn by The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton which has given the tartan trend a regal accreditation. As well as British royalty, Pop royalty have now bought into the tartan trend! Going all out, Jermaine Jackson recently donned a full highland outfit whilst he toured in Glasgow with his brothers Jackie, Tito and Marlon.

Image available: http://www.heraldscotland.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/400xY/2013/3/20385823.JPG

This celebrity trend has widened the tartan appeal around the globe to a much larger and more diverse audience. So much so that global star Susan Boyle has now decided to create her own tartan! The first person to wear the tartan is none other than SuBo’s childhood heartthrob Donny Osmond! Susan performed with Donny and sister Marie at their concert in Glasgow’s SECC. She asked Donny to come on stage and presented him with a range of Scottish gifts including a tie woven in her own Boyle tartan.

image available: http://img.thesun.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01672/SNA1327TAR_1672268a.jpg

We reckon Susan’s tartan will be a massive seller worldwide and will be a must have item for her millions of followers.

So will you be after a SuBo tartan scarf? Are you a fan of the tartan trend?

Let us know, comment below!

(Information gathered from the Scottish Tartans Authority, Tartan Herald)

Categories
Highlandwear Kilt Hire

Hogmanay… Scottish New Year

Well the turkey has been eaten, the presents opened and Santa has been and gone! Christmas is over and done with well, for another year at least! But the party’s not over just yet, in Scotland we’re just getting started!

In Scotland we are well known for throwing a good party and New Year or as it’s known locally Hogmanay is the biggest party of the year in Scotland! Glasgow and Edinburgh are now well known party locations where thousands gather outside and countdown to the New Year! Whilst in New York everyone watches the ball drop, Scotland holds a countdown to ‘the bells’ which ring out at midnight at Edinburgh castle and symbolise the New Year beginning.

There are various quintessentially Scottish traditions associated with Hogmanay, for example; after the bells ring everyone will shake hands and offer a kiss on the cheek to wish one another a Happy New . We then cross our arms joining hands with one another in a circle and sing Rober Burns classic Auld Lang Syne.

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot for auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”

The term auld lang syne is representative of notions of nostalgia and and days gone buy, in particular; those fondly remembered. It is when we sing these words that we reflect and raise a glass to the year past and the new one beginning.

Another popular tradition in Scotland is “First footing” this is the first foot in the house in the New Year. It was believed many years ago that it was good luck if the first footer were male, with dark hair and brought a gift such as coal, shortbread, salt, or whisky. It is still customary to give a gift when first footing, however; nowadays the gift is more commonly alcohol, shortbread, biscuits or sometimes even tea bags.

It is of course essential that you dress to impress to bring in the bells. The ladies will wear nice dresses and the gents wear suits and often kilts, trews and highland wear (enter Houston’s!).

These are some of our New Year’s traditions let us know yours!

Wherever you celebrate, and whatever you are doing Houston’s hope you are surrounded by loved ones and wish you all luck, love and good health in 2013!

For Auld Lang Syne!

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Highlandwear Kilt Hire

HELP! Am I wearing my kilt properly?

Bute Heather Tartan Kilts

Get ‘Dressed to Kilt’ in 8 easy steps:

  1. Put socks on first, make sure ribs are vertical and tops are parallel. Put the garter flashes on with the flashes to the outside of your leg. Ensure there is a 3 inch gap between the bottom of the kilt and the top of the socks.
  2. Put a sgian dubh down the right hand leg sock with about 1 inch showing
  3. Put gillie brogue shoes on, twist laces 3 times and take round back and front. Tie in a bow about 6 inches above the shoe. Now pop on your shirt and tie.
  4. Put your kilt on with the pleats to the back. Kilts should be snug fit sitting high on the waist. (underwear is not acceptable)
  5. Put your kilt pin in front apron only, at bottom right hand side looking down and 2 inches from the fringe.
  6. Put sporran on next and position correctly on front. Put chain strap through belt loops and fasten at back.
  7. Put belt and buckle over chain strap through belt loops and fasten with buckle to front. Then put your waistcoat & jacket on
  8. Now make sure you have a ‘wee dram’ in your sporran flask! (Assuming you are of legal drinking age of course.)

Still confused? Then watch our video, a step by step demonstration of how to wear your kilt correctly.

Now all that is left to do is enjoy yourself! Weddings, christenings, graduations, dinners, balls, ceilidhs whatever the occasion we love a good knees up here at Houston Kiltmakers.

Categories
Highlandwear Kilt Hire

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.