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How did Scots dress before kilts?
An Overview of Ancient Scottish Clothing Before the Kilt Era
The recognizable kilt frequently commands attention when envisioning traditional Scottish clothing. The history of Scottish dress, however, is a tapestry weaved from several inspirations and styles that came before kilts were invented. In this blog, we set out to investigate the intriguing world of Scottish attire before the kilt came to represent Scottishness.
Scottish historical attire:
Ancient Scots decorated themselves with clothing that represented their way of life, environment, and contacts with other cultures long before the kilt made its appearance. Pre-kilt Scottish dress was characterized by a diversity of styles, each with its own importance and function.
Tunic and Cloak:
Scots relied heavily on the tunic as a basic article of clothing throughout the early medieval era. The tunic was a straightforward and useful clothing that offered warmth and shelter, frequently constructed from wool or linen. In order to protect against the erratic Scottish weather, it was frequently worn with a cloak.
Leine and Brat:
The leine, a knee-length garment, was a common article of clothing in Gaelic-speaking areas. It was worn with the brat, a rectangular cloak that could be tied in front or slung over the shoulders. These clothes were adaptive and versatile, which made them ideal for the way of life at the period.
Belted Plaids and Feileadh Mòr:
The "belted plaid" or "feileadh mr" was a unique kind of clothing before the kilt arrived. It was made out of a sizable material that was wrapped around the torso and secured with a belt. When necessary, the extra cloth was frequently utilized as a blanket or cloak. In addition to being practical, this type of clothing also allowed for flexibility and mobility
Trews and Breeches:
Close-fitting trousers called trews became more common among Scots, particularly in chilly areas. Trews, which might be made of wool or leather, gave wearers more mobility while offering protection from the weather. Another variety worn by males that reflected the shifting trends in European design were breeches, which were shorter pants.
Before kilts became a universally recognized emblem of Scottish identity, the diverse styles of dress had a strong foundation in local traditions, social standing, and utilitarian concerns. Local resources, trade links, and historical contacts affected the designs and materials employed.
The Evolution to Kilts:
Historical occurrences, commerce, and evolving preferences all had a role in the progressive shift to kilts. The 18th century saw the emergence of the little kilt, or "kilt" as we now refer to it, which was a more fitted and elegant variation of the older designs. The Highland regiments made it well-known, and finally it began to be seen as a representation of Scottish history.
The complex tapestry of influences and customs that molded the country's apparel may be seen in the history of Scottish dress before the kilt was invented era. Each piece of clothing, from cloaks and tunics to belted plaids and trews, conveyed information about its purpose, society, and wearer. While the kilt has come to represent Scotland forever, it's crucial to acknowledge the complex history of Scottish clothing that came before it.