Guides and Insights

How to Choose and Wear a Kilt Pin

How to Choose and Wear a Kilt Pin
By Dmitriy Maslenitsyn

Women are often used to having a wide array of clothing accessory options. But for us men, it's something we're not always used to. Your choice of kilt pin says much about you and where you come from, and it's important that you give it proper consideration. To help you with this process, we've put together this guide on how to choose and wear the right kilt pin for your kilt outfit.

Origins of the Kilt Pin

The exact origins of wearing kilt pins with highland dress is a relatively murky area, but there's one potential origin story which the industry likes to retell. The story goes that while inspecting soldiers on a particularly windy day, Queen Victoria noticed that a soldier was having trouble preserving his modesty. Stopping in front of him, Queen Victoria removed a pin from her hat and used it to secure the soldier's kilt. Ever since, the kilt pin has been regarded as an integral component of any kilt outfit.

Why do we Wear Kilt Pins?

One of the reasons why this story's accuracy is debatable is because it implies that the main purpose of a kilt pin is to hold a kilt together so it doesn't flap open. In reality, this shouldn't really be an issue if the kilt is made well! Instead, the main purpose of the kilt pin is really a decorative one. It adds a little bit of personal flair to your outfit and serves the additional purpose of adding a bit of extra weight to make the apron hang better.

Choosing the Right Kilt Pin

If you're shopping around for a kilt pin right now, you've probably noticed that there are hundreds- if not thousands- of options to choose from. Is there something you should be looking for in a kilt pin?

The short answer is no: there are no hard rules about the style of kilt pin you pick. It's recommended that you select a kilt pin that matches the rest of your outfit in formality, and it's generally a good idea to pick a metal finish that matches your sporran. Wearing a chrome-finished kilt pin with an antique-finished sporran may look a bit jarring to some eyes, and an extremely ornate kilt pin worn with a daywear kilt outfit may look strange to traditionalists. However, such ideas aren't set in stone and ultimately boil down to personal preference.

Some people prefer to have a uniform symbolic theme across the entire outfit, such as incorporating celtic knotwork and symbols in their kilt hose, sporran, and kilt pin. Others prefer to have a range of motifs to highlight various families, groups, and affiliations that they have connections to.

How to Wear Your Kilt Pin

Now that you've chosen the perfect kilt pin to compliment your outfit, what's the right way to wear it?

In terms of wearing your kilt pin, the rules are far more defined than choosing which one to buy. The kilt pin should be worn on the right-hand side of the front apron, about 4 inches from the bottom of the kilt and about 2 inches from the fringe

Take care that you only fasten the kilt pin through the front apron. Pinning it through both multiple layers is nontraditional, but even more importantly, can lead to tearing your kilt because of the way the kilt's layers swing as you move.

Your Chance to Shine

We hope that this guide on how to choose and properly wear your kilt pin has been helpful. While there's certainly tradition surrounding how to wear the pin correctly, it's important to keep in mind that the actual choice of kilt pin leaves a lot of room for creativity and individual expression. This is something that men experience quite rarely when it comes to clothing and fashion, so don't miss your chance to add some extra personal flair to your kilt outfit!

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