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Le Kilt updates a symbolic Scottish garment for everyday wear

Samantha McCoach remembers her grandmother, a kilt maker in Scotland with 40-years’ experience, hand-making her a kilt not too long ago, and wearing it out and about in London

People would ask her where she got it from, and that’s how the ball started rolling.

“When I came to London, I never wanted to use my Scottish-ness,” she admits, but the attention she received proves the obvious attraction that Scottish identity, and the quality of the garment’s design, still holds on the imagination.

The kilt, a knee-length skirt with pleats at the rear, is a style of garment that goes back to 16th century Gaelic culture.

Worn typically by men and boys in the Highlands of Scotland, it is usually made of wool and made in a chequered tartan pattern, which indicates membership of a specific clan. 

Samatha Mc Coach, creator, fashion designer of Le Kilt, a Scottish garment brand of cool

Though it’s associated mostly with formal wear nowadays – worn at national events or weddings – the kilt is also worn by women, as a style statement.

Seeing a gap in the market, Samantha decided to combine the authenticity of her family’s knowledge of kilt-making with the potential of the kilt as a fashionable garment. Saying she wants to avoid the traditional associations as much as possible, Samantha also does not want to “completely twist the classic either.”

LE Kilt Scotlands fashion garment wear of a difference

Le Kilt’s offering of midi, knee-length and above-the-knee styles, includes a classic Black Watch tartan and a plain black wool version, but the skirts also come in lighter colours like cream and pink for summer, and in lighter fabrics like crepe. There’s even a mix and match version with a patchwork of different colours and tartans, and houndstooth-patterned ones.

Le Kilt x ASOS Debut a 2016 Spring Collection Inspired by '80s Post Punk Le Kilt The Mix and Match is a modern take on our Classic kilt hand crafted in Scotland made from 100% British wool.
The Mix and Match is a modern take on our Classic kilt hand crafted in Scotland, made from 100% British wool. Ellie kilt, a modern twist on the Classic black 01 kilt. Hand crafted in Scotland, made from 100% British wool & black shearling.

Apart from the skirts, Le Kilt also offers lambswool jumpers with the recognizable safety pin detail that kilts also feature.

The Le Kilt collections are made in Scotland, and as they are stocked from London to Seoul, there’s no excuse not to wear one when roaming about the Highlands.

While visiting the Kinloch hunting retreat in Sutherland, or the Killiehuntly farmhouse in Kingussie, there’s no more stylish and authentic way to blend into the Scandi-Scottish leisurely surroundings than by wearing a le kilt outfit while digging into hearty Scottish farm-reared food. 

Images © Le Kilt, Rosaline Shahnavaz

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