A Scotsman wears something under his kilt, and those are his kilt socks! It typically is a perennial question about what kind of kilt socks or kilt hose should be worn with a kilt. There hasn’t be much written about the area. Nonetheless, what are some informed opinions about what the proper color of kilt socks should be for both casual and formal wear?
Originally, the hose worn with a kilt were called the “cadadh”. Cadadh normally were stockings made of tartan material, which tended to be made of a different tartan material than the kilt. The kilt socks are cut and then sewn, made to go along the bias, consequently making the tartan look diagonal. Among the earliest portraits depicting the cadadh is from the 17th century, early on the first decade, while the earliest documented reference of the kilt, known as the “feileadh-mor” dates back to 1594. Thus, it is safe to conclude that the kilt socks or the cadadh have been worn for as long as the kilt has existed. It was only in the mid-nineteenth century when the knit kilt hose was worn together with the kilt.
What Is “Proper” For Wearing Kilt Socks?
What was considered “proper” when wearing the kilt in the past century? Hon. Stuart Ruaidri Erskine, in his work “The Kilt And How To Wear It” (written in 1901), mentioned that kilt hose nowadays are customarily knitted, and according to modern fashion, tartan is not supposed to be donned as day wear. Uniformed servants continue to wear tartan hose, anyhow, and they are attached with pipers. It is proper for a full dress at daytime.
Still, according to Erskine, it is infinitely preferable to wear a couple of neat plain hose than hoses that have been knitted on a tartarn design. It is “inarguably more serviceable”, he further commented. As evening wear, it is also better to wear diced kilt hoses than tartan stockings. The most common colors of preferences in modern fashion nowadays are white and red, but even in the past, these colors were extremely popular. Kilt socks colors ideal for evening wear are generally red and green, white and black and red and black.
Another book that has been referred to as an unofficial, yet outstanding manual for kilt fashion was written by J. Charles Thompson. It is entitled “So, You’re Going To Wear The Kilt!”, published in the year 1979. In his book, Thompson mentioned that tartan hose is only suitable as an evening wear. They are, in any case, not ideal for wearing during daytime. Alternative kilt socks choices for evening wear are diced kilt hose in red and white or white and blue colors. These socks are rarely seen for sale these days, so many men wearing evening kilt attires opt to wear solid-colored stockings. The purists agree on these terms, however, they do insist that white is the single correct color for kilt stockings.
Modern Kilt Socks Fashion
Thompson diverged from Erskine’s opinion when it comes to kilt fashion by saying that only white- colored stockings can be worn as part of formal kilt attire. Bob Martin in his book “All About Your Kilt” (published in 2001, the 2nd edition) argued about this, conveying that “should a color be designated whether it’s for daytime or nighttime”? A strong red can be worn correctly at night, Martin says. What if someone is wearing a tartan outfit (at night) without the color white other than a jabot? Kilt socks that tone with an evening outfit composed of all-tartan material would be preferable than white. In all these 3 mentioned books, it was indicated that tartan kilt hose should not be worn at daytime without taking into consideration that the original material of the kilt hose is tartan and all the time they were being worn.
What are the rules to follow, then, when it comes to kilt fashion? Many people go by Martin’s opinion, saying that the truly applicable rules in terms of wearing the kilt is to follow what fashion and good taste dictate. In the same way that a man can match his socks with his trouser outfit, by all means, he can do so with wearing a kilt attire. Some practical matters have to be taken into view when it comes to kilt socks and kilt fashion.