What to Wear on Burns NightBy Angela Marshall, 13th Jan 2012
Burns Night – Wednesday, 25 January
Burns night is one of the most celebrated events in the Scottish cultural calendar, celebrated throughout the entire world. The Burns Supper can be a formal or informal occasion and is a celebration of Robert Burns.
What to wear to a Burns Night Supper?
If you’re Scottish then of course a kilt is the best for a man! The tartan, or plaid, pattern of your kilt should reflect the traditional pattern of your ancestor’s clan. If you don’t come from a Scottish background and want to wear a kilt, consider using one of the more universal tartans such as a Black Watch, Royal Stewart or a Jacobite pattern.
A more formal Burns Night supper ceremony may require a black tie dress code of dinner jacket and bow tie or a kilt or the Highland dress for the men and an evening dress for the ladies. Less formal Burns Night suppers may require men to wear a suit or jacket and tie with smart trousers whilst women a smart dress, a skirt or trousers with a smart blouse. It is often a good idea as a guest to wear an article of tartan clothing such as a tartan tie, tartan skirt, tartan trousers or even tartan socks or tartan tights. If you receive an invitation to attend an event the dress code for the Burns Night supper should be stated on the invitation or ticket.
How to Wear a Kilt
A man should wear a kilt that sits on his waist and falls to the middle of his knees. The pleats are at the back of the kilt. The jacket should coordinate with the formality of the event and with the rest of your outfit.”Prince Charlie” jacket is appropriate for weddings and other formal events.
It is important to wear the correct accessories with a kilt:
- Sporran – strap on the sporran about three fingers below your waist
- Hose – men usually wear hose (socks) in black or cream. Black was originally worn for funerals but is worn more often now. Cream is generally the best bet for evening or formal occasions.They should be folded two to three fingers below kneecap.
- Flashes – place flashes on the outside of the leg, covering the strap with the fold of the sock top.
- Kilt pin – A kilt pin is decorative and it is intended to give the apron a little bit of weight to keep it from flapping open. Place a kilt pin on the open flap along the right-hand side.
- Sgian-dubh – a Gaelic name, is a small, singled-edged knife worn tucked into The top of the kilt hose with only the upper portion visible. The sgian-dubh is normally worn on the right leg. To carry a sgian-dubh is legal in Scotland, England and Wales whilst the person wears a Scottish costume, but some say it is advisable not to wear it if strolling in the street.
- Ghillie Brogues – they need to be cross laced and pulled into simple knot. Twist three times and pull tight again to create a thong. Pass laces around ankle back, bring to front and tie a bow, letting laces and toggles hang in front.
If you are lucky enough to attend an event then enjoy and have fun and do try the haggis and whisky!