Scottish Boys' Clothes: Personal Experiences in the 1960s--A Baptist Boy

Figure 1.--

I enjoyed reading your pages, which I stumbled on accidentally, believe it or not, when looking for a football (= soccer!) kit for my youngest daughter! Maybe I can comment a bit about kilt wearing.

My Experiences

I grew up partially in Scotland in the 1960s, but never wore a kilt until I was a young adult, at my cousins' weddings. Most of the boys I knew only ever wore the kilt as part of full Highland dress, usually for weddings, New Year parties or folkloric events. When on holiday in wealthier country areas I can remember seeing boys on Sunday mornings going to and from the kirk in kilts, but we were Baptists, and hardly anyone ever wore a kilt to our churches! Sometimes at Highland Shows I also saw boys in much less formal outfits of kilt and sweater, wearing the kilt much as the rest of us would wear our shorts. I don't know where these kids came from -- probably larger farms and estates.

Kilt Conventions

I think some of the reasons that kilt-wearing was not practiced much in our family are because (a) my mother is English, (b) we spent a lot of time living in England, (c) kilts were (and still are) expensive, and the full Highland dress even more so. In the days 20 or more years ago when we Scots were less patriotic than we are now, I think you had to be very much into Scottish culture -- or keen on copying the Royal Family -- to want your children to wear a kilt. I think that at the time I would have felt quite embarrassed at wearing one, as a kid you have very little appreciation of history or tradition.


Another point that intrigued me was the wearing of short or long pants, a matter that caused me a certain amount of angst in my pre-adolescence. I will contribute some experiences in that area.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: September 20, 2002
Last updated: September 20, 2002