Style Guy
November 30, 2011

Circumcising a kilt, strapping it on and twiddling touries

Hi The Style Guy:

What is your opinion on kilt straps? I see most kilts have two straps on the right side, but some have only one. How many straps should there be?

Also, what about strap length? How much of the kilt strap should stick out?


Al Parsons

Dear Strappy Strapperson:

A strapping young lad you must surely be, for these are very wise questions.

First, the numbers question. You are correct in that most pipe band kilts have two straps on the right side. This is in fact not the tradition for a properly made kilt, but a convention that pretty much started in order to accommodate garments that will be used for various wearers. An additional strap can allow for an extra adjustment.

But if you are working with a bespoke kiltmaker on a kilt exclusively and forever for you, they should be encouraging you to go with only one strap on the right. Why? Because it is made-to-measure. There should be no bulging or puffing out of the apron. If there is, it does not fit properly. Should you suffer from varying weight issues, well, then maybe go with two straps, since the kilt will need to work even after that Atlanta Burns Supper when you way overindulged in haggis and grits.

As for length of strap, this is important. Having your kilt buckled at the inner-most hole of the strap – the one closest to the cloth – should be ideal, but make sure the leather strap (and it should be real leather) does not curl too much outward. The strap should bend back naturally, to hug the contour of the kilt.

But far, far worse is the kilt that is buckled at the outermost hole, creating a far too long expanse of strap. This looks horrible and should be avoided at all cost. This kilt does not fit. You should either have it adjusted by an expert or get a new one that is made for your measurements. And the worst is having that second strap on the right at the last hole, thus exposing part of the inner apron. Oh, my God. Atrocious!


  1. Leave those loops attached. The best way to store a kilt is to roll it inside out. You will never get creases or that awful wave in the back if you do so. Start with the under apron and roll over the pleats to the over apron. I then use my flashes to hold it in place then hang it from those two loops that are there for a very useful purpose. What you SHOULD cut off are those ridiculous loops found in the back of modern kilts. Belt loops? Really?



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