Can I wear a kilt?
Absolutely, anyone can wear a kilt. At one time, however, it was restricted to the highlands first by practice, then by prejudice and eventually governmental policies. Today it is a Scottish national symbol as much as the bagpipes. The kilt has become fashionable in certain segments of society, some people wear them as day to day attire, while others wear theirs only for special occasions. A blog on Locharron of Scotland's website gives a brief history of the kilt, recognizing what it has become and revealing the truth about it's origin.
How do I wear a kilt?
This is a more contentious issue. Traditionally there is an appropriate way a kilt should be worn. I'll leave the details to the experts. However, ultimately it's up to you. Make sure, though you ask yourself would you wear a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops to a friends wedding? USAKilts and Celtic Traditions has a good video on this subject: https://www.youtube.com/@USAKiltsOfficial
What do I wear with a kilt?
Again this up to the wearer. If you put your kilt on in the morning to get a cup of joe before hitting the waves, you might just throw it on with a hoodie and sandals, but if you were invited to a Burns Night event, you may want to put on a jacket or vest, sporran, hose, flashes and a pair of brogues. Protocol for kilt wearing is relatively knew, I'm sure highlanders weren't concerned about the number of folds in their Feileadh Mor. The previous link to USAkilts is a good source if you want to get regal with your kilt wear'n.
What tartan should I get?
Another subject that there are sticklers on. It's a relatively new tradition (over last 200 years) that certain tartans are worn by specific clans. The original great kilts were in earthly tones. In 1581, George Buchanan wrote in his Rerum Scoticam Historia that " Their ancestors wore plaids of many colors, and numbers still retain this custom but the majority now in their dress prefer a dark brown, imitating nearly the leaves of the heather."
Furthermore in the account The Life of Red Hugh O'Donnell written in 1592 it is stated, " … for their exterior dress was mottled cloaks to the calf of the leg with ties and fastenings. "
It's clearly written in these early accounts that highlanders weren't parading around in bright colors nor' hunting or herding cattle (their own or another clans!) in striking plaids of red!
If we were to follow the instructions of Scotlands Register of Tartans, it states:
[Q – Which tartan should I wear?
A – Traditionally people wear the tartan (if any) which relates to their surname. If there is no appropriate name tartan, look for a district tartan connected to the area where your ancestors lived]
We, at Clan Fleming Scottish Society, follow the instruction of the Scotland's Register of Tartans and recommend the use of Lanarkshires official district tartan until we have designed our own. We are recognized as a clan by the Lord Lyons and should not be confused with the Fleming sept of Clan Murray.
When it comes down to it, wear any tartan you want. Just keep in mind it has become tradition to wear the tartan of your clan and if going to a gathering where your clan is making an appearance you may want your plaid to match!