Kilt Hose, one of the few things worn under kilts.

While your kilt hose will by no means be the most expensive accessory to your kilt, it is nonetheless worth giving them some consideration.

After all one of the most frequently asked questions when wearing a kilt is, "what do you wear under it", to which many men reply, my socks, my Sgian Dubh, and my kilt shoes.

So how do you know which is the "correct" hose for each occasion?

Well there are many people who hold very strong beliefs, as to which is the "correct" kilt hose for any given occasion.

For example they will tell you that tartan or diced hose should only be worn for formal evening wear.

And that darker solid colours should be worn for casual or day wear.

Now of course I am referring to traditionalists, who would have you believe that there are a set of stringent rules governing the wearing of Highland Dress.

This I would like to stress is not true, there are no rules, only guidelines

And as I have said many times before, I am not a traditionalist, and therefor believe that you should decide how you want to accessorize your kilt.

So how do you choose which hose look best with your kilt?

Well one consideration may be the cost, for example tartan hose are not readily available, and usually need to be custom made.

This means you will have to pay upwards of $150 per pair, which puts them out of most people's price range.

Diced hose are easier to find, but again they will be much more expensive than a pair of solid coloured hose.

So how much should you expect to pay for your kilt hose?

Well that all depends on what they are made from.

A good pair made from wool should cost between $25-$50, and if you have them hand knitted expect to pay a bit more.

You can of course if you wish knit your own, and for anyone interested in doing that, here is a free knitting pattern.

Choosing the colour is not that difficult, for day wear for example you could choose to match the colour of the hose with your shirt.

For evening wear (yes you can wear solid coloured hose for evening wear) you might wish to choose one of the predominant colours from your kilt, and match your hose to that.

The one colour kilt hose that I have not yet mentioned is cream or off white, see photo below.

kilt hose

photo by sim

This is by far the most widely chosen colour for several reasons.

The first being, it is neutral and will go with any tartan, the second is that when worn as evening wear with gillie brogues, cream coloured hose show off the black laces from these shoes far better than darker coloured hose would.

Perhaps that's why most kilt makers sell more cream coloured hose than any other, and if you rent a kilt outfit you will almost certainly be supplied with cream hose.

So is there any colour that you shouldn't choose?

Yes, pure white hose are normally only worn by pipe bands, and it is generally considered bad taste unless you are a piper, to wear them.

And to hold up your kilt hose you need flashes, these are for all intents and purposes garters, but they also add decoration to your hose.

They can be either the same tartan as your kilt, or more normally a solid colour to match one of the predominant colours from your kilt.

It is also a good idea to have more than one pair of hose, as with any normal socks you wouldn't want to wear them more than once without washing them, so a second pair to be worn while the first pair are being washed.

As with all aspects of the kilt and it's accessories, if you have any questions please drop me a line using the "Contact Us" page, and I will be happy to answer them for you.

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