Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be Scottish/Celtic to wear a kilt?
Nope. Not even a little bit. Our founder has Italian and Scandinavian heritage, but no Celtic heritage to speak of. We have a wide selection of modern kilts that are perfect for anyone to wear.
Kilts are cool, but I'm Irish, not Scottish.
Not really a question, but we get this one all the time. All of the Celtic nations wore some form of a kilt, and really, so did most of humanity at one point or another. Think about the Roman Centurians - are they wearing pants? Nope, a leather skirt.
But what about a tartan? Do you have mine?
That's less cut and dry. Some tartans are very strongly associated with a particular family or clan. There are a lot of tartans that belong to a location (i.e. California), an organization (i.e. USMC), or even a single person (Rowdy Roddy Piper had his own personal tartan). Some tartans exist solely to have a tartan in a certain color - we're looking at you, Pink Stewart.
But there is a tartan associated with my name, I saw it!
You're mostly right. The Scottish Tartan Registry started in the '70s, and at that time there were about 1000 tartans registered. There are now over 7000 tartans registered, and those didn't all get discovered in a basement in Edinburgh! The vast majority of tartans out there are modern, and thus their connection with an ancient family is dubious at best. Someone decided that they wanted a tartan for their branch of their family and got it registered. Because of this, many of these tartans were only woven once, and probably by the person who registered it.
We can help you do some research and see if your family name is claimed as a sept by one of the bigger clans. We currently have access to about 60 tartans (plus another 600-ish with a 4-6 week delivery time). If you just have to have the one that you saw at the Games or online, we're willing to help, but some tartan is just not (currently) available to anyone but the person who designed it.
So, if I'm not Scottish, but want a tartan, how do I choose?
J.T. Centonze, our founder, wears the following tartans:
Clan Italia (Italian national tartan)
MacQuarie (he attended MacQuarie University in Sydney while studying abroad)
Johnston/e (his fiancee claims lineage in the Johnston clan)
Jolly Roger/Nightwatch (he likes wearing black and grey tones)
California (born and bred)
Admiral (he likes blue)
All of these reasons, and more, are valid claims to a tartan.
But they're just for men, right?
Nope. Not even a little bit. We carry a full range of kilts, both in traditional men's lengths and in shorter 'mini' and 'ultra-mini' lengths. Beyond that - you can wear whatever kilt you want, regardless of your gender. Kilts don't care. Trust us.
So, uh, what do I wear, you know...under it?
Whatever the hell you want. That's your business - and no one else's. But a note: asphalt and dirt (you know, the stuff that makes up the majority of the ground in the modern world) reflect UV rays as well as a mirror. There are some places you just don't want a sunburn.
When can I wear my kilt?
Whenever you want! But if you need a specific reason (or an excuse for a pesky boss), here are a some holidays when you are (almost) required to wear a kilt:
Hogmanay - 1/1 (Scottish celebration of the new year)
Robert Burns Night - 1/25 (ish. This is a supper celebrated around the birth date of Robert Burns, but isn't actually fixed there - the first one was held in July!)
Imbolc - 2/1 (the Celtic celebration of the beginning of Spring, traditionally about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Date may vary year to year.)
St. David's Day - 3/1 (Wales' patron saint's day)
St. Patrick's Day - 3/17 (Ireland's patron saint's day)
Tartan Day - 4/6 (the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath)
St. Maughold's Day - 4/25 (Isle of Man's patron saint's day)
Beltane - 5/1 (the Celtic celebration of the beginning of summer, traditionally halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Date may vary year to year.)
Victoria Day - 5/24 (Queen Victoria's birthday - the queen had a particular soft spot for Scotland.)
International Tartan Day - 7/1 (the repeal of the 1747 Act of Proscription)
Lughnasadh 8/1 (the Celtic celebration of the beginning of the harvest season, traditionally halfway between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox. Date may vary year to year.)
Samhain - 10/31 (the Celtic celebration of the end of the harvest season, traditionally halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Date may vary year to year.)
St. Andrew's Day - 11/30 (Scotland's patron saint's day)
Winter Solstice - There are a lot of different celebrations of this time of year, and while the exact tradition changes based on your culture, chances are you've got a party to go to where your kilt will be perfectly acceptable.
Have other questions? Email, message, or call us! (firstname.lastname@example.org, @offkilterkilts, 626-817-9999)