Albert Einstein taught us that each observer's viewpoint is relative to all others, and correct within his own domain. We'll see this aptly demonstrated in the world of kilts, where we'll visit the kilt purists in Scotland, the makers of modern variations of kilts in the new world, and points in-between. We'll ask each of them the same question: what is a kilt? Each will have a different viewpoint, a different answer, and we'll learn something new.

This may be a different way of approaching the topic of kilts, but then I'm a different kind of author about kilts. I'm an American, a New Yorker, living in San Francisco. I'm without the experience of a lifetime of immersion in the culture, minutae, and customs of kilt-wearing. Is this an asset or a liability? The former, I think. Native-born Scots are stereotypically the experts in the culture and custom of the kilt, and they have written some good works on the subject, but with certain blind spots. I think it's often very difficult writing clearly about a topic to which one has been exposed since childhood. The viewpoint of one a few steps away from the kilt is a different one, and I hope a valuable one as well.

The national dress of Scotland is interesting, as is its history and modern adaptations. Whether you're researching the kilt for a school paper, planning an historical reënactment, are part of a wedding party that will be outfitted in kilts, considering buying your first kilt for casual or formal wear, or an experienced wearer of the kilt, I think you'll find something of interest here.

I've writting the book I wanted to read when I first became interested in kilts, one which pre-supposes you know little or nothing about kilts. SUMMARIZE THE PROCESSION OF THE CHAPTERS HERE. First I'll present an introduction to the kilt. Then I'll move on to the basics about the choices available to you, the tartans (color schemes) and the variations (ancient, traditional, and modern). A man doesn't like by a kilt alone; the other parts of the national dress are covered next. Lastly, I'll cover some modern variations, present a glossary, and suggest additional reading.

An online complement to this book is available at, and I'm available to you at