We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Is It True That Men Don't Wear Undergarments with Kilts?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
BeautyAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At BeautyAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The topic of undergarments and kilts has been the subject of many heated discussions around the worlds. According to popular mythology, true Scotsmen do not wear undergarments with kilts. However, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary, suggesting that the issue may be more of a personal choice than a dress standard.

There are certain situations in which wearing underwear with a kilt is required. At the Highland Games, for example, participants are asked to wear briefs or boxers for modesty reasons; the color of these undergarments is expected to coordinate with the kilt. Highland dancers also wear undergarments with kilts, since they engage in high kicks and other moves which could result in exposure of the area in question.

Supposedly, some military regiments require “traditional Scottish” dress, which is a polite euphemism for “nothing under the kilt.” However, pipe bands associated with regiments require the use of undergarments, since pipers use a high-stepping march, and many members of the military probably also prefer to wear undergarments under kilts for comfort reasons. Kilts are often very scratchy, because they are traditionally made from wool, and it can also get quite breezy under an unbifurcated garment, which could result in discomfort.

The military history of undergarments and kilts supposedly includes a period in which the uniform of Highland regiments did not include underwear. More probably, the roots of the idea that undergarments are not worn with kilts come from older Celtic cultures, which wore variations on the kilt, but certainly did not always wear undergarments. The Celts usually tucked long shirts or tunics under their kilts for comfort; this practice is still used by modern kilt-wearers who choose to eschew undergarments.

For casual wearers, most people say that the choice of undergarments is an entirely personal one, and a polite person should not inquire about the state of affairs under a kilt. Undergarments with kilts are certainly practical from the point of view of comfort and modesty, with some kilt wearers suggesting the happy medium of wearing underwear when ladies are present, while undergarments need not be required for all-male gatherings.

Kilt wearers are certainly tired of being asked about whether or not they wear undergarments with kilts. Some authorities suggest when asked “anything worn under the kilt,” men should respond “no wear, everything is in perfect condition, thank you for asking.”

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a BeautyAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By heritage — On Jul 19, 2013

In Scotland, we would say 'wool tartan fabric' to specify exactly what we mean. So tartan is a pattern, and the fabric can be wool (usually, if for the traditional kilt), cotton, silk, mixed fabrics or anything else.

In Scotland, when you say 'plaid' people will usually think about 'fly plaid' or a kind o a blanket that women wear on their shoulders.

On the contrary, in the USA, 'plaid' is used to name the pattern and word 'tartan' is usually unknown to them.

By wizup — On May 26, 2011

@ - I will try to explain Scottish “plaid” in the least complicated manner. The Gaelic word for plaid is blanket or large wrap. Which is sometimes called the belted plaid or the great kilt.

So Scottish plaid is actually a garment no matter what kind of fabric or color it is.

Tartan is the actual pattern you see on today’s Irish kilts. It is the pattern Americans call plaid. Once the top of the plaid is removed it is then called a kilt.

The kilt is wrapped around a man or boys waist starting from the left side all the way around from the front to the back then back around over the front again and closing on the right side.

Irish pipers usually wear solid green kilts as opposed to tartan. Kilts have a very distinctive and unique design that’s always worn with pride by a true Scotsman.

By babylove — On May 24, 2011

Since I’ve read this article I’m now trying to figure out is tartan a pattern or a fabric. Does that mean plaid is actually a fabric and not a pattern?

I’ve gotten so confused over this whole kilt thing. Could someone please clarify?

By Markus — On May 23, 2011

Nice article! I am really into Scottish culture, and I think it's awesome that you guys are addressing burning questions like this. I'd just like to add for those who don't know, Scottish kilts were originally called breacan feile (pronounced: breck un fail a) which means pleated tartan.

The term tartan, simply put is a pattern of criss-crossing multiple colors of wool horizontally and vertically.

Originally tartan kilts were long tops wrapped around the body and belted at the waist. At night and in colder temperatures it could be loosened up to cover the body for warmth.

Modern day kilts are still wrapped around the body but the top portion has been removed and the pleats are sewn in.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
BeautyAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

BeautyAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.