I have acquired a family kilt and was wondering what can I wear with it?
There are strict rules about Scottish ceremonial dress for various levels of formality, and you can find them in detail online. They involve finding a series of accoutrements with fantastic shivery names: sporran, ghillies, skean dhu. But I don't believe in reserving such flattering garments for weddings and funerals. There has been a revival of male skirts as everyday wear in the past decade, and kilts can easily be paired with casual shirts and jackets. Treat them as any other piece of clothing; invent your own outfit. I like heavy boots with a kilt, as male legs can look a little spindly without them. The classic combination of leather brogues, wool knee socks and a tweed jacket is too conservative for city life. Instead, try a black cashmere hoodie and tall lace-up work boots (with the laces not done all the way to the top, of course). Kilts don't have to be tartan, but please avoid the canvas "utility" kilts that you see environmentalist Goths in – the ones with the cargo pockets. Rough fabric and too many doodads work against the spirit of elegance in fine pleated wool. So no pockets, grommets or chains.
Russell Smith's latest novel, Girl Crazy , was recently published. Have a fashion question? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org