This article is about the garment. For the acronym, see KILT (disambiguation).”Kilts” redirects here. For the chief executive officer of The Gillette Company, see James M. Kilts.
One of the earliest depictions of the kilt is this German print showing Highlanders around 1630
A kilt (Scottish Gaelic: fèileadh [ˈfeːləɣ]) is a type of knee-length non-bifurcated skirt with pleats at the back, originating in the traditional dress of Gaelic men and boys in the Scottish Highlands. It is first recorded in the 16th century as the great kilt, a full-length garment whose upper half could be worn as a cloak. The small kilt or modern kilt emerged in the 18th century, and is essentially the bottom half of the great kilt. Since the 19th century, it has become associated with the wider culture of Scotland, and more broadly with Gaelic or Celtic heritage. It is most often made of woollen cloth in a tartan pattern.
Although the kilt is most often worn on formal occasions and at Highland games and sports events, it has also been adapted as an item of informal male clothing in recent years, returning to its roots as an everyday garment. Particularly in North America, kilts are now made for casual wear in a variety of materials. Alternative fastenings may be used and pockets inserted to avoid the need for a sporran. Kilts have also been adopted as female wear for some sports.