Thursday, May 31, 2012

My recommendation for a proper kilt maker in Edinburgh

Having been considering getting a kilt for a year or two I finally took the plunge and got one made to measure. Buying a kilt in Edinburgh might sound like a straightforward process, but with so many "tourist" type retailers and so many "Scottish" goods actually originating in the far east its a bit of a minefield. I had a good idea of what I wanted - a proper eight yard kilt in a reasonably weighty fabric in my family tartan (Sinclair hunting) with a jacket that would pass for formal or informal. Following a tip off from someone and having passed the shop a few times on my way to meetings at the Scottish Parliament I visited Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers at 189 Canongate.

Its quite an old fashioned shop. It doesn't stock tourist tat, but they do know what they are talking about when it comes to tartan and kilts. Everything they supply is sourced in Scotland and the kilts are made by their own tailors or outsourced locally. I was working to a deadline for a wedding so after confirming that he could get my choice of tartan cloth in time from the weavers he agreed to make the kilt.

A few weeks later this was the result:

The kilt itself weighs double what my usual business suit does and it has had a lot of work put into it. It make the tourist rip off "kilt shaped objects" look like the skirts worn by the girls at George Heriot's. Obviously this quality of material and workmanship comes at a price, but its likely to last me a lifetime. The jacket and waistcoat are a modern style called "Holyrood". The shoes are very high quality too with traditional leather soles and nailed heels.

I would definitely recommend Nicolson if you are looking to buy or hire a kilt in Edinburgh