From the early 5th century, Scottish clothing has been more known to
society, has evolved and has become a traditional pride for the Scot's.
From the early 5th century until the 1500's, clothing in Scotland was based
around war. Because of this, much of the clothing was in the style and
color needed to camouflage the men. There wasn't much difference between
women and men's clothing, only the color, and sometimes a slightly different
way in which it was pinned together.
1. The Leine – This was a shirt worn by both men and women Gaels in the 5th-10th
centuries A.D. Women's Leine's were usually longer than men's, which usually
went to mid-thigh and then were tucked in. Nobles would often die these shirts
a saffron color and poorer people would coat them with grease in order to waterproof
2. Short Woolen Jacket – These usually had sleeves open below for throwing darts.
They also covered up to the thighs for protection against the cold.
3. Tunics – These shirts had many folds and wide sleeves, and flowed loosely
to the knees. Different pieces of silk cloth were usually sown together. Common
colors were green and red.
In general, kilts were not found to be worn as a skirt until the late 1500's.
Before this, they were worn as a cloak.
1. Plaid – Plaid means cloak or blanket. It also refers to a cloth that is a
solid color, or striped. It is usually long and uneven and was pinned at the
2. The Brat – This was usually made of two strips of cloth, with the dimensions
of 12 to 18 feet long and 5 feet wide. White, striped, and single color was common
in the earlier centuries as it could be used for camouflage.
3. The Belted Plaid – The first appearance of the belted plaid, or kilt was in
the early 1600's. When properly worn it does not cover the knees.
4. The Great Kilt – The kilt came from the belted plaid in the 1800's when the
Scottish began to move back to their original heritage. Until then, there were
laws against wearing the kilts and tartans because it would identify someone
who was traveling outside of their area.
5. Airisaidhs – These are women's plaids. They were also worn like cloaks earlier
in history, then moved to being more skirt like. They were usually much finer
in texture and had more colors than the men's plaids.