As a bold material, leather is often used to elevate normal garments and accessories into edgy, ultra-cool versions of themselves. One of the most unique examples of this is the leather kilt.
Kilts are traditional Celtic garments. Worn historically by men, they resemble modern skirts and are most often found in tartan wool material. Modern fashion has taken the kilt and run with it, translating the silhouette in a variety of unconventional materials.
Let’s explore more about the styles, patterns, and fit.
What is a Leather Kilt?
A kilt is a type of traditional Scottish garment worn by men of Celtic heritage. The garment is a skirt with a flat front and pleated back, traditionally made of a wool tartan. Kilts are worn at the natural waist and fall at just below the knee.
Kilts are intended to be very personalized garments, with the tartan pattern a reflection of the wearer’s family history – it’s said that most Scottish clans who can trace their heritage through history can also boast a personal family tartan. Kilts are also meant to be tailored to fit the wearer precisely, but ready-made kilts are commonplace today.
Here are a few Leather Kilt styles and is how to wear one.
The kilt is traditionally a symbol of masculinity and pride. As kilts became modernized, they were made using increasingly modern fabrics, including leather. Leather kilts have become incredibly popular for several reasons: they’re warm, bold, and fashion-forward. Leather kilts originate exclusively from the fashion world doing what it does best by turning a timeless tradition on its head for a modern, ultra-cool new style!
What to Look for In a Leather Kilt
Kilts don’t traditionally waver from the historical silhouette, but modern leather kilts can be found in a few different styles. Traditionally-inspired leather kilts follow the Scottish kilt shape in leather. Some costume kilts are shorter or longer than average, and some may even be closer to loincloths! Women’s kilts, or kilt-inspired skirts, are typically shorter than traditional kilts.
While kilts are traditionally meant to be tailored to the wearer’s precise measurements, it’s possible to measure yourself in order to purchase a ready-to-wear kilt. This guide from Kilt Society covers measuring for proper fit and length for both bespoke and off-the-rack kilts.
A kilt’s tartan pattern, called a sett, is traditionally determined by the wearer’s family or area of origin. In leather, patterns are often a nonissue; still, some genuine and faux leathers may be available in patterns and finishes. Exotic leathers like snake, alligator, and ostrich have unique finishes and natural patterns, while some faux leathers may be printed with plaid or tartan patterns.
Here is a Heavy Weight Leather Kilt by The Scotland Kilt Company
Types of Leather Kilt
Kanye Leather Kilt
Kanye Leather kilts saw their A-list moment when Kanye West wore a leather Givenchy kilt and leather leggings at a show. Kanye’s kilt epitomized the most luxurious parts of leatherwear, especially unconventional leatherwear like kilts. The outfit was lauded as one of the boldest, most fashion-forward looks to ever grace a stage, and its presence is still felt in modern fashion. Today, outfits like Kanye’s leather kilt moment are highly celebrated and encouraged for their uniquely edgy, high-fashion appeal.
Leather Utility Kilt
A utility kilt is a kilt with pockets and straps, usually made of a tougher material. Leather utility kilts are usually worn casually, but may also be used for those who wear kilts daily and work as craftsmen. Because these kilts are designed to be tough and long-lasting, they’re made from high-quality, heavy leather. Utility kilts are often also called cargo kilts.
Leather Blacksmith Kilt
Blacksmith kilts are a time-honored tradition. Smiths throughout history chose kilts because of their protective, heavy construction. While many blacksmiths opted to wear kilt-like aprons over trousers, Celtic smiths often chose leather kilts because they offered a cool, breezy alternative to combat the heat of the forge.
Here is an example of a stylish Brown Leather Utility Kilt by Kilt This:
Leather Battle Kilt
Battle kilts are often inspired by gladiatorial or ancient Celtic battle wear. These kilts are often quite scant, with separated pleats to maximize the wearer’s range of motion. Battle kilts are made from heavy, thick leather to protect the wearer’s body from damage and exposure.
Leather Kilt Vest
Vests are a traditional garment to pair with kilts. Many leather kilt retailers also offer leather vests, which are often made from the same leather for a cohesive look. A leather kilt outfit with a jacket, leather kilt, and leather vest is a bold, sophisticated look for those who want to get in touch with their heritage while still keeping their style unique and unconventional.
Leather Gladiator Kilt
Gladiator kilts are called kilts, but don’t share much with the traditional Scottish garment. Gladiator kilts were made from heavy leather and constructed in separated pleats for maximum movement. Gladiator kilts, also called Roman kilts, are often embellished with metal studs for sturdier construction and decoration. These kilts are typically shorter than traditional kilts, again, for maximum movement.
Versatta Marauder Leather Kilt
Versatta’s Marauder kilt is a leather kilt made with full-grain leather and inspired by the rugged, rough-hewn kilts worn by Celtic warriors. The marauder kilt follows a basic silhouette in either black or brown and features a top layer of distressed leather for a worn look. The kilt is perfect for a costume or casual outfit.
The kilt is traditionally a symbol of masculinity and pride.
Common Leather Kilt Colors
Mens Black Leather Kilt
Black leather kilts are incredibly popular in the fashion world. Bold, edgy, and unique, black leather kilts give the wearer an unconventional vibe. These garments are unbelievably cool – they’re worn by rockers, goths, artists, celebrities, and other fashion groundbreakers.
Black leather can also appear sophisticated. Men looking to wear a kilt while still looking utterly cosmopolitan should choose a sleek, simple black kilt made from high-quality genuine leather. Paired with contemporary choices, a black leather kilt is a sartorial dream.
Brown Leather Kilt
Brown leather is always a rugged, masculine choice. Brown leather kilts feel utilitarian and natural, and are more appropriate with casual outfits. Brown leather kilts are also common costume pieces – Celtic warrior costumes or gladiator costumes both use brown leather kilts or kilt-like bottoms.
Brown leather is a popular choice for many garments due to its natural, casual appearance and the patina it develops as it ages. It’s a classic choice for those who love leather because of its natural appearance.
Here is how you can DIY your own Leather Kilt
Leather Kilt DIY
Leather DIY is an ambitious yet rewarding undertaking. Leather is a difficult material to work with, requiring specialized tools to prevent damage during sewing and bonding. For this reason, leather DIY should be attempted only by those who have a working knowledge of sewing, particularly those who have completed DIY projects using thick, heavy material.
If you’re looking to create your own DIY leather kilt, make sure you have basic patternmaking knowledge or can follow a pattern. Be sure to purchase a leatherworking kit, which can be found on sites like Amazon or Etsy. When working with leather, it’s best to use a sewing machine made to handle thick, heavy fabrics, so keep this in mind as well.
Leather Kilt Pattern
Basic kilt patterns can be found from many sites, like this pattern from Grand Chain. There are countless sites with guides and resources to help you create a kilt with proper measurements and proportions – this guide from Kilt and Jacks is extremely informative, full of information easily translatable for leather kilts.
When working with leather, it’s best to use a sewing machine
Best Leather Kilt
|Royal Kilt Cowhide Leather Kilt||This simple, sleek kilt from Royal Kilt is an excellent choice for a formal occasion. The kilt’s plain apron front, double strap, and masterful knife pleats are stunning in genuine cowhide leather. For $490, this kilt is an investment piece, perfect as the center of a bold, sophisticated outfit for a truly special occasion.||$490|
|Kilt Experts Soft Studded Kilt||For an edgy casual leather kilt, look no further than this piece from Kilt Experts. Its soft, genuine cowhide material is embellished with studs, straps, buckles, and chains. It’s a garment for the man who wants to make a statement, merging goth fashion trends, utilitarian style, and traditional Scottish menswear.||$145|
|Bespoke Tailored Ladies Leather Kilt with Buckle||Etsy is the best place to find bespoke leather goods, and this retailer produces custom-made goods from beautiful genuine Nappa leather. This kilt is unique for many reasons: it’s a ladies’ kilt in white leather. The kilt is available in two lengths and is custom made to the wearer’s measurements, ensuring a perfectly tailored fit.||$126-$223|
Where to Buy a Leather Kilt
Verrillas is a leader kilt retailer. Their site features an entire section dedicated to modern kilts, where shoppers can find kilts with unconventional colors, patterns, or materials. Their leather kilts are crafted from high-quality genuine leather and retail for around $500.
Etsy connects buyers to leather craftsmen, guaranteeing that a leather kilt purchased on Etsy will be handmade and high-quality. Because it’s a marketplace, Etsy’s prices vary quite a bit.
Scottish Kilt Shop’s leather kilts are incredibly unique, available in different styles, silhouettes, and colors. Some even include tradition with leather and tartan hybrid kilts. The site’s leather kilts retail for $200-$500.
Cheap Kilt’s offerings are similar to those from other sites, including Amazon. The site’s prices, though, are hard to beat. For around $100-$200, Cheap Kilt is a great option for those who want to try a leather kilt without dropping hundreds of dollars.
Amazon is a great place to find faux leather kilts. Whether they’re for costumes or regular wear, Amazon’s prices are hard to beat. Most leather kilts from Amazon cost anywhere from $40 to $100.
Check out this cool Black Leather Kilt with Leather Vest in the video below.
Kilt Master’s options lean heavily toward costume pieces, with some half-kilts or faux leather options. With an average price of $200, it’s another great resource for those who want to try leather kilts without dropping a lot of money.
Like other sites, Leather Exotica offers many costume pieces. The prices at the site are a bit higher than others, but the quality of construction is clearly quite high. At around $350 for a leather kilt, this site is best for those who know they want a leather kilt and are willing to invest in a good one.
Kilt & More
Kilt and More advertises itself as a modern kilt seller, and its selection certainly follows through on the claim! Kilts with multiple materials, unconventional prints, and heavy embellishment can be found here. At an average price of around $200, the site is excellent for those who want a unique kilt for a bargain.
If you’re looking for a stylish option, or to make a statement, the leather kilt is a great option that offers variations in look and comfort in wear. If you’re interested in more leather fashion, click here for my guide to leather jeans.
Why would a man wear a leather kilt?
Kilts are traditional Celtic garb for men, and those who are connected with their heritage may choose to wear a kilt for this reason. For some men, this means choosing a modern, fashionable take on a beloved cultural garment.
Who makes black leather kilts?
Every retailer making leather kilts makes black leather options. Black leather is classic and bold, making it a perfect choice.