What's Down Under?
Reprinted from The Daily
2nd November 2010
practice of wearing nothing beneath the kilt has been condemned
- by an organisation
dedicated to upholding Scottish traditions.
The Scottish Tartans Authority want people to wear underwear
beneath their country's national dress and has decreed that
refusing to do so is "childish and unhygienic".
It also warned that "going commando" flies in the face of
Tartans Authority director Brian Wilton said kilt wearers should
have the "common sense" to realise they should wear underwear
beneath their country's national dress.
He said "The idea that you are not a real Scot unless you are bare
under your kilt should be thrown into the same wastepaper basket as
the idea that you're not a real Scot unless you put salt on your
"People should not be browbeaten into believing that nonsense.
Just because Highlanders wore nothing in the days before Y-fronts
were invented doesn't mean that we, in the 21st Century, should
wear nothing too.
"Sending children up chimneys was traditional at one time, but we
don't do it now and the same should apply to wearing nothing under
"Common sense and decency suggest that for the majority of
occasions one should wear under the kilt what one would wear under
a pair of trousers.
"You only have ask hire specialists about the problems they have
cleaning their kilts. We have heard quite a few hygiene horror
But Scotland's kilt wearers condemned the advice. Former Formula
One racing driver David Coulthard, 39, of Twynholm,
Kirkcudbrightshire, said: "Kilts are from the past and so is the
tradition of not wearing any underwear. I'm proud to be a true
Scotsman. It's a tradition that should be left alone.
"I have about five kilts. Ten years ago, I even registered my own
Coulthard tartan because Coulthard is an English name, sadly.
"I've been wearing kilts since I was a little boy and will
continue to wear my kilts in the time-honoured fashion. There is
nothing childish or unhygienic about it."
Inverness-based kilt maker Ian Chisholm, a spokesman for the
Scottish Kilt Makers' Association, said: "The tradition of no
underwear being worn was a stipulation of Scottish military
"To say it is unhygienic is wrong. The freedom of movement is
healthy. We always tell customers to wear nothing under the kilt if
everything is in good working order."
Earlier this month, 23-year-old Scottish tennis star Andy Murray
revealed he had been made to wear pants under his kilt at brother
Jamie's wedding at Cromlix House, near Dunblane, Perthshire.
Highlands and Islands Tory MSP Jamie McGrigor, who campaigned for
the introduction of a Scottish Tartan Register, said: "I have
normally worn underwear with my kilt. In the West Highlands, midges
can mount alarming and unexpected attacks on so-called true
Kilt maker Slanj, which has provided Highland dress for Billy
Connolly and Ewan McGregor, insisted last year that underwear must
be worn with hire kilts.
The firm, which also made a kilt for self-confessed true Scotsman
Sir Sean Connery, said some kilts had been returned in such a dirty
state that they were too unhygienic for staff to handle.