After we got down to do an episode concerning the Scottish kilt, we discovered ourselves in for far more than we bargained for. We knew there could be a specific amount of myth-busting (spoiler alert: clan tartans are an invented custom.) Nonetheless, we had no concept how twisted the historical past of the kilt actually is. Not all Scots wore a kilt: it was primarily Highlander garb. And never all Highland Scots wore a kilt, particularly in the event that they have been lords. In actual fact, these lords typically needed to look and gown like Englishmen, who wore the precursor of the sober three-piece go well with.
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The kilt rose to fame because the “uniform” of Jacobite rebels: Scots who supported a Stuart king over George I of England. After crushing the Jacobite forces on the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the English banned the kilt as an emblem of rise up. And boy did that backfire: all of a sudden everybody needed to put on the kilt. Material retailers noticed an opportunity to market surplice tartan material as “ancestral” plaids, and the entire “uncover your clan ancestry” increase grew to become the 18th century’s model of AncestryDNA.
Two actual gobsmackers on this episode are that the primary “official” tartan sample was anti-Highlander, and the kilt we all know as we speak MAY have been the invention of an Englishman.
That’s rather a lot to pack into one episode.
Our visitor is Richard Thompson Ford, a legislation professor at Stanford and one in all Esquire’s “Greatest Dressed Actual Males.” As he cheerfully admitted, this was the weirdest podcast interview he’s ever been requested to do. We need to thank him for being such sport.