Three months ago, Bill and I were in Glasgow, Scotland, about to embark on our fourth cruise on Hebridean Princess. While we were in Glasgow, we stopped into a kiltmaker’s shop and got Bill fitted for a kilt of his very own. We decided to do it because we both love visiting Scotland, especially on Hebridean Princess. Kilts are very welcome on that ship. On all of our previous cruises on Hebridean Princess, Bill wore his dress blues on the formal nights. The uniform, like kilts and tuxedos, has always been well-received on the ship.
Bill retired from the Army in 2014 and there comes a point at which it gets harder to do justice to the Army dress uniform. I also learned that it might not even be appropriate for a retiree to wear the uniform on a cruise, though I doubt anyone would “bust” Bill on such a British cruise. On each of our voyages, we have been among a very small number of Americans, none of whom have been affiliated with the military. In fact, we have found that the Army uniform is quite a conversation starter, especially among the Brits who have also served in the military. However, I was dying to see Bill in a kilt and kept pestering him to get one. He finally gave in and indulged me.
While we were in Berlin, the finished kilt arrived. Our very kind neighbor accepted our box for us while we were out of town. Bill got the whole package, which included everything except a shirt and a belt and buckle. Last night, he tried on his new Scottish duds.
Bill decided not to put on the Ghillie brogues (shoes), although they were included. Below is a video I made of the kiltmaker showing us how the shoes should be tied. He also didn’t put on the kilt pin, which was included.
The tartan used is County Donegal, since our last name is Irish. Bill’s surname originated in Donegal. The jackets are made in Donegal.
It took just under three months for the kilt to be made. I think it’s because the tartan we used had to be ordered. Otherwise, we probably would have had the kilt in late October or early November. The kiltmaker made the kilt by hand and the quality is excellent. It set Bill back about 900 GBP (approximately $1300). But again, everything except the shirt was included in that price, even socks. And Scots are not supposed to wear underwear under the kilt. On the other hand, Bill is Irish. 😉
Anyway, for those who are wondering who made this marvelous outfit, here’s the link to the man responsible. We are very pleased with the finished product, even though we probably could have had it made faster and cheaper at one of the other, larger kiltmakers. I would highly recommend James Robertson Kiltmaker if you’re ever in Glasgow and looking to be kilted.