iStyle: Highland fling: Comeback of the kilt

The kilt is making a comeback this season, from traditional Scots tartan to minis and punky versions, writes Holly Swayne

While many fashion trends are limited to those with a particular style or body shape, the occasional must-have piece works across the board.This season? The kilt. A key style on the autumn/winter catwalks, it was re-imagined by everyone from Versace to Christopher Kane, providing universal appeal and plenty of ways to wear it– whatever your style clan.

Kilts for the classic dresser came from the likes of Clements Ribeiro and Daks, who created modestly cut styles in Scottish tartans and plaids. Both smart and warm, these make a savvy choice for winter workwear, worn with a neat sweater and lace-up brogues. Margaret Howell’s below-the-knee kilts were similarly sophisticated, while Christopher Kane’s camouflage jacquard ones provided a glamorous update on tartan.

Those after a little more edge will find kilts among the punk mood dominating this season. Tying in neatly with the Costume Institute’s recent “Chaos to Couture” exhibition, brands such as Moschino and Versace looked to punk icons such as Siouxsie Sioux, offering kilts customised with vinyl and chains, or plainer versions worn with a biker jacket and heavy platform boots. 

Less subversive but still on the directional side are the mini-tartan styles as seen at Isabel Marant.Best suited to the younger kilt-wearerable to bare midriff and legs, cult Nineties films such as Clueless and Empire Records are the reference point. Think colourful thigh grazing kilts worn with preppy shirts or grungy knitted crop tops – but stay clear of Cher Horowitz’s knee-high socks to avoid looking like you’re straight out of the playground.