House of Gordon USA
Kid's Corner Fun Facts!
Did you Know...?
... The kilt isn't the only Scottish item in the
traditional Scottish national attire? The ladies used
to wear an Arisaid over an under dress, the men a
leine and a Feileadh Mor (great kilt or belted plaid.)
Check back later, because we will be adding MORE fun facts!
                          MODERN DAY HIGHLAND DRESS
Morris Gordon and Aaron Todd show off formal Highland attire for a civilian
and a military piper.

Ginny Gordan (left) is wearing a traditional arisaid over a skirt and blouse.
An arisaid is a plaid in silk or fine wool (and in the south USA sometimes
cotton) belted around the waist and then either up over the shoulder or
over the head as a veil.

Today you will find women wearing kilted skirts in tartan, pleated or
gathered skirts in tartan, plain dresses with a tartan scarf or shawl, and
even sometimes the kilt itself!

Highland dancers will wear either the kilt and waistcoat, or the Aboyne
Dress. (Right Aaron Todd pipes the dancers on stage. Left below an
example of the Aboyne Dress in Gordon Modern tartan.) The Aboyne Dress
was developed by the Aboyne Highland Games, which is the annual
Gordon Gathering,  to give the dancers an updated shorter version of the
arisaid. It is a full gathered tartan skirt 4.5 yards around the hem, worn over
a full white petticoat. It is worn with a chemise style blouse with full elbow
sleeves tied with tartan ribbons. Over the blouse is worn a  tight- fitting
sleeveless corsage (vest), flagged round the base, sloping well to the front
and coming well down below the waist. A plaid is 40 x 60 inches and here
is the fun part! According to the Aboyne Games Committee is worn such:

    The plaid is fringed on one of the forty-inch edges; on the
    other are sewn loops or keepers, through which is passed
    a belt of similar material, an inch wide, by which the plaid is
    fastened to the waist under the corsage. The right hand
    corner of the fringed edge is then brought up behind and
    brooched to the wearer's right shoulder so that the fringed
    edge hangs down vertically and the plaid itself hangs
    diagonally across the back. The corners of the lower edge
    should be brought round the waist as far to the front as
    possible.

Kilts can be pleated to the stripe or to the sett. The military kilts are pleated
to the stripe meaning that the pleats across the back match to the vertical
lines in the tartan pattern and you see a series of stripes.  Pleating to the
sett means that the pattern of the tartan is matched across the back when
pleated so that you see the entire pattern across the back. On the right you
can see an example of pleated to the stripe and pleated to the sett

You can find people wearing many different types of outfits at the highland
games from more formal attire including military uniforms and kilts with
jackets to the very casual jeans and clan tee-shirt, to the historical
representations, to the fantasy outfits. It is all an expression of our pride in
our genealogical, cultural, and artistic heritage.
  • Bonnet -- this is a Glengarry,
    and usually in the USA we
    call it a cap!
  • Cap Badge -- the Chief's
    crest belted to indicate you
    are a Gordon Clansman.
  • Dress shirt and black or
    tartan bow tie
  • Waistcoat-- in America it is
    called a vest!
  • Kilt Jacket -- this is a formal
    Prince Charlie style jacket.
  • Sporran-- it is a Scottish
    pocket! (sort of)
  • Kilt -- this kilt is in Gordon
    Modern tartan.
  • Kilt Belt -- you can just see
    the buckle under the jacket,
    but it is 1.5 to 2 inches wide!
  • Kilt Pin -- well you can see it
    is a pin on the kilt!
  • Kilt Hose -- in a color that
    coordinates with the tartan of
    your kilt.
  • Flashes -- to help hold up
    the kilt hose!
  • Sgiah Dubh-- small black
    knife worn in the kilt hose.
  • Ghillie Brogues -- shoes!
  • Bonnet -- this is a Glengarry,
    the red pompom is called a
    toorie! The pipers wear plain
    bonnets, the rest of the
    regiment wear diced like Mac!
  • Cap Badge -- this one is a
    Gordon Highlander's cap
    badge.
  • No 1 Dress Doublet -- this is
    a Gordon Highlander's
    Piper's No. 1 Dress Uniform
    Kilt Jacket called a Doublet
  • Kilt Belt
  • Cross Belt
  • Collar Dogs-Gordons wear
    tigers for their service in
    India.
  • Dirk -- a short sword.
  • Plaid -- sometimes called a
    fly plaid (plaid sounds like
    played)
  • Plaid Broach or Pin --keeps
    the plaid in place.
  • Sporran-- only the pipers
    wear this particular style
    cantle and bells on their
    sporran in the Gordon
    Highlanders! This sporran is
    made of horse hair.
  • Kilt -- the Gordon Regimental
    Kilt is VERY heavy!
  • Kilt Pin
  • Kilt Hose -- red & white diced
  • Flashes -- red belled flashes!
  • Sgiah Dubh-- small black
    knife worn in the kilt hose.
  • Ghillie Brogues -- shoes!
  • Spats -- white with black
    buttons-- Only the Gordon
    Highlanders wore black
    buttons!
  • Bagpipes -- of course!
Morris Gordon & Aaron Todd in formal Highland Dress
Sir William Gordon of Fyvie in Red Gordon tartan 1766 by Batoni
Did you know that the Feileadh Mor or Great Kilt
was used as a blanket as well as a garment! And
did you know that examples of real great kilts from
before the banning of the kilt after the 1745
Rebellion have belt loops on the INSIDE of the kilt?
Yes! The inside. That way a rope or soft cloth belt
could be threaded through the loops set at the
distance the pleats were to be. The material was
quickly gathered to the correct pleat and tied on at
the waist! None of this spreading out material and
gathering and laying down on it and on and on!
Who had time or room for that! Especially if you
were in the regiment wrapped up in your kilt for the
night and you had to get dressed quickly because
your unit was under attack! Kilts worn today are
called the feileadh beg or small kilt.

Read more about the Great Kilt!
Jacobite Shirts are very popular today!
A good example of a Great Kilt is this painting of Sir William Gordon of Fyvie (above left) painted by Batoni in 1766. Sir William
is in full military attire in Red Gordon Tartan spledor! The portrait still hangs at Fyvie Castle.

For everyday men wore a leine under the kilt. The leine is a long saffron (yellow) shirt. Sometimes they were off white or white
too! The leine did not lace up the front, some had a plain neck opening, and some had a drawstring opening.Today you will see
men in something similar called a Jacobite shirt which does lace up the front (above right) and they come in many colors.
Ginny Gordan wearing an arisaid in the Gordon tartan.
Aaron Todd leads the Thistle & Shamrock Dancers on stage! See the Aboyne Dress the girls are wearing!
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The Marquis of Huntly opens the Aboyne Highland Games!
The Aboyne Highland Games is the annual Gordon Gathering (note the Gordon Banner!)
Site design, layout & original graphics copyright House of Gordon USA, 2007
Thank You to the Virginia Division for allowing us to reproduce their kid's pages.

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