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Fly Plaid

The fly plaid (pronounced “played”) was created to mimic the great kilt (belted plaid, fèileadh mòr) and is typically worn in a formal setting. For example, if a wedding party is all wearing kilts I would recommend the groom wear a fly plaid so it’s easy to tell who is the groom.

When I make a fly plaid I pleat one corner and put a couple stitches in to hold the pleats. (I do not press the pleats. If you need to press out some wrinkles then I recommend not pressing the pleats.) These stitches go under the epilate of the jacket.

Wearing a fly plaid takes a helper to put together. It can be a little tricky to get it to look good by yourself. Especially while wearing a jacket as it limits some mobility.

Stitches secure the pleats
Stitches get hidden under the jacket epilate
No visible stitches!

Use a safety pin to secure the fly plaid to the jacket. More than one safety pin can be used for better security and strain relief.

Then the bottom corner of the fly plaid gets tucked into the kilt waistband on the hip opposite the shoulder. This is an often overlooked step of wearing a fly plaid. (These photos are for demonstration only. Hopefully your fly plaid and kilt tartan match.)

Tucking in the fly plaid into the kilt waistband helps to keep the fly plaid from catching on everything and awkwardly pulling your jacket. But most importantly, it completes the whole look of mimicking the great kilt.

Finally, you can dress up the fly plaid by attaching a brooch pin. This brooch pin should only go through the tartan, not the jacket! The tartan cloth can handle being pinned and the weave recovers after unpinned. The jacket usually cannot! The pin on the brooch is often thick and can damage your jacket.