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Howie Nicholsby has designed and produced custom kilts for Lenny Kravitz, Alan Cumming, Vin Diesel and Prince Albert II of Monaco—and now he’ll create one for you on our Scotland 2018 journey.


Howie Nicholsby’s 21st Century Kilts puts a unique spin on traditional Scottish style.

By using original textiles, ranging from leather to denim, and modern patterns such as camouflage and pinstripe, Nicholsby offers something different for those fond of this age-old item.

“My aim is to give men throughout the world a realistic alternative to trousers,” Nicholsby says about his mission. “21st Century Kilts is true to the original kilt which was everyday clothing. Casual or formal, a kilt should be an option for any man from anywhere who can realize they are part of the history of an international garment.”

Explore Scotland with TCS World Travel in 2018—and return home with your very own custom-tailored kilt, made by Nicholsby, the world’s leading kilt maker. You will also discover legendary castles, golf on some of the most challenging courses in the world and take one of the best train rides on Earth.

We sat down with Nicholsby to find out who he and his family have made kilts for and what one should consider when purchasing one of his kilts.

Q: What are the top misconceptions about kilts?

A: One, that they must be worn with no underwear. Two, that you have to be Scottish to wear one. It’s just not true. All cultures around the world have a form of “skirt” or “unbifurcated” garment. Three, that kilts must be tartan. Not true at all. Way before I started using modern fabrics, kilts in history and literature were often described as plain fabrics.

Q: How long on average does it take you to make one of your custom kilts?

A: The time involved varies from fabric to fabric. All have their own challenges. In the old days, it took me 8 plus hours, but now, with all my trimmings and extra detail, it’s closer to 12 hours of work. Each kilt is made by one individual kiltmaker at a time. It is not a factory production.

Q: When shopping for a kilt, which three factors should our guests consider?

A: They have to want to wear one. If they invest in one of my kilts, it’s best to have the mindset that their kilt is not just to be worn on formal occasions. In the United States, for example, a kilt can be worn with flip flops and a t-shirt on the Fourth of July, on any holiday, or to any kind of party. Regardless of which outfitter they buy from in Scotland—my shop or otherwise—be sure they know where the kilt has been made and where the fabric is from!

Q: Tell us about your parents—we hear they are also legendary kiltmakers.

A: They began their business in 1971, independent of my grandfather, who also made kilts. It’s a family affair. Their client list is endless, and includes stories of visiting Charlton Heston in his house in Los Angeles to fit him for a kilt sometime in the ‘80s. They also produced Mel Gibson’s kilt outfit for the U.S. premier of his film Braveheart.

Q: Of the well-known clients who have purchased your custom-tailored kilts, is there someone who made an impression?

A: Albert II, Prince of Monaco & Charlene, Princess of Monaco were two clients who left a particularly memorable impression. All of my preconceptions of them were completely wrong. They are two of the nicest, most humble people I have ever met. Absolutely lovely.

Does the idea of having Howie Nicholsby create a custom kilt for you inspire you to join our Scotland 2018 journey?

Email Amber Shearer today at [email protected], or call her at 800.454.4149 to learn more about or to reserve your space on Scotland 2018.