New York Tartan Day Parade: What to Wear?

According to the New York Tartan Day Parade guidelines, “There is no theme or dress requirement for the parade. Kilts, Tartan and anything that shows off your Scottish pride is obviously encouraged!” With over 500 tartans and so many styles to choose from, you would be forgiven for being overwhelmed by the options available.

Our Mini New York Collection
Our Mini New York Collection

If something personal and unique is what you’re after, then there is no better way to show your clan pride while marching and celebrating arm in arm with your Scottish family than wearing something custom tailored in your very own Clan Tartan. As you will be alongside other Scots and tartan enthusiasts it’s great fun seeing how many people can pick up on your clan just by looking at your outfit. We might have to bring our in-house guru, Auryn, with us as he has an incredible ability to name every tartan he sees! Last year the ScotlandShop team dressed all matchy, matchy in the New York City tartan but outfits are still under discussion this year and Harry has grown quite a bit so watch out for a new twist to his 3 piece suit of last year.

There is still time to order made to measure items in your favourite clan tartans (& even collect them from us in New York to avoid shipping costs).

If you’re looking for something traditional, why not stand out in your very own custom made kilt? If you’re struggling to choose a weight of kilt you can have a look at Greig’s blog on the difference between the two: Weight Watchers: Kilt Edition. For the Parade I recommend a custom 4 yard Casual Kilt, which you can accessorise with a dressed down Sweater or one of our smart Tweed Argyll Jackets and a Sporran like our model below:

Men's Isle of Skye Kilt Outfit
Get the breeze on your knees.

As the dress code leaves room for interpretation, if you prefer a more casual, relaxed look, I recommend one of our custom Tartan Shirts for an outfit you can wear again and again to show your clan pride day to day. Our shirt pairs nicely with a pair of jeans and Brogues or perhaps a pair of our super comfortable Tartan Trainers. Great for the after party and a few Belhaven beers in The Tailor Pub after the parade too.

Gordon Dress Modern Tartan Shirt
Smart Casual for the City Slicker

For Ladies, our All Round Pleated Skirt is a classic take on kilt pleats. You can have it made to measure choosing your tartan and your length depending on your preference. The only problem is deciding on a suitable length; a knee length skirt never goes out of style but calf length skirts and dresses have been very popular so far this season… Either way you’ll have a timeless piece for your wardrobe, especially when it has so much more meaning than something off the rack.

Douglas Ancient All Round Pleated Skirt
Spring Chic for April

If you’re looking for something more formal or just love a fitted style, you can choose one of our Tartan Shift Dresses in a variety of sleeve styles. These are easily dressed up or down depending on your choice of accessories. Perfect for last year’s parade in the blazing sunshine….let’s hope it is the same this year. Worn here with black pumps and a clutch bag all that is missing is a Clan Crest Badge to take you to one of the various Tartan Day after parties, and it also looks great with a plain cardigan and a matching tartan brooch for celebrating on 6th avenue.

Shaw Ancient Sleeveless Shift Dress
Easy to dress up or dress down with match accessories

If a full outfit is feeling a bit much for you and you want to break up the pattern, then a hat or scarf in your clan tartan is a great alternative and very versatile. You can also co-ordinate with your partner or friends while out and about like our models below who are wearing different variations of the Thompson Tartan. Alternatively why not go for the classic Scottish event wear and don a Wool Tartan Sash over your right shoulder?

A more subtle look with co-ordinating tartans

If you’re struggling to find a clan tartan that speaks to you, you don’t have a clan association yourself or you just want an excuse to buy something new you can always wear the New York City Tartan to celebrate. We have a small stock range available to purchase online or at the pop up. You can also choose a custom item including our Tartan Sporran Bag to stand out from the 1000’s strong crowd.

New York City Flat Lay
March in the ever so appropriate New York City Tartan

Our Tartan Trainers are a relatively new product to us and incredibly comfortable, as our resident trainer enthusiast Emily will attest. She famously lay down on the sidewalk in minus 7 degrees on 6th avenue during her last visit to New York in January to get the perfect photo with those yellow taxis in the background. Emily also tested them out on her adventures around the city and deemed them perfect for walking the 10 blocks down 6th avenue!

New York Tartan Trainers on 6th Ave
Our New York Tartan Trainers on 6th Ave

Whatever tartan you choose to wear, it’s sure to be a great day. Our pop up will be open from the 2nd to the 6th of April, and I’m a New York City newbie so even if you already have an outfit already make sure you come and say hello!

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