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What to Wear to a Burns Supper


The end of January in Scotland marks Burns Night. This day is always celebrated with a Burns supper on or near the 25th of January. Often times they are formal events, but of course they can be casual celebrations amongst friends. Sometimes these events are for men only, and sometimes they are mixed in which case they finish the night with a ceilidh. So, deciding what to wear can sometimes be a bit confusing. Most dinners do not require you to wear tartan, but it is so much more fun to join in if you do.

If you are attending a formal dinner, there might be a black-tie dress code. At such an affair you could certainly break your kilt out of the closet, and pair it up with a Bonnie Prince Charlie Jacket. Being one of the most formal jackets, you would certainly look the part.

Prince Charlie Outfit

But, if a kilt does not appeal to you, you could most certainly wear your tartan trews with a dinner jacket and cummerbund. You could even sport a tartan bow tie and matching tartan cummerbund with your dinner suit if you don’t own kilt or trews. This would be perfectly acceptable as well.

Trews with Matching Bow Tie

For ladies, a great way to add a touch of tartan to your already superb evening dress is with a stole or sash in a complimentary tartan. Maybe you even have a tartan evening dress or hostess skirt. Both are ideal for Burns Suppers.

If you have been invited to a more casual affair you can still break out your kilt or tartan trews. However, instead of a jacket, you could wear a shirt and tie with a cashmere jumper on top. This is a sophisticated yet effortless look. For your casual kilt outfit, I would recommend still wearing your kilt hose but you could get away with brown or black day brogues instead of the traditional ghillie brogues. For the ladies, a knee-length or mini tartan skirt, with a jumper or blouse would be stunning.

Suits are also becoming more common at Burns Suppers and the best way to add tartan is, of course, with a tartan tie or bow tie. To make the look a bit more modern you can now find Tartan Skinny Ties.

The great thing about tartan is that is so versatile. Wearing a jumper with a kilt is very casual. The minute you pop on a shirt and formal jacket you can transform the outfit right before your eyes. Whatever you choose to wear to your Burns Supper enjoy your haggis, whisky, and have a lovely time.

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