Happy National Tartan Day!
Nope, I didn’t make that up, and yes, it’s a real thing! I even got reminders about the day that popped up on my screen when I was working. It’s the perfect holiday for me because—guess what?—I write about brawny Highlanders!!
So, in honor of the day, I should tweet, post, pin, and write about kilts, right?
Well… yes and no.
Would you be surprised to know that historians believe the Scots didn’t wear kilts until the 1500’s at the earliest? Before that they were thought to dress in a similar fashion to other Europeans, wearing long shirts called léines over hosen or braies (tights and baggy shorts!). And those bright tartan colors? Not happening. Everything was drab earth tones.
But, Alyson, all your books are set in the 1450’s and your heroes all wear kilts?
Yup. Here’s the thing… technically I never say “kilt” in my books. I refer to the kilt the men wear as a “plaid”, which in Gaelic means blanket. So it’s a perfect word because it brings to mind the tartan material, but technically it’s not a kilt.
This was a big discussion with my editor because really… who wants to read a Highlander romance with a hero who doesn’t wear a kilt? That’s not to say it doesn’t happen—it does—and I take my hats off to those authors who break with tradition! But to me, it’s no different than watching Braveheart—I want to see Mel Gibson looking wild and sexy in a kilt whether it’s historically accurate or not.
So, in honor of National Tartan Day, here are four brawny heroes in kilts to brighten your day!! (I said it was National Tartan Day, not National Shirt Day. 😉 )