I am delighted to report that a gent from Scotland, by the name of John M. Conboy Esquire, explained the kiltie’s true origins and here is what he shared with me:
“The “Kiltie” was the extended tongue of a brogue to cover the laces when worn with the Kilt. This was ‘lang ‘afore ony duke o’ Windsor wis born’. That’s how shoes were made in Scotland, in the highlands and the borders. The golfers just wore their shoes when they played and that’s how the “Golfing Brogue” came about.”
Thank you, John! I love all things Scot (especially men in kilts…) and am perfectly pleased to remove all credit from the Duke of Windsor (who took credit wrongly) for this delightful accessory.
As for our kitties, you may have noticed that they’re pretty generous in width and length. Another liberal interpretation of mine. There’s nothing worse, in my view, than a skimpy kiltie that’s too short or narrow for the shoe. Like bad bangs on a haircut. It’s got a job to do and ought to have the heft to do it, damn it.
The unique feature of our kiltie is that it has two hidden metal strips inside that allow you to mold it to the shape of your foot. That keeps it looking neat and sweet, fitting for a round of golf with his highness or whomever. So wear it or not, as you choose – but remember that it’s history is a noble, if murky one, and the look, utterly, exquisitely distinguished.