Lady Peggy of McBain of McBain

I am frequently asked, what is the proper way to wear a ladies tartan sash? .

Many women like to wear the tartan of their clan or their husband’s clan, but are not quite sure how to do it properly. Although the manner of wearing tartan sashes has had a customary significance even two centuries ago, there is no legal significance. However, a due respect for custom is important. The following suggestions are based upon a careful study of traditional practice, and bear the approval of the Lord Lyon King of Arms.

The proper way to wear the sash is over the right shoulder across the breast and secured by a pin or brooch on the right shoulder. Or it can be worn on the right shoulder in the form of a pleated fan or rosette, secured by a brooch, with both pieces of sash streaming down the back. The longer piece of fabric should be on the bottom and can be secured at the left back side of the waist with the shorter top piece of fabric hanging free.RightShoulderSash (see sketch)

If you are a the Queen of Great Britain, a member of the Royal Family, a Scottish clan chief, a wife of a Scottish clan chief or the wife of a Colonel or General of Scottish Regiments, the sash should be worn over the left shoulder and secured with a brooch on the left shoulder.(See sketch)

The Lord Lyon also has stated that a woman who has married outside of her clan but wishes to wear the tartan of her family rather than that of her husband, should wear the sash over her right shoulder, across the breast and secured at the left waist in a bow. Over the years, I have never seen anyone wear the sash in this manner. I think that trying to make a bow out the sash is cumbersome. However, anyone wishing to wear it this way should do so as it is totally appropriate.(See sketch)


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