Kilt voted world's favourite traditional item of clothing

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IT HAS graced the catwalk many a time in creations from designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, and now Scotland's kilt has been confirmed as the most popular traditional garment in the world.

In a poll of international traditional clothing, 67 per cent of respondents put the kilt in top position, with many women describing it as "very attractive" on a man.

The Japanese kimono came second in the international attire list, while the Hawaiian grass skirt was third.

Scottish designers yesterday said they were not surprised that the kilt, which has spawned its own New York fashion show, "Dressed to Kilt", is so popular.

Tessa Hartmann, Scottish Fashion week organiser, said: "The kilt is one of the most iconic fashion outfits in the world. It dates back to the 16th century and has been constantly updated. Designers continue to do different things with it; people like Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood and the late Alexander McQueen have had great fun with the kilt."

She added: "If you can pull off (wearing] a kilt, you can excel. It's much more of a statement than a black tie."

Olympic gold medal cyclist Chris Hoy last month became the latest high-profile Scot to be married in a kilt. His outfit, which combined a traditional tartan kilt with a contemporary suit jacket and waistcoat, was designed by Edinburgh kilt maker Howie Nicholsby.

Mr Nicholsby, who opened his shop 21st Century Kilts last year, said: "In Scotland we know we've got great national dress that looks fabulous when it's worn well, either in the traditional Prince Charlie style, or in more modern versions.

"I've had a great year and my parents' store, which focuses on the more traditional kilts, has also had a great year."

Mr Nicholsby said he is increasingly selling kilts to men from around the world. "Danes, Swedes, French, Austrians – men are realising that you don't have to be Scottish to wear a kilt and feel sexy," he said.

The survey of 2,034 people by travel website also found the Mexican sombrero was popular. However, German lederhosen was considered "very unfashionable" by 87 per cent of people.

As many as 24 per cent thought the shell suit best represented England's national dress.