How to wear a tartan sash

Updated March 23, 2017

The tartan sashes worn by the women of Scotland had great significance in regard to honouring their Scottish clan and family. The sashes themselves were articles to be treasured--being made of fine wool, they were quite expensive to make, and the checkered cloth was handled with great care. Additionally, the tartan sashes were worn in different manners depending on a woman's social class. It may not have been a legal matter, but more a question of social etiquette and respect that ladies felt obligated to adhere to. Today, tartan sashes and are easily worn and can complement any attire.

Drape the sash over your shoulder. Depending on social class, the women of Scotland adjust which shoulder the sash drapes over. A general clanswoman drapes the tartan sash over her right shoulder and then across the front of her breast. The wife of a chef or colonel conversely drapes the sash over her left shoulder and downward across the bosom.

Adjust the sash so about half of it hangs across the breast and the other half falls along your back toward the opposite hip.

Gather the sash at your hip. Collect both ends of your sash, front and back, and join the two ends together at your left hip, if wearing the tartan sash over the right shoulder, or the right hip, if wearing it over the left shoulder.

Insert a decorative pin or broach through both ends of the sash as it meets at your hip. This keeps the ends together and allows you move without the sash falling out of place.


Coming in a variety of colours and designs, you can match your sash to almost any outfit.


Attach the pin with care, ensuring not to poke your finger or hip. The sash should be affixed tight enough across your back and front so that it doesn't slip off of your shoulder.

Things You'll Need

  • Tartan sash
  • Pin or broach
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