What are Trews?

October 13, 2014 • Post by:

First off, we would like to welcome you to our new and improved Royal & Plaid website. Here in our blog, we’ll be providing you with information on our latest products, industry news, client stories and much more.

So for those who don’t know us, our first post is an obvious one.

What are exactly are ‘Trews’? Trews are traditional Scottish tartan trousers, covering the legs and also the lower section of the torso. When they were first manufactured they were trimmed with leather, usually buckskin, to prevent tearing when riding on horseback.

Along with other items of highland clothing, men and boys were banned from wearing trews unless they were in the military following the Dress Act of 1746, which carried on until 1782 when King George III withdrew the law.

Traditionally they were considered part of the Highland cultural tradition, not Lowland. When Lowland regiments became the first of the Scottish regiments to be formed in the mid-1660s, they had no desire to wear tartan clothing or march to the bagpipes, as they considered traits to be part of a savage culture, so they wore the standard British military uniform.

Modern trews are more like trousers with the fabric cut on the straight grain but without a side seam, often high-waisted and are usually worn with a short jacket, but it’s not uncommon to see a man wear the regular trousers, opposed the the high waisted design.

This has proved to be very popular at weddings, for some who prefer to wear trousers to a kilt, especially with the weather in Scotland being cold for the most part.


Our trousers are a slightly more modern take on the original design of the trews. The full-length trousers that we make are based on trews, which have proven popular with many golfers. You’ll find that the modern designs are cut fuller. This allows for more freedom of movement and makes them easier to wear in warmer climates.

Through the years tartan trousers have been worn by traditional Scottish highlanders, military men, highland dancers, golfers and so on. But they’re appeal has not stayed with Scots. They have made their way onto other scenes where you wouldn’t expect, such as punk rock bands. On many occasions more than one member of a band can be seen wearing a pair of tartan trews, with some slight modifications.

The most common place you will see trews now though is on the golf course, and rightly so. Playing a truly Scottish game, wearing traditional Scottish attire, on some of the best courses the world has to offer, gives any true Scot a sense of pride.


If you would like to know more about Tartan Trews or any of the products we have to offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and a member of our team will be happy to help.

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