As a man who chooses to wear kilts, and also has a hot body, I have been repeatedly sexually harassed by women.
On several occasions, women have literally walked up behind me and lifted up my kilt way up the air. This has even happened in crowded family-friendly events. I’ve even had women stick their hand ups my kilt in bars.
Just because I choose to dress a certain way does not mean I should be objectified. The way I dress does not mean yes!
With St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th and National Tartan Day on April 6th, you may be thinking about getting your first kilt. Do not let the fear of sexual harassment at the hands of women discourage you.
The modern Scottish kilt was invented in the 1720s. It was designed for Scottish workers at lumber mills and factories. Advances in textile manufacturing made it cheaper to make fabric and led to the proliferation of the “great kilt,” which features large amounts of fabric draped around the body. However, Scotsman were getting these caught in the machinery when they wore them to work. The purpose of the short kilt was for the Scottish to have more practical kilt to wear to work.
This new style of kilt was called the “small kilt,” “short kilt,” or “walking kilt.” Soon they were a huge hit among working-class Scotsman and wealthy English youths who wanted to piss off their parents. As part of an attempt to squash the Jacabite uprising, Britain actually tried to ban tartans and kilts with the 1746 Dress Act. They made an exception for those who joined the British army and created new Scottish Highland regiments with standardized kilts.
The ban on public use of kilts was in effect for 35 years. However, it failed to kill the kilt. During an 1822 state visit to Scotland, King George IV even put on a kilt to increase his popularity in Scotland.
By the way, Braveheart is a super awesome movie but the clothing is totally wrong. The men led by William Wallace would have mostly been wearing a large yellow tunic with a belt around the waist. This was the universal uniform of poor people since forever. The way the Irish conscripts were dressed is how the Scottish should have also been dressed, except the Scottish dyed their tunics yellow when they went to war. Also, a shit load of other stuff about the movie is totally wrong. The soundtrack is badass though.
Pros: This is obvious, just look at it. Literally, the best garment ever invented.
Cons: No f%^&ing pockets. A sporran can be worn with it. This is basically a very old school fanny pack. Watch out because they tend to slap you in the balls when you’re at a concert. After you wear a kilt once, people will keep asking “where’s your kilt?” every time they see you. They want you to wear it every day.
Simple Kilt Buying Guide:
Custom tailored wool kilts that are made in Scotland start at about $500. The cost makes them prohibitive. It’s also risky doing the measurements yourself and mailing them to a tailor overseas. Once people spend that much for a kilt, many are afraid to wear it very often for fear of damaging it.
As little as ten years ago, your only option for cheaper mass produced kilts were wool/acrylic blend kilts from Pakistan. Fortunately, there are many mass-produced kilts now. I have owned several.
The Pakistani made kilts that are mass-produced in standard sizes. The yarn used is very thick and the weave is fairly loose and can unravel some. They do seem to fit quite well, and they typically come with three leather straps. They are available in several size/length variations. The pleats hold their shape quite well, but not as well as the newer poly-viscose kilts.
The Celtic Croft sells a variety of inexpensively mass-produced kilts. The cheapest is a new 100% acrylic kilt from Pakistan for $60.
Most mass produced “traditional” kilts available now are poly-viscose. By traditional, I mean they use fabric that features a tartan pattern. The most well-known is SportKilt, which are now worn by many professional Highland Games competitors in the US. The company also sponsors Rowdy Rody Piper and MMA fighter Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis. The kilts cost $110 to $130 depending on the size. They also have a stripped down version that is cheaper. The cheaper version does not have any straps or a fringe. The kilts are allegedly made on demand in the USA.
The fabric is really nice. The downside of Sportkilt is that they put velcro in the front waistband of all their kilts. The velcro is uncomfortable and causes the front waist area to look lumping instead of laying flat. The kilts also do not have a tailored look. The waist and the hips are about the same size. I bought a Sport Kilt once and did not like it at all because of the velcro.
Sport Kilt is now offering a more premium version without velcro that costs $250. This version is supposed to be custom tailored based on the measurements you provide.
The best poly-viscose kilts are from the Scotland Kilt Company. The same company makes high-end custom tailored wool kilts. In my opinion, their poly-viscose kilts are much nicer than Sportkilt kilts. They are very well made and look the most like an expensive tailored kilt. You can order them through the mail from Scotland for $70 plus shipping from the UK. You can get them on amazon.com, but they are $150.
These come in different waist sizes, but only one length. If you want the length to look right you have to put it closer or further away from your belly button to get the end to come to the top of your knees.
There is a store in the tourist town of Gatlingburg, TN that sells them for $99.99. It is called the Celtic Heritage Shop. The store also sells them through the mail, but they charge more for mailorder. They also offer a package deal at the store if you get a kilt with other accessories. I bought a kilt there and many other people I know have bought kilts at this store. We all love them.
The Scottish Kilt Company recently rolled out an even cheaper version. It is called their “5-yard casual kilt.” It is the same thing but has less pleat in the back. They are $42 online plus shipping from the UK.
There are also several “non-traditional” kilts that have cargo pockets and come in plain colors. The premier line is Utilikilt, which are manufactured in Seattle. They cost $200 and up. Utilikilt has two stores on the West Coast. They have several dealers and are now being sold at most Scottish Games Competitions.
There is an ever-increasing number of Utilikilt copycats that are made in China. Most are under $100. Some actually drape better than Utilikilt. The biggest problem with Utilikilt is the fabric is so thick it doesn’t drape well. It curls up on the edges.