Saturday, July 19, 2008


My dear wife, our vet friend and I went to the regional Scottish Highland Games today. There were men in kilts everywhere. For several months now I have been talking about getting a kilt for myself. Not a tartan, but a Utilikilt ( These kilts are made by a company in Seattle. They come in solid colors and in several styles, yet all are still the basic kilt design. I am partial to the “Workman,” which is what kilts would look like if Carhartt made them, with a lot of pockets and a hammer loop as well.

There were a few vendors with kilts of varying quality. Some were surprisingly heavy and lined, others were flimsy, wear-once-and-stow-away-forever novelty items. One can drop a pretty penny for a good one.

Of course, if one is serious about wearing kilts, meaning that they become part of one’s regular wardrobe, then it makes sense to buy a quality garment. And it would also become necessary to have more than one. I don’t have that kind of money, but more importantly, I’m not too certain I’d be wearing one much at all.

I imagine myself walking through tall weeds and brambles, as I often do here on the farm, and I see my legs all scratched up. Or with a wasp tickling my inner thigh before the inevitable happens. With this said, I’m still intrigued by them as a clothing option if for one significant reason: to let the twig and berries breathe.

Go without underwear? Not on your life. But to reduce one layer of fabric would be a welcome relief, especially during the summer. As I sit here writing, I have on my undies (mid-thighs, thank you very much) and a pair of sweats. There seems to be no escape. Even if I were to work in a pair of shorts, I’d still be chaffing.

Can I hear an Amen? I suspect not. Guys can’t get their minds around the fact that a kilt looks like a skirt. I can see the local town folks’ reactions now, the stares, the snickers, the sneers of old codgers as I get out of my truck and flash an up-skirt for their wives.

What surprises me the most is the reaction of some women I know when I have mentioned that I am considering donning my version of the lower half of a Catholic girl’s uniform. I would think that they’d be thrilled. Instead, I get an “eeewwwww.” Not from my dear wife, though. She thinks I have sexy calves. Big, strong, manly calves. In fact, I do. And even my thighs are shapelier than the majority of women’s in these parts.

But I digress. Or not.

When we first got to the games, we spent time pointing out the kilts we saw in the parking lot. By the time we had watched the pipe and drum competition and the athletic events, in which kilts were mandatory, we had become completely accustomed to seeing them and had moved onto wondering why some women had come to the event dressed as wenches from the Elizabethan period. So, when we came across a vendor with Utilikilts, you better believe I tried one — no, several — on. Dropped trou right there and gave the ladies a thrill. I have to say, even with my whiskey gut, I looked good!

Still, I’m not thrilled with the idea of being the only guy in our small town who’s wearing a kilt. If we lived in the city, it might be a different story. I guess I could wear it at home and change before heading out, but that seems like too much of a bother. Perhaps it’s a good thing that they didn’t have the style I wanted in my size.

I found a website called “MUGs Around the World” ( What does MUG stand for? Many unbifurcated garments. I like that: unbifurcated. The caftan, dashiki, gho, sarong and hakama. Men in other cultures may know of a special freedom that we lack.

If I do end up getting a kilt, I’ll be sure to let you know.

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