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Kilts

 

I am an American.  I am also an American of Irish and English decent.  Yet, I have always liked kilts.  There is something very strong, very masculine, and very taboo about them.

Me and My Utilikilt!

 

The inspiration for this page was my purchase of my very own Utilikilt at the 2001 Folsom Street Festival.  I had seen one or two of these around in the months which led up to that event but had never seen one up close and personal.  Let alone seen one worn by someone I knew.  That changed at Folsom 2K+1.  Two of my friends, Kevin and Andy, wearing their matching black Utilikilts to the Festival.  It was a wise move.  They looked good in them, the outfits were just "alternative" enough to fit at the event, and the damn things looked a whole lot cooler than even the all cotton pants I was wearing on that hot summer's day.  So, I went out and bought myself one.

It was a good choice.  The rig fits nicely, looks sharp, is very practical with all of its pockets, and was blessedly cooler on that day.  With my Longhair and goatee I think the whole "kilt thing" works very well.


 
Another of me in my Utilikilt



 

In this shot above I am smiling for Mark Chester's camera in his studio on Folsom.

In the shot to the right here I am smiling for the digital photograph being taken in the Berkeley Steamworks booth.
At the Berkely Steamworks Booth at Folsom

Utilikilt Night


It was a cold and stormy night....

Well, it was cold at least!

For the February Club X Monthly Social someone had the bright idea of declaring it Utilikilt night.  Someone also had the bright idea of declaring January's Social that as well but I was the only Uk'd guy to show up wearing one.

Well, February was different.  There were a whole bunch of guys in their fancy Utilikilts.

In this one here on the right it is Tony, David, Richard, and Tom sporting the finest in male fashion from the folks up in Seattle.

 

A bunch of likely lads in kilts
Yup, I was there too! In typical fashion, that particular night happened to be one of the coldest ones of the year so far.  I was glad to be wearing my leather jacket and to be standing out in front of a store that makes it its business to sell hot beverages (as most good coffeehouses do, Diedrich's being no exception.)

Even so, it was still cold!  It was down at least into the upper 50's, which is mighty cold for San Diego!  Such low temps were a bit much for me.  I can not for the life of me figure how the Scots do it.  Oh sure, I can see the practicality of such a garment in summer time but in winter time - especially a winter time like they endure in the Highlands?  It's a wonder the kilt wearing Scottish men are able to procreate!  Let alone have anything there that's not frozen solid!

Still though, we cut quite the swath fashion wise.  I'm looking forward to doing this again in the next couple of months.  That way there will be more time for other guys to get their Utilikilts and also for the weather to get a whole lot warmer!

Within a short time of my getting my Utilikilt, Richard Chatterton - the guy wearing the white Utilikilt shirt in the pics above - soon had his own black Utilikilt.  He liked it so much that he took it over to MacLeo's Sexy Leather and had her make him one in leather.

In short order, Richard was looking uber cool in a really fine black leather kilt.  The lad had raised the bar on all of us!

I'd like to say that I matched him in this by getting a leather kilt of my own but I did not.  Instead, sadly, I inherited his.  I'd rather that wasn't the case but I'm honored to keep his memory alive by my wearing it.

And I do like wearing it.  The leather is wonderful to feel and smell and I've gotten no end of compliments about it.  I always make sure to tell them who made it - or knocked it off as the case may be - and, if the situation is right, I also tell them how I wound up with it.

This shot here on the right is when I wore the leather kilt to the Southern California Leather Woman contest in 2007.  I stepped up on stage to help with a food auction for Club X.  Those are chocolate chip cookies with a big "X" across the top of them.  The auction was fun and we raised a nice amount for the group.
My leather kilt

My brown Utilikilt
Finally, after many a year of pining for one, I bit the bullet and got me my second Utilikilt.  This one, in "caramel."  Whatever.  It looks brown to me so brown it is.

I've long felt the black Uk was a bit to "formal" or "fetish" for much day to day wear and I really do want to try wearing a Uk out and about on some warm summer's day here in SoCal.

If the black Uk wasn't quite right for that, then the leather kilt certainly wasn't!  So, I've long thought getting a brown one would do the trick.  So, in 2008 I made a point of getting just such a thing while at Folsom.

My black Uk has been around for over eight years and the fabric has broken in very, very well.  The fabric on my brown Uk is still very stiff.  Perhaps they've gone to a heavier cloth as well.  In any event, it's a truly new garment and I'm enjoying the difference.  Contrast the "drape" of my brown Uk here on the left with that of my black Uk that I was wearing that same day at Folsom.

We'll see what comes next.  I've since purchased a Glengarry cap to go along with my various kilts and I think it makes for a good combo.

For the Uk's, I think I need to get some different boots as well.  Right now I've but my Dehners, my Corcorans, and my Timberlines.  Some sort of "punk / industrial" boot would also work well with these kilts.


 
While the pictures above are of me in my latest kilt, this is by no means the first time I have been wearing a "unbifurcated garment" (i.e. a kilt)  Back in the early 90's I wanted to go to attend a Renaissance Faire and do so in something more appropriate than just a T-shirt and shorts.  So, I decided to make my own kilt.  I immediately went out and searched to see if there was a tartan which I could claim as my own.  Being an American of Irish/ English decent there was none that I could find.  I was a bit put off by this as I wanted my kilt to be as "realistic" as I could make it.  In the end I had to settle for using a tartan that was a close approximation of the Black Watch Regiment's colors.  I cut the fabric myself, unlimbered my sewing machine and had at it.  I had purchased enough fabric to not only make my own kilt but also a sash for myself, for my partner and for her daughter.  We went as a matched set.  It came out pretty damned good even if I do say so myself!

 
RenFaire '93

This was the start of it all.  Yeah, it is a fuzzy, low resolution image.  It will do though. 

Here you can see the kilt I made along with its matching sash.  I am wearing one of my favorite "pirate" shirts.  That type of shirt is an all cotton affair and very comfortable.  It also works well in the scene and is a nice departure from the standard black T-shirt.

That white thing hanging atop the kilt at my waist is my attempt at a sporran as it has one of my fanny packs beneath it.

The place where this particular RenFaire takes place is out in San Bernadino County.  That is a good ways inland from Los Angeles and that means it is closer to Palm Springs in temperature than not.  The RenFaire runs from May through June so it is always warm out there when it takes place.  This was tailor made for such an outfit as this kilt.  I was very comfortable wearing it even in the heat of the day.  I don't think even a pair of baggy shorts would have been the same as even they would have prevented the free airflow up inside.

After walking around a bit at the RenFaire I came to realize that my version of a kilt was nowhere close to that which the "reenactors" were wearing.  They were all attired in feileadh mór (big wrap in Gaelic) kilts which require sections of fabric that are about five feet wide and perhaps twelve to eighteen feet long (no, I'm not kidding!)  This results in a very distinctive garment that is very different from what I had come up with.  My kilt was patterned more after a feileadh beag (little wrap.)  All of this is detailed very effectively on the Reconstructing History site.  Not surprisingly, that site doesn't mince words about Mel Gibson's "interpretation" of Scottish History in the movie Braveheart (something to the effect of Gibbon's costume being nothing more than a "plaid hip scarf.")

While my kilt was no where near as "real" as theirs I did get a lot of points from the staff of the RenFaire for having gone to the effort to make one for myself.  I also didn't get razed as much as the other "tourists" did in their contemporary garb.

RenFaire '99

I have been back to the San Bernadino RenFaire several times since then and have worn my kilt each time.

Here I'm with a couple of other likely lads, Scott and David.  They too prefer to attend "in garb" rather than as plain tourists.  It makes for a more amusing outing.

On this particular trip Barbara and Allison were also along with us.  They were decked out in period attire (more or less) as "bawdy wenches."  If ever you've been to a RenFaire - which is something I highly recommend - then you'll know what I mean about their being "bawdy."  They were clothed in multiple layers of cotton skirts and peasant style shirts and bustiers.  They looked great but were also somewhat overheating in the hot sun.  I in my kilt faced none of those problems.

LINKS

Utilikilts "We Sell Freedom" is their motto.  This is the business which makes the Utilikilts.  Nice site.
Celtic Kate's Men in Kilts Kate's kilted men fan site.

 
 

If you would like to know more about me, then ask me directly.  Just click on my email address here: 
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In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed your "stay" at this site.  Check back again to see what new images I have added.  Until then, stay well, play hard, play safe, and have fun!

Madoc

This page was last updated on: 21 March 2009  


Unless otherwise noted, all photographs and images on this page are copyright protected property of Madoc Pope.  If you would like to use any of my images you must contact me first before you do so.

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In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed your "stay" at this site.  Check back again to see what new images I have added.  Until then, stay well, play hard, play safe, and have fun!

Madoc