Reflections in a kilt

Reflections in a kilt

About the blog

This weblog is mainly to describe slices-of-life in a kilt and with the objective, of course, that more men shall make the kilt a valuable addition to their wardrobe.

The more we are the easier it is.

Utility kilts

Kilt wearingPosted by Greg Wed, March 04, 2015 08:31:07

15 years ago an American, Steven Villegas, launched his Utilikilt and founded his company, in Seattle, USA. It meant kind of revolution, and in the meantime the brand Utilikilt has gained icon status – is THE modern kilt, so to speak and if you today want the ‘real’ thing you must be prepared to pay over $200 for it.
If you are an EU-resident duty tax and VAT come on top and you are exceeding what equals 300 €.

A few years ago most affordable utility kilts, primarily made by numerous small enterprises in the city of Sialkot in Northern Pakistan started popping up, however, and now kilt shops in America and Europe are selling these non-branded utility kilts.

Some are only available in the standard 24” length; with others you have a choice. They not only come in many different colors; but also in various designs. £40 or the equivalent might be what it takes.

Tempted? You can learn more about utility kilts here:

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The kilt is alive

Kilt wearingPosted by Greg Mon, July 14, 2014 04:58:41

For the Scottish participants of the upcoming Commonwealth Games a special orange/light blue tartan has been created. It is to be used for kilts to be worn by the men and for capes for the women during the opening ceremony.

Together with the kilt the men will wear patterned light blue shirts – equalizing the dresses for the female participants – yellow/brownish kilt hose, flashes in the kilt tartan, and brown sporrans and shoes, but, unfortunately, no belt and buckle.

Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

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I’m impressed

Kilt wearingPosted by Greg Thu, May 08, 2014 03:50:32

Some years ago I read that at least 2.000 different tartans were registered. 2.000 – how possible by means of a rather limited number of colours, if you should still be able to tell the difference? Later some claimed over 3.000. And now I just visited this page:

5.663 tartans, it says! Tomorrow it might be some more.

Of course, a lot of them might never have been produced, and choosing one of them for your next kilt might cost you a fortune. Nevertheless I’m really impressed.

You can search by tartan name, surname, colour, key words, or just browse A-Z.

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Affordable utility kilt without cargo pockets

Kilt wearingPosted by Greg Mon, February 03, 2014 10:19:01

I like utility kilts as such, these being easy to handle, but I never liked their big cargo pockets. I simply don’t need them, and I think they are destroying the design of an otherwise perfect looking kilt.

I just found Gryphon Workshop, however. It’s an American enterprise making their basic kilts in that straight forward design I so much appreciate. They are available in two lengths 21” and 23” and in practically all waist sizes, it seems. Six different colors and a very nice price, just $100, which makes them interesting also to Europeans having to pay VAT on top – but at that price hardly any custom duty.

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The death of a forum

Kilt wearingPosted by Greg Thu, January 09, 2014 18:44:35

Until 8 or 10 years ago kilt wearers’ preferred forum was Braveheart’s Kilt Forum, created around 2000 by WDP Bravehearts, a Californian lawyer, being also the man who invented the term “unbifiurcated” garments, meaning kilts and other skirted garments, if designed to be worn by men. It was a rebellion against the free stylers to whom a manly approach in skirted garments had no relevance, rather on the contrary.

Then, in 2004 X-Marks-The-Scot, a pure kilt forum was launched, and members seemed slowly to slope off and activity on the Bravehearts Forum declined.

During the last years my visits became rather rare, too, and every time I could see that it had only got worse since my last visit.

Did it get stuck in the middle of XMTS to the right and Skirt Forum to the left, the latter having years before being started by the late Tom Manuel as Tom’s Café?

Or is the main reason that it by design, compared to the other forums soon looked extremely old-fashioned with a non-optimal functionality? I tend to give the design the main reason.

Today I went there again. Since mid-April 2012 there has been no debating. And the very few contributions after that time have mostly been spam. So sad. I remember it as a really good forum.

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A mild winter

Kilt wearingPosted by Greg Sun, January 05, 2014 11:00:43

For over a month we have enjoyed unusual high temperatures. Almost every day I even see a few men and big boys in shorts, something I don't remeber to have ever experienced. That also means that I'm not met with questions like "but are you not cold?".

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Kilt wearingPosted by Greg Wed, November 06, 2013 16:13:10

Many men will wear a kilt due to their heritage. Many men (and women) these days seem to demand retro cameras for kind of same reason, thinking back on the good old days where their cameras were loaded with Ilford HP5, Kodak Tri-X, Kodachrome and Kodacolor. And when they developed their black-and-white films in Ilford ID-11, Kodak HC-110 and the like; and afterwards saw their prints emerge in the developer in the glow of the orange light.

I very much like the new Nikon Fd. Like are kilts to be used for heritage reasons often expensive, this new digitalized camera with all its dials - much more are needed than 30 years ago - is pretty much too.

Nikon Df. Retro-Nikon launched 5 November 2013

Nikon FM

Nikon F3. Launched 1980 and produced for more than 20 years.

And the camera that changed it all: Nikon D1, launched 1999

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A black traditional wool kilt?

Kilt wearingPosted by Greg Tue, November 05, 2013 09:27:24

No doubt, it takes skills to make a traditional kilt, adjusting the pleats with utmost precision to the pattern of the tartan etc. But perhaps you one day should like to buy a solid colored kilt, not a utility kilt with all its pockets and buttons, but a traditional style kilt in black for example.
Your first thought: Must be a lot cheaper.

It isn’t, rather on the contrary.
I have checked out what some kilt vendors are charging for a black traditional woolen kilt in GBP. Most of them operate with a basic price and a variable amount, depending on the material, because in several cases you have to pay extra for the fabric. Nowhere the basic price is reduced.

Where to buy? If it is only a question of price you can have a black woolen kilt for as little as £85, but it is only a 2 yard and you cannot decide the length. In most cases you are over £200.

Highland Store Men’s Black 2 yard budget kilt: £85

Tartanweb 5 yard: 160 +10 (Marton Mills 16 oz.) = £170

MacGregor MacDuff 7 yard Value kilt: 199 +0 = £199

Tartanweb 5 yard 160 + 40 (Strathmore 13 oz.) = £200

Scotweb Black wool casual kilt 5 yard: £235

Heritage of Scotland 5 yard James Morrison: 151 + 86 (13 oz. Strathmore) = £237

Buy a 5 yard: 164 + 74 (13 oz. Strathmore) = £238

Highland Store Men’s worsted Wool 5 yard kilt in black: £245

Scotlandshop Men’s casual 4 yard kilt in Black (4 yard, 10 oz.) = 245 + 0 = £245

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