Monday, June 18, 2012

Things I Just Don't Get: Utilikilts

You know, I try to keep up with all the things the kids today like, such as pogs, Alf and the Rubik's Cube. But hip as I am, even I can't keep up with all the new trends. Sometimes I just don't understand what's going on. 

Some Things I Just Don't Get.

For example, the Utilikilt. And just what is a Utilikilt, you ask? It's an everyday utilitarian version of the Scottish kilt. Always festooned with lots of masculine cargo pockets and pouches. It tries its best to be a manly article of clothing, but when you boil it all down it's still nothing more than a skirt. And a pleated skirt at that.

Several times a year I have the misfortune of observing someone wearing a Utilikilt in public, harshly reminding me that they indeed still exist. Whenever I see one of these be-kilted specimens, I always get the vague impression that they think they're on the bleeding edge of a fashion revolution, that they're an early adopter, so to speak. Every day they trot out their little pleated skirts and think, "This is it. This is the year that Utilikilts finally catch on! And I was there to help make it a reality!"

I regret to inform them that this is never going to happen. Not in our lifetimes at least. Oh to be sure, the Utilikilt will always be found in certain fringe areas, such as RenFaires and comic book conventions. But the cold hard truth is that it's never going to be be embraced by mainstream America.

I am aware that kilts are still regularly worn by men in all walks of life in Scotland. That's fine. More power to the Scots, I say! But see, over there it's a part of their cultural heritage. A page torn from their history. We have no cultural heritage here in America. Scots guys in kilts are honoring their forefathers. American guys in kilts are weirdos in skirts.

In the interest of full disclosure, on most days you can find me walking around in a pair of cargo shorts. You may be asking yourself what's the difference? Why are my shorts OK while the Utilikilt is deserving of my scorn? Aren't both garments basically the same? Do both not expose the same about of calf flesh? 

The difference is small, but an important one. Cargo shorts are basically pants. Short pants to be sure, but pants nonetheless. When I wear my cargo shorts I can sit confidently with my legs spread if I so desire, knowing that nothing traditionally covered by a fig leaf is going to be exposed. With the Utilikilt, one wrong move and you can see all the way down Main Street to City Hall, if you get my drift. 

Plus, my cargo shorts are battened down if you will. The legs stay pretty much in place at all times. The Utilikilt though... at any given second it can snap upwards like a faulty Venetian blind, startling passersby and exposing your assets for all to see. When I wear cargo shorts there's no danger of me standing on a sidewalk grate and accidentally reenacting Marilyn's scene from The Seven Year Itch.

Fans of the Utilikilt, please give it up. No matter how many times you wear yours in public, NO other man is ever going to think, "Say, I like the way that guy looks in that kilt! He seems so free, so loosed from the physical and societal restraints of traditional legged garments. A man could get a lot done in a free wheeling, kicky little number like that." It just ain't gonna happen. And no matter how many pockets and pouches you sew onto it, no matter what camouflage pattern you use to construct it, there's no getting around the fact that you're just a dude in a skirt.

28 comments:

  1. The Utilikilt does look ridiculous. I've only seen them online, not in the real world, thank goodness. I'll stick with my UrbanSarong, thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOL! I never knew such a thing existed. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Ted: I see them in the wild a couple of times a year, mostly at comic book and horror conventions.

    @Dawn: Sadly, yes, they're all too real.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "I am aware that kilts are still regularly worn by men in all walks of life in Scotland. That's fine. More power to the Scots, I say! But see, over there it's a part of their cultural heritage. A page torn from their history. We have no cultural heritage here in America. Scots guys in kilts are honoring their forefathers. American guys in kilts are weirdos in skirts."

    So you're saying if an American man was wearing a proper kilt to honor his Scottish heritage, he's just a weirdo in a skirt?

    ReplyDelete
  5. It seems to me that your only problem with the utilikilt is that you're afraid you're somehow going to be exposed to another mans junk. Well to me, that seems like you may be exposing your own insecurities. I happen to know a number of men who prefer to wear utilikilts on a somewhat regular basis and in an effort to inform the obviously uninformed, I will let you know what they are thinking when they pull out their "pleated skirts" in the morning. They couldnt care less what someone else thinks and they definitely aren't wearing them in hopes they will be a fashion stable for mainstream America. They are not trying to make a fashion statement or harbor any hopes,(or desire) for them to walk down to runway in a NewYork fashion show. They wear them because they like them, they find them comfortable and they are comfortable enough with themselves to not care about the people who think they are dressed in "skirts". You are most definitely entitled to your opinion, however, it is a shame that your opinion happens to be so closeminded and screaming of insecurity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guy wears a utilikilt and I love that man. Funny thing, though I am well acquainted with his "junk" I never thought I would get a peep-show a la Marilyn Monroe while he was wearing the kilt. lol. FYI I have had accidental peepshows from men who spread their legs while sitting, and every time it was from someone wearing SHORTS.

      Delete
  6. I love a man in a utilikilt or any other kilt. Be not afraid, not every chap wears em regimental. *Now back to watching the pipers
    #lovesmeninskirts

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bifurcated garments (pants, britches, trousers) are shaped much more like the female anatomy than that of a man. This makes them restrictive and uncomfortable for many. That is one reason real men wear kilts and why I own 5 Utiliklts and wear one every chance I get. But I do encourage anyone too insecure to wear one to "keep their pants on".

    ReplyDelete
  8. I got a Utilikilt three weeks ago. In that time, I've gotten more compliments from random women in the street than I did in the previous year, and I didn't wear it every day.

    It's fine if you don't get it. It's not for you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have had mine for a few months, and yes I get some looks, but who cares. I am happy with the coolness and freedom from wearing on. I also know a little history about the kilt/ skirt, and men wear them across the world.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Interesting Bob you assume that WE Utilikilt wearers give a crap what you or anyone else think about our choice. I get more positive feed back from the general public when a wear my Kilt than i ever have in my cargo shorts.

    ReplyDelete
  11. So the majority of you guys are proud of your skirts and don't care what I think, but can't be bothered to use your real name. Got it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob, I think the ANONYMOUS folks simply fear retribution but that doesn't take away from any intelligent comment they may make.

      Delete
    2. So Bob, your real last name is 'Canada'?

      Delete
    3. I get the impression you're implying I'm using a pseudonym while scolding people for replying anonymously. I can assure you that "Canada" is my real last name. It's much more common than you think.

      Delete
  12. I just got one in the mail yesterday. I say this.... We MEN have only recently started wearing pants. For thousands of years, we dressed like this, and for a reason. They rock! My girlfriend loves it and I don't really care what others think. I do think that men who are so anti kilt are ones I would not want to share a tent with....Can you say repressed?

    ReplyDelete
  13. And of course by "recently started wearing pants" you mean a couple hundred years.

    Also, you don't care what others think, but you want everyone to KNOW you don't care what they think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look, if you don't get it, fine. My family history can be reliably traced back 1,000 years in Scotland and another 1,000 years before that. Although I find the idea of a Utilikily a tad odd, I've tried them on (they are a local company). I prefer our traditional tartan, myself.

      What I don't understand is why we have yet another American mocking something he clearly doesn't understand and has no interest in understanding. My family has been wearing kilts for over 5x the "couple hundred years" you ascribe to pants (I have no idea, no interest in knowing).

      Like everything else, if you don't like it, don't wear it (or eat it, or watch it, or whatever else).

      As to why I'm "Anonymous?" Read that first paragraph. I have enough sense of self and history and frankly don't feel the need to advertise myself online.

      Delete
    2. Did you even read the original post? At no point did I ever disparage Scots who wear kilts. I said and I quote:

      I am aware that kilts are still regularly worn by men in all walks of life in Scotland. That's fine. More power to the Scots, I say! But see, over there it's a part of their cultural heritage. A page torn from their history. We have no cultural heritage here in America. Scots guys in kilts are honoring their forefathers. American guys in kilts are weirdos in skirts.

      Doesn't sound like I'm mocking Scottish kilts to me.

      As to why you sign your name "Anonymous:" Because you don't have the guts to call me out online and sign your real name, the way mine's up there for all to see.

      Delete
    3. Now, lads, don't forget: men wearing unbifurcated garments isn't an unusual event in the global history of human society. It's just that in western society, the wearing of such garments IN RECENT TIMES have been limited to a few small groups of people.

      Delete
  14. This is your blog. You're allowed to give your opinion about anything you want and say "I don't get this thing."

    And that's all fine, it's your personal and subjective opinion.

    But by the end of your post when you start with, "Fans of the Utilikilt, please give it up. No matter how many times you wear yours in public..." That's no longer you simply stating your opinion. That's you deciding to point a finger, target specific people in a crowd, and telling them that you think something negative about them, and telling them how to live their life by "giving it up".

    That kinda takes you beyond just "somebody giving their opinion about something they don't get..." and starts entering the "you're just being an asshole" territory.

    And that kind of thing says something about a person and their maturity.

    Stating that something confuses you is perfectly okay. Going out of your way to call out those people who confuse you, trying to tell them how to live out their day just makes you an asshole. :)

    Utilikilts are awesome and you'd be surprised how many people in public actually like them.

    You don't have to like them too. But while they're out there having fun and feeling good doing their thing... you're sitting in your personal little blog online to talk about what you think about them and how you think they should stop wearing them and doing your best to discourage any guy from wearing them.

    To keep it simple: Go ahead and state your opinion about something you don't understand. But when you "attack" those people and try to discourage them or any others from doing something that makes them happy and has NO affect on you.. it takes a weak-minded asshole to be offended and to go out of their way to bother writing a blog to cry about how uncomfortable someone's fashion sense is making you and having to try and discourage them and anyone interested... all while they're not doing a thing to you but doing what makes them happy.

    And you'll undoubtfully have some smartass response to this that completely dodges the point that you're being an ass, which is fine, because that's what most people who like to judge other people do: never admit they're being an ass because it hurts their little egos. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. When you realize that you can enjoy the sights in life that give you pleasure and IGNORE the ones that don't, instead of allowing the sight of what someone else is wearing or anything else to personally upset you, your life will get so much better.

    I used to be bothered by commercials. I gave up cable TV because there were too many damn commercials. I was bothered by billboards and adverts in buses and posters everywhere ruining my day.

    Now I just don't give a fuck. Try that. Try not giving a fuck if some guy wants to wear a kilt or a skirt. Try not letting what some person across the street from you is wearing have any bearing on your day whatsoever (unless it's something you like, then enjoy the sights).

    Enjoy life. Stop complaining about things that bother you. Stop letting things that bother you bother you. It's okay to like on the one hand without hating on the other.

    "So the majority of you guys are proud of your skirts and don't care what I think, but can't be bothered to use your real name. Got it."

    Yep, can't be bothered. Why spend the effort? I've said what I wanna say.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I do not see anywhere in your blog,post or rant, that you have actually worn a kilt. You should at least try something before you knock it down. I love my kilts and like most people on here have already said "who gives a F@#* what ignorant people think" I only give a F*^$ at this moment because you are giving kilts a bad rap, and I cant just let you bully the kilt for no good reason. Our Canadian military/airforce wear the kilt, my grandfather is proof, as well as thousands of masonic or free mason members.. Kilts aren't for everyone, and you sir fit in that category. Are you even Scottish? or of Scottish heritage? In my opinion, after reading your blog, you are not even a good example of a Canadian.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I stay anonymous because I worry all the rapers in my neighborhood will find out where I live and break into my home to get me to put on my skirt and sashay around in front of them. And by the way, I get very upset when it's mistakenly called a dress. Get your terminology straight, people! Dresses go all the way up and cover the breast area. Skirts are only up to the waist. You can leave the house in a dress and nothing else, and you won't get into trouble with the police. If you leave the house in a skirt, you better be wearing a blouse too, or look out! Here come the police. Got it?

    BTW, I agree with anonymous #7 up above. You should try wearing a skirt before you knock them. You may find you love wearing skirts. For example: lots of men think they don't want to be gay until they go out and force themselves to try it. Sure, maybe they find out they still don't like it, but who knows? Maybe they might like it after all.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It offends me to hear you complain about seeing men wear skirts. I don't complain about seeing women wear pants. I know this will sound terrible but I'm being 100% honest and open with you when I say this. I'm a large man and have issues with sweat. Probably none of the rest of us kilt-men will tell you but one of the great things about wearing one is the way it cools me in between my butt cheeks and testicles. When I'm forced by law to wear pants I can feel my testicles becoming sticky and swimming in sweat. With the skirt the air can blow right up there and whisk away most sweat droplets.

    ReplyDelete
  19. A very interesting discussion and I'm pleased to read intelligently-written comments both in support of the author's perspective and against.

    As a newcomer to the modern kilt world, I must vouch for their handyness, comfort, and outright good looks! The comments that I've received from people have universally been positive and most of them have been from women -- usually, very attractive women I must add. I've had quite a few men approach me to comment or make an inquiry and it usually ends with, "Well, I'm glad you have the stones to wear that because I don't ... even though I want to." In my worldview, it's perfectly fine if people don't like this particular article of clothing! I don't like everything I see out in the world, either, with regards to clothing.

    It's true: the modern kilt is a type of skirt; but it's a skirt made for men and with enough borrowings from Highland dress to make it recognizable to many people as a man's skirt.

    As a professional male approaching his 40s rapidly, I'm aware of the social implications and I navigate that territory carefully. I don't wear a kilt to professional functions and keep it to my non-professional life. Consequently, I'm not out there flashing the world, so to speak, but have consciously made a difficult and anxious choice to wear something that I have recently fallen in love with out in the world and to deal respectfully and intelligently with the social consequences. So far, the social consequences have been some looks and quite a few very positive comments! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. If I wear a utilikilt and you don't like me for it, that works for me. I don't care to impress you, dude. You're a total fucking pussy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to see kilt fans are so eloquent. I may be a pussy, but at least I don't wear a dress. And I sign my name instead of hiding behind an "Anonymous" tag.

      Delete

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 
Site Meter