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Because if its not Scottish, its CRAP!
September 22, 2004 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Utilikilts: Comfort, Style and Utility for Today's Modern Man - committed to pioneering a comfortable alternative to trousers by producing "Men's Unbifurcated Garments".
I can't decide if its a joke or not. I think it began as a joke and then people started ordering them. Note the trendy Survival Kilt (currently on backorder) or the stranger looking than the others and that's saying something Denim Kilt. And don't worry about the beer gut, fellas, they've got an option for a special cut just for you ($25 upcharge but comfort knows no price!).
posted by fenriq (61 comments total)

 
The Northwest Kilt Exchange bit seems especially cool.
posted by togdon at 10:59 AM on September 22, 2004


I saw a few guys wearing these at Dragoncon. I just wanted to go up to them and shake them and say "Dude! You're wearing a skirt!!!"

But they were all bigger than I am, so I didn't.
posted by Jart at 10:59 AM on September 22, 2004


I can confirm that it's not a joke--or, depending on your opinion, at least that the Utilikilt is a real product. Exploring Seattle this summer, I drove past Utilikilts company headquarters. They also made an appearance at a convention I went to this summer, with a booth run by some nice folks with fashion sense that ranged from the hip to the merely pragmatic.
posted by Inkslinger at 11:01 AM on September 22, 2004


Unbifurcated is all right with me. In fact I'm a charter member of the Unbifurcation Church.
posted by soyjoy at 11:02 AM on September 22, 2004


These were everywhere at Worldcon.
posted by ursus_comiter at 11:03 AM on September 22, 2004


The Survival Utilikilt was originally requested by adventurer par excellence, Vince Hemingson, host of the fascinating 'Vanishing Tattoo series.

Who? Host of what? (looks comfy, though)
posted by jalexei at 11:04 AM on September 22, 2004


I'll continue to be happily bifurcated, thanks, since never have I thought to myself "gee, wouldn't it be great to have a breeze blowing up my crotch?"
posted by tommasz at 11:05 AM on September 22, 2004


I'd buy one if I was a lot more burly.
posted by drezdn at 11:08 AM on September 22, 2004


I want one, but my wife said "If I can't have a $150 skirt, neither can you!"
posted by urlnotfound at 11:09 AM on September 22, 2004


the denim one has too many pleats, but otherwise they're cool. You have to have good legs to wear em tho--no scrawny chicken legs.
posted by amberglow at 11:12 AM on September 22, 2004


They're not a joke.

I own one of the basic models. In black. It's _extremely_ well made (to the point of serged pleats, so you don't have to worry about high maintenance pleat ironing, and very sturdy fabric and general construction.

Why wear them? Chicks dig 'em. There's something about the self-confidence of a guy wearing a kilt. And you never know if he's going commando or not.

They're also very comfortable in many sense. I wish I could wear it to work.
posted by kalessin at 11:12 AM on September 22, 2004


since never have I thought to myself "gee, wouldn't it be great to have a breeze blowing up my crotch?"

Don't knock it till you try it! (especially after a fresh application of Gold Bond powder!)
posted by archimago at 11:14 AM on September 22, 2004


I don't know why people get so freaked out by them. Probably the majority of men in history never wore pants.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:15 AM on September 22, 2004


I got one for my birthday, and I can confirm that chicks dig 'em. Kalessin's right on track.
posted by daver at 11:18 AM on September 22, 2004


Dear men everywhere,

Please wear more kilts.
posted by iconomy at 11:19 AM on September 22, 2004


Also as a side, there is no way that anyone who's actually paying attention to the garment and who's wearing it, can seriously mistake a well made and well worn kilt for a skirt. They're clearly a masculine cut (they don't have to worry about hips, butt and waist as much as the feminine cuts generally do) both in general style and utility.

Sure, you can _think_ about a kilt and say, "Hey, that pansy's wearing a skirt!", but if you take the time to actually appraise the individual wearing a kilt, you'll generally not have that question in your mind. I don't care if the person's skinny or not.

It should be noted that Utilikilt will sell their kilts to women, but that they have special sizing instructions (all kilts are ordered to custom measure) for women who want to wear them, presumably to deal with the hips/smaller hips issue between average male and female physiology.

To me, a seriously made argument that a kilt is equivalent to a skirt is an ignorant one.

Also, it should be noted that Utilikilts are a contemporary garment. Traditional kilts that are worn in the traditional way are actually a bit like sari - they're wrapped about the body from a piece of cloth that is approximately 6 feet by 8 feet. The middle part is pleated, and the skirt-like bottom part is secured to the waist by a belt. The upper part is draped creatively about the body.
posted by kalessin at 11:21 AM on September 22, 2004


I've got several friends who own them, and now I'm thinking I may need to buy one myself.

They are really well made, and from all accounts are very comfortable.
posted by mooncrow at 11:22 AM on September 22, 2004


They are indeed very comfortable, although it can be tricky learning how to get into and out of a car while wearing one. I assume this is a problem for women in skirts, too.

Alton Brown has been seen wearing a Utilikilt at recent events, and the Flying Karamazov Brothers used them instead of their trademark baggy pants for one show that I saw.
posted by hades at 11:32 AM on September 22, 2004


Knew a guy in college who wore one, occasionally in the middle of winter.

He also wore a straight-up skirt, sometimes, too (and looked really good doing so).
posted by kenko at 11:35 AM on September 22, 2004


These were all over Butrning Man of course. Have been for a few years. They're also extremely handy if you're a carpenter or doing other skilled labor. Pockets fucking galore.

Another option (for those guys climbing up ladders) is the privacy gaurd, a snapped on patch of fabric between the legs. Good stuff!
posted by Parannoyed at 11:41 AM on September 22, 2004


Utilikilts have been around forf*ckingever. They're actually pretty trendy and overpriced, I think. I'd rather get something closer to a real kilt off of eBay first.

I have two sportskilts, myself. They were a gift from a s/o and a bit loud for me, so I didn't wear them much at first... but now I wear them while lounging around the house and working out in the garden on a regular basis, and would wear them outside if the situation were appropriate.

They're very convenient, good for hot weather, get you a lot of attention from the ladies, and can be quickly torn off your body with the satisfying sound of velcro.

Um. Sorry. TMI.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:43 AM on September 22, 2004


They're also very comfortable in many sense. I wish I could wear it to work.

Heh. Reminds me of the time I wore a kilt to work. Not only was it comfortable, I actually won some money. I recommend everyone try it, just for a day.
posted by soyjoy at 11:46 AM on September 22, 2004


I dropped big time hints about wanting one for my birthday, but those hints fell on deaf ears. . ..

They are VERY prevalent here in the PNW.
posted by Danf at 11:50 AM on September 22, 2004


My high school marching band had kilts as part of the uniform (at the time, for the band front, the drum major and the drummers - I hear that the enitre band now wears kilts). Nobody ever gave the drummers a hard time for wearing "skirts" for some reason...
posted by Karmakaze at 11:55 AM on September 22, 2004


On behalf of myself and all of my female friends, I'd like to second iconomy's motion for more men in kilts- hear hear!
posted by small_ruminant at 11:56 AM on September 22, 2004


I think I'm going to end up getting one. It would be excellent for yard work, I think. I don't think I'll be riding my motorcycle in one anytime soon though.

insomnia_lj, nothing like rip and ride garmentry, is there? You put a big old smile on my face with your imagery!
posted by fenriq at 12:01 PM on September 22, 2004


Hey, you can buy a Royal Cockburn kilt from that Sportskilts place. Maybe it got its name from the aforementioned breeze blowing up one's crotch.
posted by picea at 12:03 PM on September 22, 2004


Here in 'bammy kilts are unusual to say the least. Nonetheless, my niece married a man who wore a kilt to the wedding.

I have pictures! But no links...
posted by kamylyon at 12:03 PM on September 22, 2004


I'll second or third or fourth the observation that Utilikilts are *extremely* popular in the Northwest. Utilikilts are the new black Carharts, as they say. I don't even notice when somebody's wearing one anymore. They have faded into the fashion background.

Still cool, though.
posted by stet at 12:04 PM on September 22, 2004


Definitely not a joke. They're a local (Seattle) company, so you see them all over town here. I know a few guys who rarely seem to wear anything *but* a utilikilt, in fact.

since never have I thought to myself "gee, wouldn't it be great to have a breeze blowing up my crotch?"

Ahh, but once you try it....

I'd rather get something closer to a real kilt off of eBay first.

The fact that utilikilts aren't pretending to be "real" (i.e. Scottish) kilts was one of the selling points for me. I bought a kilt because they look cool and feel comfortable, not because I wanted make a statement about my ancestry.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:14 PM on September 22, 2004


I don't know why people get so freaked out by them. Probably the majority of men in history never wore pants.

Hey, if pants were good enough for Jesus Christ, they should be good enough for us.
posted by callmejay at 12:22 PM on September 22, 2004


Many of us who are (1/8th) qualified to wear Scot garb don't really care that much about tradition. I appreciate Utilikilts' quality and dedication.

Sportskilt looks like a fabulous merchant for all sorts of closer to traditional stuff, though. I'm definitely tempted to put the flashes, hose and sporrans on my winter gift receiving list. :>
posted by kalessin at 12:25 PM on September 22, 2004


I got a) nice legs and b)I'm pretty burly. I'll be sportin' one next summer fer shure...lookout ladies!
posted by black8 at 12:35 PM on September 22, 2004


I don't see nearly enough Utilikiltage here around Seattle (though clearly you see them more here than most cities). I tried and tried to persuade my hubby to buy one...but no. Yes, men in kilts are HOT.
posted by icetaco at 12:39 PM on September 22, 2004


never have I thought to myself "gee, wouldn't it be great to have a breeze blowing up my crotch?"

What a very straight thing to say!

Patrick Norton, dearly departed from The Screen Savers on the former TechTV, used to wear a Utilikilt quite a lot.
posted by ChrisTN at 12:53 PM on September 22, 2004


Oddly enough, I am straight. But it has more to do with my dislike for being cold than anything else, really. It has to be pretty warm for me to even wear shorts. I'm surprised they're popular in the PNW, given the climate.
posted by tommasz at 1:04 PM on September 22, 2004


Oddly enough, I am straight.

I know, I know. It was a bad joke on my part. Sorry.
posted by ChrisTN at 1:10 PM on September 22, 2004


You aren't REQUIRED to wear a kilt commando (i.e. no underpants). Heck, I don't do so all the time. When I know I'll be around kids (or people short enough to look up my kilt and see my bits without necessarily wanting to or lots of open stairs), I usually wear bikers' shorts or something modest under the kilt. Now, if you're not big on wearing great huge wooly socks, don't like cold knees or calves, I can see your point, but you don't need to bear your crotch to the wind, unless you want to.

Use your noggin, man!
posted by kalessin at 1:10 PM on September 22, 2004


ChrisTN, I used to watch the Screen Savers and then they dumped Leo and Patrick and the show pretty well sucks now. Bummer!

I never noticed him in a Utilikilt though.

I don't see what having a cooling breeze on your nuts has to do with being straight or not though, can someone explain? I'm straight and I like the cool breeze down there.

I'd go naked most of the time if it weren't for those pesky neighbors.
posted by fenriq at 1:14 PM on September 22, 2004


I wasn't even thinking of going commando, believe it or not. The bike shorts idea sounds like it would work for me, in the right weather.
posted by tommasz at 1:38 PM on September 22, 2004


Dude, the chicks dig commando even more than just kilt wearin'. I'm just sayin'.
posted by kalessin at 1:52 PM on September 22, 2004


I'm starting to get the idea that kilts on men are akin to lingerie on women, more for the observer than the wearer.

I'm just sayin'.
posted by tommasz at 1:55 PM on September 22, 2004


"It's n'more than wah God gave me ye Puritan pukes!"
posted by Hildago at 2:25 PM on September 22, 2004


I'm the proud owner of a Carpenter's Utilikilt and two Sports Kilts. The first Sports Kilt was a present from my then-girlfriend, now wife. They are amazingly comfy, especially after racing a triathlon or doing a long bike ride.

The UK was a present from a bunch of my buddies after a trip to the OC Scottish Highland Games. It is a burly piece of clothing, with pockets and keyrings and hammer loops out the wazoo. I wore it to my bachelor party, which I declared to be an all-kilt affair. The boys kindly indulged me, and about a dozen of 'em turned up in kilts of their own. At one point, we were between bars when we came across a guy in a UK. It was a stirring moment, though it might have been because I was drunk.

Photographic Evidence. I'm the guy with the ball & chain attached to his ankle.
posted by RakDaddy at 2:31 PM on September 22, 2004


Worked at a call center with a guy who wore one sometimes. I was envious, and I'm looking forward to the day when I can afford to order one. I like the cargo pockets and the comfort factor sounds appealing.

Wish I could afford a real authentic Scottish kilt in my tartan, though.
posted by alumshubby at 2:40 PM on September 22, 2004


I wore a skirt as a cheerleader for the powder puff game in high school, and it was really comfortable, plus I've got nice legs, so a kilt would be cool.

My question is, what kind of shoes can you wear? I looked at some of the pictures on the Utilikilts site, and most of the guys had white or gray socks and black shoes or boots.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:51 PM on September 22, 2004


That's an excellent question, kirkaracha, and I still don't have an answer that I'm happy with. I've seen people wearing Tevas or other sandals with their UKs; it doesn't look right. At my bachelor party, I wore my oxford-high Docs with ski socks (the tallest socks I had), and it looked okay, but still not right. I think boots work best, as traditional brogues look more formal.
posted by RakDaddy at 3:00 PM on September 22, 2004


By the way, I found Utilikilts in my comments after posting a new idea called Freeball Friday. Basically, the last Friday of every month is a day to go commando, extra points if you wear your Utilikilt too.

Freeball Friday, Hang Loose Baby! (warning, that is a self link).

I'm still working on the female equivalent for some of my lady readers who want to play along as well. So far we've got Freedom Friday and Commando Coochie Day. Neither of which quite does it for me. Ideas?
posted by fenriq at 3:16 PM on September 22, 2004


While not a kilt in the true sense of the word, I absolutely love my Surfkilt which I found in a roundabout way after checking out the Utilikilt site a couple years ago.
posted by sillygit at 4:39 PM on September 22, 2004


Exploring Seattle this summer, I drove past Utilikilts company headquarters. They also made an appearance at a convention I went to this summer, with a booth run by some nice folks with fashion sense that ranged from the hip to the merely pragmatic.

I had to help with an eviction--my first--at another one of the apartments owned by the man who owns the one I manage. It's a creepy thing to put someone's stuff out on a busy arterial and and creepier still to see the people who pull over to strip mine a stranger's misfortune as fast as it's carried out. Among this select demographic was the owner of the above mentioned company, who ran his SUV up on the sidewalk and hopped out to take quite a haul. Sleazy creepy.
posted by y2karl at 5:28 PM on September 22, 2004


My best friend has been wearing these for years. He even got the black tuxedo version for his wedding. Wore that, a tuxedo shirt, a vest, and tall Dr. Martens and he looked GOOD. I thought he was going to look like a joke when I heard what he was wearing, but he looked great.

They are definintely sexy. Men, take heed!
posted by aacheson at 6:23 PM on September 22, 2004


You know, without a tartan pattern, it really looks like a skirt. Sorry, it does.
posted by clevershark at 6:58 PM on September 22, 2004


I really really want the black leather one. I really really dont want to spend 700 bucks on it.
posted by jopreacher at 7:51 PM on September 22, 2004


clevershark: the cool thing is, any man confident enough to wear one is also confident enough not to care what you think it looks like.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:00 PM on September 22, 2004


Except at Burning Man, where everyone and his brother wears one because they're soooo hip. They're functional enough, and some guys look good in them, but I don't find them drastically more useful than cargo pants. They're a fashion statement, largely. Blend a bit of "I'm so masculine I can even wear something resembling a skirt" with "I get so much shit done that pants can't hold me," with "I'm happy to educate you on why this is not a skirt," and you've got the target market.
posted by scarabic at 12:04 AM on September 23, 2004


I'm intrigued, but somewhat concerned about possible exacerbation of the swingin' dad balls effect.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:36 AM on September 23, 2004


Don't worry about it Stav - you are years away from that goober moment.
posted by longbaugh at 5:20 AM on September 23, 2004


Not to mention what has to happen at urinals.
posted by alumshubby at 5:35 AM on September 23, 2004


Urinals: Lift the front flap up and left, the flap that comes in from the right up and right. Hold up with right or left arm. Hold tadger with other hand and aim.

Potty: You can also just lift the kilt outta the way if you find yourself sitting on a ceramic throne. I find it quicker than the whole procedure with pants.

In both cases, the pleats are so bountiful that you actually show less flesh (not counting legs) than you would with pants. (i.e. your pasty ass is not so visible on the throne, and you don't have to worry about your pants falling down while you take a piss.)

It would help, I know this is a foreign concept to many of you, for you to actually wear kilts and practice using them in all situations before you pull something ignorant out of your ass and state it as fact. Yes, yes, I know such a thing is unheard of on the Intarweb, but I ask you to challenge convention. Innovate a little. Experiment.
posted by kalessin at 5:51 AM on September 23, 2004


My sister's husband chose to wear a Utilikilt to their wedding ceremony. A nice black model; looked good!
posted by clever sheep at 6:18 AM on September 23, 2004


On behalf of myself and all of my female friends, I'd like to second iconomy's motion for more men in kilts- hear hear!

I'll third that. Men in kilts are sex-ay.
posted by jokeefe at 10:53 AM on September 23, 2004


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