|The fighting sheen of it
The yellow, the green of it
The white, the blue of it
The swing, the hue of it
The dark, the red of it
Every thread of it!
|The fair have sighed for it
The brave have died for it
Foemen sought for it
Heroes fought for it
Honor the name of it
Drink to the fame of it—
A friend of mine just stepped up with an offer I couldn’t refuse, in terms of a trade for my Utilikilts credit. I worked a lot of very entertaining, but very hard hours in booths all over the bar area, getting men out of pants and into kilts.
Utilikilts has come a long way since then; they have a flagship store in Seattle now, and wholesale to select kilt vendors nation wide.
In the old days, the booths were run on a shoestring, by a staff of very few employees, and many volunteers, who did it out of love for the product. The pay? If you worked a long hard day, you’d get a kilt. and maybe a t-shirt. But we didn’t do it for the pay, we did it because it was so goddamn much fun.
Part carnival barker, part sales rep; part freak show, part haberdasher, part lifestyle counselor, part pirate, part street performer. I’ve never accosted so many strangers, copped so many feels, been flirted with by both genders, as much as I have at fairs and fests and games, when I used to shout things like “Sir, have you considered FREEEEDOM from TROUSER TYRANNY?”
It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had working.
It was work though. Hell on knees and ankles; long, long hours bending, stretching, fetching, measuring. Hours roaming and passing out cards, offering what was, for most people, a first look at a concept. Because that’s what the utrilikilt was; not just a garment, but a new kind of garment. We’ve all seen a kilt before, or a sulu, a sarong. But this wasnt exactly any of those. It was a technical object, an exaggeratedly masculine garment. A skirted garment for men without a cultural reference.
The thing with MUGs (Men’s Un-bifurcated Garments), is that they mostly come from somewhere. Scotland, Indonesia, Africa, Polynesia, or even Rome. The Utiliikilt, though, comes from nowhere but Seattle, WA. It wasn’t a reference to ‘what we wear back home’ or ‘what my ancestors wore’; it was a statement on it’s own. “This is what I wear,” it said, for no reason other than because I want to.
That’s come a long way in four or five years. Now, when I wear my Utilikilts, people don’t say ‘is that a kilt?’ or ‘nice skirt’; they say “hey, Utilikilt!” The concept is winning it’s way into the culture. And I feel I’ve done my part for that. I own seven or eight Utilikilts; I wear them, if not daily, then at least weekly. I own no suit, no tuxedo; I wear kilts for fancy dress affairs.
On the other hand, I’ve stopped fighting the fight. I don’t usually wear my kilts to work (they just don’t suit sitting at a desk that well; ladies, you know what I mean). I don’t feel I have to wear a kilt just to make a statement. I wear them because I like them, because they’re flattering, and because they’re comfortable.
All those fairs I worked brought me a lot of joy, some *action* (if you know what I’m sayin’), and a lot of kilts. I didn’t buy most of my kilts, and I still wound up with several Utilikilts worth of credit.
Thing is, I don’t really need another UK right now. I look at the lineup and can’t think of anything they have, that I need.
So my hard-earned kilt fund is getting turned into another kind of kilt.
I just ordered fabric samples from my favorite Highland Kilt maker, J Higgings in Kansas City. When I get back from Seattle, I’m going to place an order for a new kilt in some variation of Red MacRae Tartan, a compliment to the one I already have in MacRae Hunting.
It’ll be something like this:
Hey, sometimes a guy needs to go old-school.