Is the Kilt making a full blooded come back?
The Kilt has been the target of many a joke and ribald comment for more years than it can probably remember!
But is it fair for it to be the butt of so many jokes?
After all, not only is the Kilt a recognised fashion item in it's own right, it's also more importantly a world recognised symbol of a country and the fierce national pride contained within!
Many a soldier has shuddered and shaken in fear in centuries gone when faced with a Scottish Warrior, kilt swirling in steadfast defiance of normality, broadsword or other razor sharp lethal weapon cutting huges scythes in the air as he charged.
Indeed, many fields of war were won purely by the arrival of Scotsmen dressed in their tradional tartan kilts. To many, the knowledge that the wearer wore nothing underneath was cause enough to panic! Add to this the ferocity of such a warrior and not many would stand up in front of them.
But ever since those heady days of hand to hand combat and battles fought face to face, some of the mystery and folklore of the Kilt remains. Ideas that you can only wear a Tartan Kilt if you are a member of that clan still abide today, wrongly in many cases.
Maybe this stops some people wearing a kilt?
Or does the fear of society's view of a man effectively wearing what many still describe as a skirt also play a strong part?
But then what of those men among us who are recognised as being the manliest of men? Does wearing a kilt reduce their appearance and reputation at all? Famous celebrities such as Sean Connery, Billy Connely, Ewan McGregor or Mel Gibson?
How many women did - and still would - swoon clean away to see Mel Gibson walking towards them, kilt swaying in time to his steps? I strongly suspect - most! It would not be a swoon induced by dislike or scorn neither, more of one where they're opinion has been enhanced as to the character and strength of the man involved.
I had the great pleasure of wearing a kilt many, many years ago when I was 6. The occassion was as a Page Boy for my Uncle and Aunts wedding. White ruffled shirt, red and blue tartan kilt with sporran and shoes. the only thing missing was the Dirk. For some reason never suitably explained by my parents, they seemed very nervous of letting their 6 year old offspring walk around with a small dagger shoved into the top of his sock! Spoilsports!
Even now, looking back at the old black and white photos - yes, it WAS that long ago - I get a thrill of seeing myself dressed like that.
Because it was different, unique and - dare I say it - I looked damn good! (I seem to remember it made a huge impression on my fellow official for the occasion, the bridesmaid called Candy, a curly blonde haired girl a year older than me. I have a misty memory of her asking her mom why i was wearing a skirt!)
A kilt nowadays plays a much larger part. Beyond the more well known kilts of Scotland with their heritage of history behind each unique Tartan design, comes the Kilts of Ireland and Wales in family crests or solid colors.
With society relaxing it's own strict and nonsensical ideas of what is right and what is wrong, more men are coming to wear kilts, enjoying the uniqueness and freedom such a garment gives.
It is now more common to attend company dinners, awards and opening nights and spot one or two men dressed in kilted splendour.
Indeed, a whole new industry is beginning to grow - assisted by the internet with it's ease of ordering and choosing - where new styles, designs and ideas of the traditional kilt are being tested and reworked.
For example, you can now buy kilts in camo pattern or kilts with pockets either side as opposed to the standard requirement for a sporran.
As for me and the kilt - as I get older and less worried about what other people think of me, the thoughts do stray to when I was 6 years old and how proud I felt dressed in such regal splendour. With the hot weather getting hotter each day a cooling breeze would certainly be more welcome as well!
Now then, where did I put that sporran and dirk?
About the Author
A long time writing enthusiast, Rufus has written articles on many varied subjects.
You can check out more of his Kilt pieces by following the link to The Busy Kilt.