The other day I was looking to buy a kilt online and stumbled across the SC. I decided to sign up and have since read many very interesting posts here. In fact, it inspired me to buy two new kilts this week.
So, kilt wearing started as a dare from my girlfriend (at the time and now she's my wife). She enjoys going to the Renaissance Fair in costume and she wanted me to join her in costume. At first I told her I wasn't interested but she was persistent. Finally, she offered to buy me a kilt with my maternal Grandfather's tartan, Clan Gunn. I agreed and after measuring me she placed an order. Several weeks later we received a package from the kilt maker in Edinburgh. I tried it on and it fit well enough but I was still skeptical about wearing it to the fair. The day came and I 'kilted up' with my sporran and all.
When we arrived at the fair I felt uncomfortable getting out of the car and I'm sure I gave a passer-by an unintentional flash. We got our tickets and went inside. It was a warm day and I liked the unrestricted feeling but the kilt was a bit uncomfortable. We got in line to buy an ale and a mead for her when the guy behind me tapped on my shoulder. He discretely said to me, "hey laddie you've got your kilt on backward. You look like a Catholic school girl." Gobsmacked, I headed straight for the privy and gave the kilt a 180. Suddenly the kilt was so much more comfortable and I felt confident wearing it. We went on to have a great time and a very memorable day.
I like wearing my kilt but it is the sort of thing that is generally only appropriate for special occasions such as going to the Ren fair, the Scottish festival, St. Patty's day parties and such. Around the house I often wear just a sarong or my sulu but don't wear them out. That's why I ordered two less formal (cheaper) kilts this week to wear while I'm out running errands, taking a walk or whatever.
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Welcome to the cafe and the world of skirtery, I started with kilts, eventually discovering the next step- the denim skirt. What has surprised me living in Scotland, also down in England, is that when I am wearing my kilt I get a lot of questions, like what tartan is it? why are you wearing it? sometimes questions about what I am wearing under it. None of these questions bother me and the kilt often starts conversations, which I like. The downside to a traditional kilt is the weight, the lack of pockets and the cost of them, my last kilt cost me £300 a lot of years ago, yes they will last many years but they don't like being washed or getting wet, which on the Scottish Wet, sorry, West coast, is problematic.
I have also found that when I wear a denim skirt, knee length or ankle length, people either ignore it completely or pretend they haven't seen it. Almost no questions ever. I really miss the company that made my favourite cargo skirts, they were tailored for a man and are now kept for special occasions like travel. The fact that they were made for a man gives me a confidence boost.
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It's a cool introductory story, and that's nice from the guy that pointed you that your kilt was on backward. Otherwise your first kilted experience would probably have been less pleasant!
Happy to know that your wife is supportive!
It wasn't very discrete (or even discreet) of him to say such a thing to you. Especially in a place like that, he might have found a gentler way to point out what was plainly a beginner's error. Most of us feel pretty awkward during our first outings in kilt or skirt, and it's a good thing he didn't put you off it altogether. Anyway, welcome to the café!
Best not to look like a Catholic schoolgirl! Just a quickie. I am aware that LA is VERY far removed from the Emerald Isle, but here at least the patron saint is St Patrick. No-one refers to that day as St Patty's day. Pity they chose March 17th for it, though, as up here on the 53rd parallel it's nearly always wet/windy/stormy/freezing on that day.
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May I suggest that you think of your sulu and sarong the same way you do Kilts; menswear from other cultures because ... that's exactly what they are!
Except the sulu and sarong were designed for the kind of climate you there in SoCal.
If you're afraid you'll look different, consider this, you're in SoCal so you'll fit right in with all of the other oddballs. The only ones who don't are the oddballs that '50's sitcoms tried to convince us were normal.
I know, I've visited there often and I have the Visa stamps in my People's Republic of Portland passport to prove it!
C'mon, live a little ... before the Big One hits!
Social norms aren't changed by Congress or Parliament; they're changed by a sufficient number of people ignoring the existing ones and publicly practicing new ones.
Yes, I am fortunate in many ways to have been born in Southern California and lived here all my life. We see people from all over the world here wearing just about anything you can imagine. A very accepting place for the most part. Over the weekend one of my new kilts arrived from UTKilts. I was wearing it when my neighbor who is from Venezuela asked me about it. He was interested to hear about my grandfather's Scottish heritage. He told me the new kilt looks great and said it must be really comfortable on such a warm day (yes it was).
I'm not sure that I'll ever have the courage or even the desire to go from kilt to skirt or dress but reading your posts does give me inspiration to "do my own thing". - thanks!