Steven Bulman knows that most men would not wear something that might be mistaken for a skirt. He is not one of those men.
I’ve probably been exposed to kilts more than most men not born in Scotland. My high school’s mascot was a Highlander and my town’s annual Scottish Highland Games took place at the park just over the hill from my house. One of my friends would dress up for every home football game in blue warpaint and a kilt and would yell and scream and cheer our team onwards to victory! Kilts never were mysterious or strange to me. They were just part of life…an interesting part.
I tend to think of myself as a fairly normal guy. Sure, I have a few hobbies that your average guy might not such as blacksmithing and Iron Age reenacting, but I also enjoy kicking back with a beer and watching a good rugby match. I enjoy whipping up various culinary delights in the kitchen with vegetables grown in my garden as well as lounging on the couch watching Netflix and making chainmaille. I get along with all my coworkers, and hang out with friends several nights a week. We play Dungeons and Dragons every Sunday.
But something is missing from my life.
I want a kilt. Not just any kilt.
I want a Utilikilt.
What is a Utilikilt? According to the About page on the Utilikilts website, the Utilikilts Company is “committed to pioneering a comfortable alternative to trousers by producing “Men’s Unbifurcated Garments” (MUG’s).” Basically, they make a kilt for a modern world. Utilikilts are not the wool tartans that you see bagpipe players wearing as they march in the local parade. They are a cross between cargo pants and a kilt. They are made out of cotton, have useful cargo pockets on their sides capable of carrying several beers, and are far more freeing than any pair of pants. There are styles suitable for almost any occasionm from the The Mocker, a dressier kilt that mocks the Dockers pants that seem to be a staple of white collar workers, to my favorite, the Workman’s Kilt. It’s designed for those who go out and build things all day. It has multi-chamber pockets, adjustable hammer loop, rivets, the….works.
I met my first Utilikilt when I was in college. I was lucky enough to attend a school with a Metals Concentration for Fine Arts majors. I was even luckier in that I managed to pester the Blacksmithing professor into letting me take the Intro to Blacksmithing class, despite not having the prerequisites nor being a Fine Arts major. While up at the metals studio, I met one of the Fine Arts majors who was specializing in metal. His work was amazing, and he was a very fun fellow. And he always wore the most badass kilt I had ever seen! It was a black Utilikilt, held up with a chainmaille belt with a Damascus steel belt buckle that he had forged himself. The steel was gorgeous. The kilt was amazing. And it was made from 100% cotton Duck cloth, which meant it provided plenty of protection from sparks while he worked at the forge or with a welder. That kilt is the one that made me decide that one day I would own a Utilikilt of my very own.
I don’t have the money for my Workmans Kilt yet. But I will. And while I am not nearly talented enough of a smith to make a Damascus steel belt buckle (yet), my first chainmaille belt is well on its way to completion, and my chainmaille tie is done. I’m out of school, I have a real job, and soon I’ll have that kilt.
And remember, the difference between a kilt and a skirt is that you wear underwear under a skirt, and shoes under a kilt!