I have no issue with the kilt. It may be a strange piece of clothing, but it is culturally significant to those of Scottish and Celtic backgrounds. I do not, nor would I ever want to ban the kilt from wear. There is a time and a place for almost anything, including the kilt. Are you at the highland games? Are you in Scotland? Is it some sort of holiday where you want to celebrate your heritage? Hell, are you out drinking in a pub? Not only do I say wear I kilt, I say bring it on. Have a god damn kilt bonanza and feel the freeing breeze that crotchless legwear brings. This article is not about those occasions.
For some reason, a subset of Internet culture has determined that not only are kilts an excellent part of your everyday fashion, but they have invented the utilikilt, an all-purpose kilt made for whatever you need to do, because when men and women started doing manual labor or things that required lots of pockets the invention of pants was a terrible left turn in the history of sheets of fabric or animal hides meant to cover your nether regions. What this subset hasn’t seemed to grasp is that because you went back to ancient garb, society has moved on.
5. You are now “that weird guy”
Congratulations on your purchase of a kilt, utili or regular. Once you decide to wear that bad boy out in public free of any sort of social setting that a kilt is 100% acceptable in, you have earned yourself the title of “that weird guy.” Don’t feel too bad, I’m sure most of us have been there. I was once one of those people that wore a Naruto headband around because I thought it was cool and I didn’t care about school anyway. Then it dawned on me that I was wearing a sign that said “socially awkward” and put a barrier between myself and anyone I wanted any sort of personal or professional relationship with.
Now I see people wearing Naruto headbands with kilts and it’s like some bizarre universe where I started a guerrilla army meant to make every public situation incredibly awkward by placing my soldiers close enough to be too close, but not far enough to be ignored. Don’t get me wrong, I get not wanting to wear pants. Fuck pants. My apartment is my own no pants zone. I wear pants in public because that’s what society has dictated as acceptable. In the 80s it was legwarmers, dudes with lady hair and clothing that cut off in strange ways. Dressing like it was still the 80s would also make you that weird guy because we, as a society, moved on. Now please, move with us.
4. First Impressions Really Are Everything
What do you wear to a job interview? Chances are a suit, and even if it is for some shitty job stocking shelves at target, business casual, which means slacks, a button-down collared shirt and dress shoes. Not a god damned kilt. Even when working for a ‘fun job’ you show up to an interview looking your best because when you meet your potential boss for the first time, you want it to go well. There has been study after study as to why first impressions are so important, ignoring that is spitting in the face of science. Science got us to the moon dammit, why are you denying the moon by wearing a kilt?
Do you want to be forever known as the guy who wore a kilt to his presentation on the media’s coverage of suicides? I knew that guy, he’s a nice guy, but most of the class we had together avoided him like the, well guy who wore a kilt to class for no specific reason. It’s like if someone showed up to a raging kegger in a suit, clearly they didn’t get the memo on appropriate dress for the situation. Define yourself as the charmingly funny guy or the sweet guy who always knows the right thing to say, not kilt guy.
3. So is networking, the world runs on who you know
In the professional world, you are measured on your merits. Sure, some people get jobs they are not qualified because of who they know, but far more people get jobs they are because of it. Who are you going to hire. the person with excellent qualifications or the other person with the same qualifications and a recommendation from your coworker? Now who would you hire if that coworker also said: “he does like to wear a kilt, though.” Unless you work at a kilt store or culturally related establishment, no one chooses kilt guy.
It’s not even just trying to build a professional network out in the world. My apartment becomes a pants only zone when I invite people over because even though I like my balls to be free of the confines of jeans when I’m alone, none of my friends want to see the shape of my junk when my boxers settle. People would respect a decision to wear a kilt at home to honor your ancestors, but not because you like feeling your balls dangling free. Even if you were friends with that guy, would you bring anyone over to his place? You can create your own network of kilt lovers, I’ll even give you the name kiltopia for it, but you will still be a relatively ostracized minority.
2. What do you want to do with your life?
Everyone aspires to doing something with their life, whether it’s to make a mark on the world or just make enough money that Applebee’s is a place you only eat at because of some obstinate friend who won’t take “Fuck Applebee’s” for an answer wants to get drunk on water down drinks and stuff their face with half off apps. Even if you have no aspirations, where would you work to support yourself? I’ve worked at shitty jobs before and even they had uniforms that didn’t include kilts. If kilts are too good for Taco Bell’s standards, shouldn’t they be for yours?
Even if you find that perfect job that accepts your kilted lifestyle and pays well, congratulations, you found your niche, try moving out of it. The last thing you want to do is pigeonhole yourself into one role. You want to make your skillset as big as possible so that, shitty or dream job, you can be a valuable asset. Sure, Kilt Guy can work at indie game studio, but if they collapse, would Activision hire him? I never want to wear the brand of unemployable, which my tattoo already makes me in some fields, but for the rest I just wear a long sleeved shirt and deal with it. You can deal with wearing pants.
1. Seriously, Fuck Your Utilikilt
Perhaps you are incredibly pissed off at me right now because I have spent most of this article explaining why wearing a kilt is a social faux pas in modern society and ignoring the utili part in the title, so this section is all for you. At face value, a utilikilt is no more a blight on your social standing than any other kilt. It’s what the utilikilt represents and has become that should inspire the same rage that burns within me. They took a traditional garb and perverted it. A kilt is a symbol of Scotland and its history. A utilikilt is someone trying to functionalize culture.
This came from one of two thought patterns. Either someone wanted to represent their culture, but modern society required them to carry more than their sporran could hold, already begging the question of what they were doing, and decided the thing the kilt needed was more pockets and functionality, you know, like pants. Or in an even worse mindset, someone had such a deep vendetta against pants that they adopted the ‘man skirt’ of another culture, removed the elements of significance and replaced them with pockets and plain colors because their balls just had to be free man.