All About Kilts

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Kilt Isn't For Scots Only, Exhibit #10000

Switzerland now has its own tartan a reminder that kilts aren't just for Scottish people.

I was thinking about this tonight. So many people think you have to have scottish heritage where the kilt. That's simply not the case. Consider that tartans have been commissioned for every Canadian province, American military units, and 7 US States.

Now, what might this suggest. Hmmm. Maybe you don't have to be Scottish to wear the kilt. If all the websites on the Internet don't convince you then hopefully the fact that so many tartans are made for things not scottish will make the case.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

King Kilts 2.0

Wow, we have the King Kilt 2.0 officially out on Ebay, we'll have some more information out on the website tomorrow, but I thought I'd give the patrons of Xmarks, a heads up on the changes.

King Kilts began in January, 2004. Our product line's evolved quite a bit since then. Our focus was more on Fabric Store plaids for first time or curious kilt buyers. We've since moved more towards special order tartans for new kilt wearers and our specialty at this time is multiple kilt orders.

The King Kilt is made as a seamless garment. That differs from some other kiltmakers, who will cut the fabric and then sew the garment together. Because of this to make a 4 yard kilt, it takes 4 yards of fabric. Generally, since the fabric comes as 54 width or 60 width, we've got enough fabric to make a 2nd kilt and we only charge for labor on that.

Here's me in our prototype:

The big change we've made to our kilts over the years involves the closure. We began with a velcro closure as our default. This didn't work as well when you were wanting a nice kilt.

Through a situation where a customer needed buckles and we had a delay in leather straps arriving, we invented a new method of closure using a plain buckle and 1 inch Cotton Belt. This closure works really well and saves the hastle of velcro. Its a nice middle ground for those who like leather buckles, but don't like the cost. The cotton belt also provides a lot of flexability because you can poke the buckle through anywhere on the cotton belt, so there's a lot more flexability as well.

For belt loops, we've introduced those similar to what's on traditional kilts, where you can fold them down and put the belt through without getting in the way of the buckles. These can also be used for hanging the kilt up.

We changed our pleating so that primarily on our kilts, we're doing Deep Pleating, even on the 4 yard kilts as our default. So they'll have larger pleats which can be a lot more comfortable as well as a little easier to care for.

We're offering our first set of kilts on Ebay. You can buy one kilt, get a 2nd for yourself for free, or go in with a friend on it and at $130 per kilt, its a great buy.

Here's the auction

Note: If you're interested in something different than we're offering on ebay like a cotton tartan kilt or a plain kilt, or pockets, then I'd reccomend visiting our website as we offer a lot of customization. If you have any questions, visit the website or e-mail me.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Award Winning Kilt

Cotton Incorporated's Lifestyle Monitor gave an innovation award to 21st Century Kilts for his use of denim. In awarding Howie Nicholsby's company the award, they wrote:

"And while we're not certain about the viability of denim kilts within the borders of the United States, we can certainly applause its derring do."

This is one of those decisions that doesn't make sense. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the product, except for one thing. If you view 21st Century Kilts, its clear you're looking at something Avant Garde. Its fashionable and hip. That's what the site full of young hip models sporting these things tells you. The price tag on the Denim Kilt is $460.87 in US Currency and that's before you add pockets. Of course, the most expensive they offer is more than $2300.

Now, that its expensive doesn't mean that its not a good product. Its just not the type of product that's really hit most consumers well. Its priced so high, its not in a consumer's market, so of course, its not going to catch on. Its a fashion item. A normal sized guy can buy 3 Utilikilts in Denim for that price and Utilikilts have been offering those for years, and started around the time of 21st Century Kilts. Now at $148 pop they have a better shot at catching on.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Best Kilt Accessories

With kilts, you have a lot of accessories that are offered. Many are quite expensive, some are fairly cheap, but which are actually important? Its this question we'll seek to answer.

Clearly, I'm not putting myself out as an expert on putting together Highland Outfits for formal use at Scottish affairs. Rather, I'm writing from the perspective of someone who has regularly worn the garment for 3 years and has a perspective on what it takes to be able to wear the kilt in normal circumstances.

What you need:

1) Sporran: Unless you're wearing an Amerikilt, Utilikilt, or other pocketed kilt, you need something to carry your belongings in, thus the sporran.

In choosing a sporran, I wear a reasonable looking non-ostentatious number. Generally, a plain black or for special occasion I have a Scottish Flag Sporran using a small amount of goat hair. Maybe, its just a manner of taste, but those that have hair that hangs down to the edge of the kilt are somewhat distasteful, plus hard to manage in real life situations such as getting in and out of cars. In short, keep it simple. That's also one way to have a sporran inexpensively. There are many budget sporrans out there that with a little digging on Ebay, you can find for $25 (sometimes less).

2) Kilt Hose: Unless you have a bad wool reaction, Kilt hose can be one of the most comfortable and useful parts of wearing a kilt. Kilt Hose are good for circulation and keep you warm during the Winter. I'd reccomend kilt hose for winter wear even to those who don't wear kilts.

Its also a nice extra touch for those who are sensitive about the appearance of their legs. With kilt hose, you don't have to worry because all that will be showing is your knee area.

If you're workplace has a more business casual dress code, I think kilt hose go a long way towards making your outfit look professional and smart. There are a couple substitute for kilt hose you can try. You could try over the calf dress socks which can work very well and also improve circulation.

For gentlemen of larger girth, I'd reccomend avoiding Nylon Over the Calf socks and instead getting a Nylon-Lycra blend. The former will not budget and if your leg is too big, you've got at best ankle socks, as they can't comfortably go up your leg. The blend will stretch to fit comfortably.

3) Flashes: These are garters, general made of elastic that hold the socks up. Very important if you opt for kilt hose.

Semi-Important Optional Accessories

1) Kilt Pin

-This can give your kilt a more authentic look as well as help hold the front apron down during a breeze. One big tip is not to skimp on these. You should be able to get a decent kilt pin of decent weight for less than $20. Watch Ebay for these, I got one in my family's clan at a bargain.

2) Jacket

Very important if you're going to wear the kilt formally. From my experience, suit jackets or sport jackets simply don't look right with the kilt. They're far too long. Some options I've heard include trying to find a short tuxedo jacket in your size and use that. What I've done is kept an eye on E-bay and picked up an inexpensive jacket from a respect seller. That's generally going to be your best option.

3) Kilt Belt

This one is actually a pretty nice feature if you have an actual 8 yard kilt. It effectively holds up the kilt where a normal belt won't. It can help on a kilt that weighs 7 pounds like my 8-yarder does. Its probably not necessary if you've got a Bear Kilt or some lighter casual. Then again it may be if you buy an off the rack kilt that's not an exact fit. Generally these are avaialble on Ebay for less than $40.

Nice if You Can Get It

1) Jacobite Shirt

Looks real nice, and generally they aren't that expensive (around $40 and up) but aren't really necessary except at the most formal of Scottish occassion. Still, they look nice.

Only for Scottish Formal Wear:

1) Ghillie Brogues:

Fancy Scottish dress shoes. Most people don't look at your feet, so outside of ethnic occassions, you don't really need them.

2) Sgian Dubh

A dagger you stick in the Kilt Hose. Again, not something you're going to need outside of Scottish formal wear.

The big thing to remember when accessorizing a kilt is that 90 +% of the population has no clue on what its "supposed to look like." So you can follow the rule of just wearing something that fits the occassion and the way everyone else is dressing. For example, if your office is generally business casual, put on a nice collared shirt that matches your kilt and you'll be business casual.

Finally, get what you want. If you like any of the optional stuff or stuff that I don't think is important except for Scottish wear, still go ahead and buy it. Its your kilt, its your outfit, buy the things you'd like. Just don't let a salesman talk into buying accessories you don't need and don't really want.