Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Kilt

A conversation at work this morning has got me thinking about the kilt (which apparently is the correct plural of kilt not kilts).

Being part Scottish I feel that I have the right to wear one. In fact I’m pretty sure there’s a Blake tartan draped over a shop window display in Aviemore even as I type.

But I’ve never actually got round to donning one.

I mean, it’s pretty hard to find an appropriate occasion when you’re living and working in the English Midlands.

The perfect opportunity arose back in 1976 (or thereabouts) when my Auntie Josie married my Uncle Tam in Glasgow and all the men wore the kilt to the ceremony and the reception. I had the chance to experience the swirl of my own bagpipes amongst the impressive company of my whisky drinking peers... but alas being 7 years old and brought up a Sassenach I bottled it and stuck to ma troosers.

Now, some years later, I regret that youthful decision as opportunities to wrap up my nether regions in a nice rough bit of tartan are as scarce on the ground as tax rebates from Gordon Brown (Broon).

But maybe I should just think ‘outside the sporran’ and get a kilt to sate my own personal sense of satisfaction and actively engineer occasions to wear it? A work’s do? My mother’s birthday? Christmas? My son’s parent’s evening at school? All viable occasions I’m sure you’ll agree.

Life is too short to wait. Sometimes you’ve just got to give things a bit of a prod.

So. My questions are thus: is there an item of national dress (yours or another nation’s) that you’ve always had a secret hankering to wear? What is it and have you ever?

21 comments:

Daisy said...

i was told one time that it was very italian to lay in the sun naked...did it once...burnt my boobs and that ended that desire...

me thinks he just wanted to see me naked in the sun...but i was young and impressionable at the time...surprisingly he is now a roofer LMAO

Steve said...

Daisy, burnt boobs is good for neither man nor woman. You have my sympathies. If you have a hankering to try it again you may have my sun-block! ;-)

Brother Tobias said...

Not really, other than the kilt. But you should have a go with that, as you have a tartan you can wear. It has advantages...the older and tattier, the smarter it is. You can sleep under it (I've done that). You can wear it, with different stuff, for almost anything, from climbing to dining. (But if you want to be really smooth, don't do the white socks; that's for Scottish Regiments and sassenachs hiring for weddings. Use green, lovat, brown...anything which roughly matches the tartan).

Steve said...

Brother T, you sounds like a kilt wearer of some years and experience... and you have sold the idea to me even more. An item of clothing that increases in smartness in relation to how tatty it appears is surely the perfect item of apparel for any man...!

Old Cheeser said...

I think you SHOULD get a kilt Steve, if only because me (and I'm sure your other hordes of fellow bloggers) are dying to see you show off your legs. And will you be going commando or not...? Okay, we'll stop right there.

As for wearing an item of national dress, tricky. I have a t-shirt from Brazil that says "Brazil" on it, which I wear quite often. Does that count?

Steve said...

A t-shirt from Brazil does count I'm sure, especially if it's covered in huge feathers and surmounted by a mardi gras head-dress!

As for me wearing a kilt... I'm really not sure that the blogging community is ready for the horror that is my stick-thin hairy legs... and as for going commando... the camouflage make-up irritates my skin so I don't think I'll be doing that! ;-)

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Jelly shoes, jelly shoes! What better way to announce that we Brits have lost our backbone via a national costume?

Thompson is the nicest tartan, but sadly the Chavs nicked it and made it common.

Steve said...

Being part English and part Scots (and part Welsh and part Irish if the truth be known) does this mean I have to wear jelly shoes and a kilt? I'm not sure they'd go!

Annie said...

Laura made a good point - us English need a national costume. I suppose men could dress up as beefeaters or Morris dancers but women? If I had to hanker after a costume, it would be an early 19th Century gown with petticoats and a bonnet - an outfit that Jane Austen might wear.

If OC organises a get-together, there's the perfect occasion to wear your kilt!

The Sagittarian said...

Steve, my kids joke that their Dad is Italian execpt on St Patricks Day when he's Irish. He's also known to don a kilt as well. Our national dress would be debated I guess depending on one's heritage but usually its safe enought o say a thugby shirt with either your provincial colours of black with a silver fern...

EmmaK said...

Well I always wanted to wear a sari and I got to wear one on a recent trip to India. But one, it is v hard to put on and a friend had to do it for me. I think if I attempted it now on my own the whole thing would fall off. Also, like you I am scratching my head wondering what function in Baltimore I could wear it to - I think I'd look like a prententious prat since I am not even part indian!

Steve said...

Hi Annie, I'm not sure that Morris Dancers really have the right costume for us English! But I suppose it's better than an England football t-shirt, face painted with the cross of St George and a can of lager in your hand...! Not sure what women should wear either though I fancy that white stilettos should be part of it...!

Amanda, if you're going to claim a thugby shirt maybe a football shirt will suffice for our mob after all!

Emma, I can definitely see the appeal of the sari. I spent my twenties hankering to dress up like Lawrence of Arabia. Or rather like Peter O'Toole in the film. Not very practical. And today it would run the added risk of having me either lynched in the street or radicalized by a rogue Muslim cleric with a hook hand...

Rol said...

While on holiday this year, I was quite drawn to the idea of wearing a Graham Greene style Panama hat.

Louise wouldn't allow it.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Well, I always fancied one of those lovely Thai dresses - but I've never got round to getting one. I think they are gorgeous. Not sure they'd suit you though, Steve.

But being mostly English with a bit of German thrown in I guess I should be wearing sandals with socks, shouldn't I? Not sure what Germans wear. I can only think of the Gestapo or nudist beaches and I am definitely not sporting that look here.

You should definitely go for the kilt, Steve and of course you must not wear anything underneath. Someone will check, cos someone always does!

Steve said...

Rol, women are such dictators when it comes to the clothing and appearance of their men (though we'd undoubtedly look worse without their "advice")...

Talking of dictators, no, Gina, I totally agree: the Gestapo look is definitely not in vogue this summer... and socks with sandals are never ever "in". A Thai dress sounds a wonderful idea - esepcially in this hot weather - but I think I'll let you model it and give it a miss myself (tempted though I am by strapless numbers and plunging necklines).

As for the kilt I believe a lack of undergarment is part of the uniform (though concessions are generally made on very cold days). The fact that people will inevitably "check" is actually what makes me stay my hand when it comes to buying a kilt. I wonder why it's ok to check under a man's kilt but not under a woman's skirt?!

Old Cheeser said...

It's quite a normal t-shirt unfortunately Steve, though it does have the token yellow and green of the Brazilian flag on it....come to think of it I do have a "Carnival" mask I picked up on my visit to Rio so I guess that counts too...

And STOP making excuses. Real men in kilts don't wear pants, and that's that.

Steve said...

OC, the carnival mask definitely counts. As for going commando... trust me, OC, if you've ever been nipped in the Trossochs by a swarm of angry midges you'd realize that sometimes pants are an essential bit of kit...!

LucyFishwife said...

I want a fez! I love fezzes (grammar?)! I believe that if any unpopular fugure were to appear on TV wearing a fez it woul instantly render them likeable and a bit of a clown à la Tommy Cooper. Fez for me please (imagine this whole post soundtracked by "The Fez" by Steely Dan...)

Steve said...

Hmm, you could be right Lucy. There's no way they'd have hanged Saddam Hussein if he'd been wearing a fez... they'd have probably ordered cocktails from him instead... ;-)

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Jane Austen dresses for Brit girls - great idea Annie - where do I get one?

Steve said...

Does this mean us guys have to dress up like D'Arcy?