30 May 2006

Pardon Me Sir, What's Under Your Skirt?

As was previously mentioned, the wedding was formal. This meant that boys were in tuxedos, formal military attire, and then there was Ross & Hamish....who were in kilts. [and looked mighty dashing I might add!!] Hamish--being the true Scottsman--was wearing his traditionally [i.e. nada underneath!]. Ross, proclaiming it was "bloody freezing," chose to be a bit more, uh, protected from the cold--which in hindsight was not a bad idea, as while we were celebrating on at the pub, a very inebriated lass kept peaking under Ross's kilt!!

While thought by many today to the national dress [no pun intended] of Scotland, that wasn't always the case. So here's a history of the kilt exposed [and we're not going to mention how I found out what Hamish & Ross were or weren't wearing underneath!]:

There are a lot of webistes out there on the history of the kilt--just google history of kilt and you'll come up with about 1,210,000 hits. For the interest of time, I only checked out a few. Basically, there is some discussion about a)when the kilt was first seen in Scotland and b)if it originally came from Ireland. Being NOT an aficiando of the kilt or Irish or Scottish history, I won't comment on either, except to tell you that insofar as Scottish history is concerned, the kilt was not originally seen everywhere, only in the highlands. Apparently the Lowlanders considered it barbaric. It was both easy [supposedly...I, personally think skirts aren't the way to go, but both Hamish & Ross commented that it was very liberating] and versitile as many used the material as not only a garment, but also a blanket.

To quote one website (
http://members.aol.com/sconemac/kilt.html): "The kilt itself in its original form was a very basic garment which required neither the trouble of tailoring nor the frequent replacement which a pair of breeches needed. The tartan cloth forming a piece of material some 2 yards in width by 4 or 6 yards in length. This was known variously as the Breacan, the Feileadh Bhreacain and the Feileadh Mor - the big kilt, usually referrred to in English as the belted plaid. The belted plaid had many advantages in the Highland climate and terrain. It allowed freedom of movement, it was warm, the upper half could provide a voluminous cloak against the weather, it dried out quickly and with much less discomfort than trousers and if required it could, by the mere undoing of the belt, provide a very adequate overnight blanketing. The tightly woven wool proved almost completely waterproof...For ordinary wear the kilt may be made of tartan or tweed and may be box-pleated or knife-pleated (as are most); for dress wear it should be of the dress tartan of the Clan. If the Clan posses one. The kilt should be worn with the lower edges reaching not lower than the centre of the knee-cap."

Accessories [because whether they admit or not, men too have to accessorize!] for kilts include: sporrans [aka a purse, or if you're a Seinfield worshipper, man-bag]--with at least one for day and one for evening wear. Hose--white or oatmeal for day and tartan colored for evening--with garters and--this is very important--a sgian-dubh [small dagger] to be carried in the right hand stocking at all times. A dirk [another dagger] may also be worn, carried on the belt--but it's not necessary [yeah, like any man's going to turn down carrying another dagger!]. Buckled shoes complete the outfit.

NOTE: kilts are NOT to be worn by women. so, perhaps I should find me a Scot to marry--that way at least one of us will be wearing a skirt!!

ahem, anyway....so I hope this has shed some light on kilts and the manly men that wear them [as it is claimed that a man who wears a kilt is a man and a half]...so when you're out and about and see a kilted man, smile and remember, as dear Hamish says "real Scots" are liberated underneath!

cheers! :) shez


jamie said...

I will be visiting Scotland at the end of July, hopefully. (that is if the baby is well and my in-laws don't get pissed off in the mean time, haha) If anyone needs a skirt send $$ and let me know your size!

april said...

Shez, you should've come to me for a history! My tour guide in Scotland wore a kilt and was proud to show us how to fold a real one. I've got some pics on my photo site... And did you know that the tartans today AREN'T the real clan tartans? Hamish sounds like a great guy. (I knew a big hairy coo named Hamisch...)

Anonymous said...

And WHAT, may I ask, happened with the goodly Master Hamish?????

I can't believe you didn't tell me in the car on the way back to Sydney - or did I just talk the whole time???


Penny (sorry I didn't read this sooner!)