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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/15/2009 in all areas

  1. 16 points
    Look over to the right of this post...you will see what I mean
  2. 11 points
    Am I the only one, who, when finished reading a forum post, immediately look for the "Like" button? Regardless of the forum, I catch myself doing this, almost by reflex, rather than initiating writing a brief reply. Curse you, FaceBook, for subsidizing my social network laziness.
  3. 7 points
    Advice from an old kiltie...... I should start this off by saying that I don't know it all. There are many people more knowledgeable than I am. I do wear the kilt, and I try to wear it with respect and pride. Over the years, I have learned some things along the way that I would like to pass on. Not that it is any great distinction, but I am a dedicated, full time kilt wearer and have been for several years. OK – Here we go……….. I continue to be asked by those who know me and those who just meet me about kilts. Most people, when they find out or realize that I wear the kilt full time, get curious. Some consider also getting and wearing the kilt. Some wives have even called me a bad influence. Be that as it may, I get asked for advice quite often. So I decided to customize some sage words that might fit the average new kiltie. (Kiltie – somebody who wears a kilt, usually a man.) Maybe if the words below are heeded you can avoid some of the mistakes that I made. Assumptions: Some assumptions are in order. I assume the individual I am writing this for lives in the U. S., but with today’s access to the internet, this advice holds true for almost anyone. I assume that the individual has never worn a kilt before (maybe he once wore a rented outfit at a wedding or Burn’s dinner.) I assume he is an out-going, vivacious extrovert and is not afraid of trying something new. Let’s face it, if you don’t want to stand out in a crowd, you shouldn’t wear the kilt. If you aren’t thick skinned enough to handle a little teasing, you shouldn’t wear a kilt. I assume he doesn’t already own a kilt. For lack of a better term, I will refer to the clothes you currently wear as Saxon clothes. These are your jeans, shirts, suits, belts, socks, sport coats and all the things you now use to cover your body. Generally, kilts can be broken down into two very broad categories: tartan and non-tartan. Tartan kilts tend to be made in the manner that has been adopted as the national dress of Scotland. Tartan kilts have pleats in the back and an apron in front. Generally, tartan kilts don’t have pockets. Non-tartan kilts have been called modern, non-traditional, contemporary and many other names. Non-tartan kilts are made in many different ways. Some have small aprons, different pleating styles, even pockets. When addressing this type of kilt, the rules or conventions go out the window. I am not talking about non-tartan kilts. So, I make the big assumption that we are talking about tartan kilts. I am also going to assume that you want to wear your tartan kilt in a more conventional manner. This means you wear kilt hose (knee socks) with your kilt. It assumes you will be wearing a wide kilt belt (your narrow Saxon belt just won’t work.) It means you will be wearing a sporran, because you don’t have any pockets, and you need someplace to stash your wallet and keys. Research: The first thing that the new kiltie or kilt curious man needs to do is to educate himself. One great way to do that is to get and read a copy of “So You Are Going To Wear The Kilt” written by the late J. Charles Thompson. This is a concise, well written, easy to understand primer on wearing the kilt. It is still in publication and can be found in libraries and on line. Used copies can sometimes be found for around $5. Get this book and read it. Sure, some advice is a bit dated, and some even a little controversial, but all-in-all this is a great place to start. Again - Get this book and read it. Next spend many hours on your computer using google or yahoo or dogpile or whatever. Search and read what you find when you type in relative words, like kilt, Scotland, highland attire, etc. There are many, many good sources for kilt information. Some established clans have extensive information. Ditto some museums. Don’t rush into the first kilt purchase! Get all the information you can. Visit and join on-line kilt forums. One of the best is the Brotherhood of the Kilt at kiltsrock.com. There are many others such as Bravehearts and HexMarks..... Ok, you want to wear the kilt and you want it now! You’ve made the decision to buy your first kilt. What should you do now? Again, don’t be in a hurry. In order to respectfully wear the kilt you need several things. You need a kilt. You need kilt hose and hose flashes. You need a sporran, kilt belt and sporran belt. But, really that’s about it. I recommend you start small – Heaven forbid, you may not like it. Starter kilt: Your starter kilt turn-out can be very cost effective. A starter kilt can cost as little as $30. (Still Water) A very nice usable sporran can be had for $55. (Buzz Kidder) Kilt hose can be found for $15. (On e-bay from Scotland) Starter sporran belts run $15 and kilt belts about $35. (almost everyone has these items.) The look we are going for here is a casual one; not really good enough to go to a wedding, but perfectly fine for bar-hopping. Realistically, you can get a very presentable outfit for under $200. Most, if not all, of your present Saxon shoes and most of your Saxon shirts will work with the kilt. Wear plain colored shirts with no stripes or patterns with your tartan kilt. Lean to match the color of your shirt, hose and flashes to compliment the colors in the chosen tartan. Can you wear your Saxon sport jackets? – No! For now be satisfied wearing a light windbreaker jacket. Remember - You are not ready to go to church kilted - - - not yet! Go at this slowly; take your time. I suggest that you get a very inexpensive kilt first. There are several on-line manufacturers that sell low cost kilts. One of the best is Still Water Kilts. Jerry, the owner, only offers on his web-site those things that he has in stock. His delivery times are very fast. He sells great “starter” kilts. With a little modification by you, even his $30 Thrifty kilt can easily be made to double in value. More on that later. Regardless of the source, this starter kilt will not be high-grade Scottish wool. It may have Velcro instead of the traditional belts. It will be made from man-made fiber. It will have been manufactured and assembled in another country. Who cares? You will look good. If you follow the advice here and in Mr. Thompson’s book, you will not embarrass yourself. In fact with a little bit of effort, you can go to a local Highland game, and walk around with all the old kilties, just like you’ve been kilted for years. Back to this first starter kilt - - If you opted for the lowest price, this kilt will not have the pleats sewn down from the waistband to the hip. This needs to be done. Take a little time (an hour or so) and hand sew down the top eight inches or so of the pleats. You need to measure down from the waistband to where your rear end is at it’s widest. Get your wife or girl friend to help (maybe she’ll take pity on you and do the sewing for you!) This will give a more finished look to the low-end, low-cost kilt. It will make it fit better and also enhance the swing. Almost as important as your first kilt is your first kilt belt. A very serviceable casual kilt belt can be purchased at your local home improvement store or hardware. Look for plain leather tool belts, the kind that carpenters use to attach those big tool pouches from. I still have and use one that I got years ago for under $10. It is made of good quality leather and still gives good service. Wear this starter kilt a lot. Get out in the public. Go to the market. Go to the local pub. Find out for yourself that the kilt is more accepted than you may have thought. Have fun! Maybe buy and sew down the fell on a couple more low-end kilts. Get another pair or two of kilt hose. Make some nice flashes. Red flashes go with almost any tartan. Decision time! Do you still enjoy wearing the kilt? Are you man enough? Can you handle the harassment? No? You’re not out much money. Yes? Then it’s time to look into getting a little better quality kilt. Second level kilt: For your second level kilt I recommend the type and style of kilt sold by USA Kilts. Rocky uses a high-end Poly Viscose fabric that offers easy care and good style. His kilts are machine made, but custom made for you, none-the-less. You can get a quality kilt from USA Kilts for $100 to $200. Rocky also makes higher quality wool kilts, but we’ll talk about them later. OK - Several months have passed. You have your low-end Still Water Kilts to knock around in, maybe a couple of USA Casual Kilts for when you want to look nicer. You feel comfortable in your kilt. The people at the local bar now only make a remark when you fail to wear your kilt. The things that bug you now result from the poor choices you made. Instead of looking for the $55 Buzz Kidder sporran, you found one on e-bay for $12. From the same vender, you got your first kilt belt for $15. You now hate them. The leather is cheap, almost cardboard. The color is coming off, and the leather is cracking. What’s more, you can fit almost nothing inside this cheap sporran. You are now in the market for a better quality sporran. (If you bought the $55.00 Buzz Kidder, you’re ahead of the game.) Sporrans: The best sporrans are hand made by fine craftsmen. I recommend that you check-out Thorfinn Sporrans or Wyvern Leather Works. Both Turpin and Donnie make quality items that last a lifetime. There are also a few others: Joe Gondek, Bob Marlin and Tom Hay come to mind. And you can sometimes find some quality items at a local Scottish Game. If at all possible, touch and feel the product before you buy. Belts: For leather belts, both kilt belts and sporran belts, I recommend Oconee Leather Works. Steve makes top of the line products that also will last a lifetime. While I am on the subject of belts, remember that sporran belt that came with that cheap sporran? The one that is a chain and leather combination? Throw it away; far, far away. The chain sporran belt will damage even high level PV fabric. Reserve chain belts for formal wear, and even then, consider backing that fancy formal evening wear chain with black velvet or suede. Throw away that cheap leather chain combination, it’s an abomination. Hose: You are probably OK with kilt hose, but you’d like some different options. Look into Rugby or Soccer socks. They offer modern yarns, good durability and often nice colors. For cold weather or more dressy times track down some nice wool hose. There are really too many to mention. So here you are. You have several kilts, usable leathers and you now want to think about going to some place which requires a little more dressy appearance. You need a kilt length coat or jacket. Do you really want to spend $200, $300, or more on a jacket? I didn’t think so. What you need to do now is pay a visit to the local Good Will or D. A. V. used clothing store. Look for a tweed sport jacket in your size and cut it down as described in Mr. Thompsons’s book. Then you will be set. If you don’t think you can handle it, there are always local tailors that do alterations who will probably do the job for under $50.00. Top of the line kilt: You now can look for a personal kilt maker. You are probably ready to spend some big bucks on a really quality garment. I suggest that you avoid ordering a kilt from Scotland. Sure, they make good products, but the currency exchange, and sometimes import duty will and can easily double the price for that hand-made kilt. Many companies sell the full blown, heavy wool traditional kilt and you may be overly influenced by the price. Expect to wait three to four months for your kilt to be delivered. For the truly top of the kilt maker’s art, I recommend people like Barbara Tewksbury, Kathy Lare or Wallace Catanach. These individuals are at the pinnacle of their field and they make garments that can be passed down from generation to generation. A high-end kilt made from high end, heavy weight wool fabric can easily cost $750 dollars. This is a decision not entered into lightly. If you are considering a high-end kilt, you are probably also considering high-end exotic fur sporrans, formal evening jackets, formal sporran chains, Ghillie Brogues and maybe much more. Welcome to the addiction. Again, take your time; don’t rush it. Do your research. You probably are now in a position to give advice to others. Wear your kilt with pride! You notice I didn’t touch on contemporary kilts or which tartan to wear; I didn’t talk about dirks or sgians dubh. No mention of canes, walking sticks, cromachs or even a pair of cadadh. Not one word about hats. These subjects and many more can easily take up and do page after page and book after book. These subjects are also subject to more personalized habits and behavior. I will say that Glengarry Hats sell some nice quality items. There, you should be able to find the Balmoral or Glengarry of your dreams. Good luck young kiltie.
  4. 7 points
    Meh... I only post silly, so I don't care, either way. It's a popularity contest, or has meaning, only if you wish to perceive it so. Crap... I'm posting about it. Does that mean I care, now?
  5. 6 points
    "Nice Skirt" "Thanks, Nice pantaloons". ---------------------------------------------- "nice Skirt" "Thanks, Nice Pajama bottoms" "These AREN'T Pajama Bottoms" "I know... and this isn't a skirt".
  6. 6 points
    yeah...I am too. oh...wait....what is that little button on the right of the post window?
  7. 5 points
    When looking at a sgain dubh, I highly suggest you save your hard-earned money and buy a quality sgain made by a reputable blade smith. If you are formally dressed, don't cheap out on a piece of mass-produced junk! You wouldn't wear a knock-off cheapie sporran with your hand-sewn heirloom-quality kilt, would you? I have been lucky in my sgains, having them made by many amazing blade smiths. My prized sgain is a custom-made blade from Sgains by Raptor. It is made of Red Ironbark which required special permits to obtain and a hand-made blade. I'm told the tree was about 2,000 years old. it is easily my favorite of all sgains I've ever had. It does not see much use as I know I can never replace it. It is just that amazing. Second in the image is a Damascus style blade, also by Raptor. It also has the heft and beauty of design as the blade previously described, and is #37. I love the simplicity of design which masks the strength of this blade. I do not recall who sent me the 3rd sgain, but it bears mention as the antler handle has petrified mammoth tusk as the blade. Another amazing sgain, but the blade is a little fragile so I rarely use this one. I have a few others, which I have not pictured as you can find cheap sgains all over the web, and I'll not get into those. Hope fully these examples of superior workmanship will help you see the value and beauty of a well-made sgain! Please share with others so they can see the beauty of a well made sgain!
  8. 5 points
  9. 5 points
    Ok a big part of my wanting to wear a kilt was because of my now deceased grand father who I was far closer to than my own father, he died last December and until now I have never had the money to even consider it. Hannay tartan is not a cheap fabric! Before he died he spoke of the family and its history also of piping which I'm glad to say I began lessons before he died. I have read a lot of your posts and advice. If anyone out there has any more advice in particular to my first kilt being of Hannay ancient tartan please please let me know
  10. 5 points
    While my wife was shopping, I wandered into mens wear to look around. I didn't see any p@nt$ I liked, big surprise, but I realized something. I don't bat an eye at $ 100 for a kilt, but it kills me to think of spending more than $ 10 on p@nt$.
  11. 5 points
    Good Lawd, I hope not! You'd never be so gradiose to think you were so important or unimportant.
  12. 4 points
    Here is my latest video on The Rules of Wearing a Kilt Please leave comments and questions below and follow my blog! don't forget to get your copy of Kiltology on Amazon!
  13. 4 points
    A whole long time ago, I figured it would be great to wear a kilt. Not long after that, I built a place where kilted folks can go to talk about almost anything, and wear the kilt as they want. That was more than 10 years ago now. As I work to bring this great Brotherhood into the modern era of technology, I find myself wishing I had something to bang my head against. The number of things that can and have cause me a headache are innumerable. It is like trying to push a rope uphill. On the upside, I am sitting here in my Brotherhood of the Kilt tartan kilt from Got Kilt, knowing that I will get this crazy finished. I am also looking to add a great many features to the site, including blogging and areas for clans / societies / festivals who do not currently have their own site. All these things will come soon. Be Strong. Put a Kilt On. -kt
  14. 4 points
    In honor of the passing of our brother Turpin, I've created a new member group Brother Eternal and a Merchant Emeritus titles for our brothers and sisters who have taken their final journey on this earth. For security purposes I've disabled pretty much everything so their wisdom and wit can be enjoyed without fear of their accounts being hacked. thank you for respecting our honored brethren who are no longer with us.
  15. 4 points
    I clicked because I thought It said Boobs!
  16. 4 points
    Several members (who shall remain anonymous) were in the midst of planning a minion uprising, but your return thwarted their dastardly scheme. Other than that, everything is just peachy-keen.
  17. 4 points
    Everyone assumes at first that mine is dinosaur related. (It kind of IS in an incredibly tenuous & convoluted way but that's another story!) In fact, my name came about due to my time doing rescue work with birds of prey (raptors), along with keeping them as pets. I absolutely love them, in particular the falcons.
  18. 4 points
    My favorite on me is one I designed myself years ago. My next tat will be words just under him. Stand on the foundation of God Focus your life to be like Jesus Allow the Spirit to release your arrow to your target.
  19. 4 points
    ( I posted it here on facebook if you want to share it: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151326898777680&set=t.575352679&type=3&theater )
  20. 4 points
    Happy 61st birthday, Douglas Adams. My towel is ready.
  21. 4 points
    New, today: My family crest/pseudo-clan badge. The shield & bird are normally white, but my skin doesn't accept white ink well. The Latin translates as: "Across all time" The bird is a sander, a common bird. The Roman # IV represents that I am son number 4. On my upper arm, above my Celtic knot/cross. (I prefer stark and simplistic ink)
  22. 4 points
    yesterday the kids and I went to wal-mart to get a cement mixer matchbox car. the walmart in question happened to be over 100 miles away. We go on random trips like this all the time...is kinda fun. Anyway, I wore my MacTavish 1850 variant tank and wyvern sporran. Three different lasses complimented me on the kilt, one gushed over it, and a fifth stopped me to get a pic to prove to her friends "that someone still had pride". The best part of the entire trip: sitting on the couch after the kids were asleep, knowing we all had fun doing nothing more than driving to walmart for a single matchbox car.
  23. 4 points
    As a kiltie, change is an accepted fact of life. Most of us made the choice to change our clothing, which in turn is followed by a change in lifestyle. There are many aspects of being kilted which are not normally found among the non-kilted, like sporran management and pleat checking. In making the choice to change, embracing the kilt, we also change our social status. We unintentionally become of font of knowledge, being asked every manner of questions. This choice to wear the kilt puts us squarely in the limelight no matter where we are. Choosing to wear the kilt is a major and bold change. Do not tread this lightly, but when you do, enjoy all the benefits you will reap from joining the ranks of the kilted! *****do not repost without a link to this page***** Get your own copy of Kiltology here! http://www.kiltology.com
  24. 4 points
    And this is a happy day..Why??????
  25. 4 points
    Do you have a different Decemeber 7th then the rest of us? If so, please share.