May 10, 2005

Real Men Change Diapers Or They Wear Kilts, But They Don't Do Both?

workman-utilikilt.jpgUntil I saw them again on the Nano-Tex site, I'd forgotten completely about Utilikilts, the heavy duty (canvas, twill, denim, leather, or camo) "unbifurcated garment" of choice among Seattle's manliest bikers and construction workers.

Utilikilts have deep pockets for holding tools or beer--don't forget the beer. [Hopefully not at the same time. Safety first, after all.] The Workman, left, has extra pockets and a tool hook, room enough to do away with a toolbelt altogether. [It also comes with a "modesty snap" standard, for which the guy at the bottom of the ladder thanks you.]

It's such a manly garment, and it apparently gets men who wear them so much play, they could be called Virilikilts. Yet for all this enlightened he-man talk, and the supposed health benefits of lettin' the boys hang free under there, judging by the testimonials and the photo galleries, no one's ever had the balls to load his kilt up with diapers and wipes, bottles and Cheerios and taken the kid for the day.

If you think that sounds like a challenge, Kiltboy, you're damn right.

Utilikilts, $125-$230 (add $25 for "beer gut cut"), or $700 for leather, which doesn't sound very utili- to me []

[update: Apparently, UK Dads aren't the types to let a challenge go unanswered. Click here for The Correction: Dads In Kilts.]


I own a kilt. I have to say that only the very silly don't wear boxers under them.

Imagine if you will: hot day + sensitive nether regions + wool + friction (sporans are not light, even when empty) = extreme discomfort.

I own the basic model, and no, I haven't taken it out with the kid. Mostly since I moved from a place I felt comfortable wearing the kilt to a place where I definitely do not feel comfortable. I don't want Buckette to see Pops beaten for a outfit he bought due to his increasing girth (let's face it, 90% of utilikilts are for beefy guys).

What are you talking about Greg? Are you nuts? As a father I couldn't live without my UKs! Let me point out the following:

A) When my wife delieved there was a full moon, about 35 other women came in the same night and the ward was chaos. But, guess who was wearing his UK when we went to the hospital? For 3 days we were there, and EVERY SINGLE NURSE IN THE HOSPITAL knew exactly who I was. We got excellent service because while other dads stood there unnoticed in the hustle and bustled I stood right out. No matter what you think about kilts you have to admit one thing, people don't forget you, and no place is that more useful than a busy hospital.

B) My daughter loves to grab the pleats (she's 18m now) and when I sit down cross-legged it makes a nice little seat for her.

C) The cargo pockets on my NeoTrad and Workmans are perfect for baby gear. The NeoTrads more flexable (and comfortable) making it best for hauling gear, but the stiffness of the workmans means you don't have to freak out when a gust a wind comes by and your holding your child, unable to hold your kilt down. So you choose which kilt based on the conditions. In my NeoTrad I can easily put an Avent 10oz bottle, extra Onesey, 2 pacifiers, and a wad of napkins in one pocket, and then wallet, keys, and a sweater in the other. Especially when you go to the beach its handy not to have to haul stuff, since your already gonna be chasing the kids, so having a garment that is flexable, comfortable, fun for them, but also stylish, manly, and extremely efficient is awesome.

I made sure to get a really kool baby carrier for her early on, so I got this really kool black-and-silver front carrier that looks like tactical US Ranger gear, which looks kool with my kilts but also has another pocket for a pacifier (can't have too many) or hairclips, but also has some loops on the straps for radios (I'm also a HAM). Uber-kool.

Besides that, daddy gets to point out all the morons who make naughty comments about daddy outside. Honestly, the skirt comments get old some times, but the benifits far outweigh it, and besides that I get more possitive comments than negative honestly, I just tend to notice the negative more, and sadly every time you hear laughing you think its aimed at your, which generally it isn't, your just overly sensative. Even still, most people can't argue with the following two statements:
1) "Okey, Anatomy 101, stop and think, men have a ... up there, and women don't. Hmmmm. Now, look at pants. Think those were intended for men? Well, maybe men build anatomically like you, but... " (then just laugh at them as they realize you've got something they don't.)
2) "Its not a skirt, its a kilt. Is a muslim wearing a 'towel' or a turbin? Wanna make fun of him too?" (This works on liberal people really well because they'll get offended big time that you called a turbin a towel or rag (which they should) and either think twice about being so idiotic or try and weasle their way out of it. You can substite turbins for any other ethic dress that people get made fun of for but is now considered PC for one reason or another.)

I love the come-backs Ben!

Recently I had a kid call my UK a "dress" and I told him, "If you don't know the difference between a _dress_ and a _kilt_, either you need to go to summer school or maybe travel some.. get out and see the world and maybe you will realize everyone else does not have to dress just like you. Do you want people telling you how to dress, what to wear?" He replied, "No." I said, "Then don't think it is cool to do it to other people."

I had a woman ask me "Are you trying to look like a woman in that skirt?" (pointing at my UK) asked her if she was trying to look like a man in her pants. She replied, "Both women and men can wear pants, but men should only wear pants, unless they are gay cross-dresser." Then I asked her if she was a Christian and if she had ever seen a picture of Jesus in pants or if she thought Jesus was a gay cross-dresser. She replied, "My religion is none of your damned business!" I responded, "Well I don't remember asking for your opinion on my kilt, but you made it your damned business to say something to me about it, didn't you?" She walked away in a huff and came back later and said she was sorry.

Those are my only two bad run-ins. I have gotten lots more positive feedback, nice comments, flirting, thumbs up and high fives! The good definitely outweighs the bad!

I started a new website.
Now when people ask why I'm wearing a kilt, I just tell them.. "Jeeze, didn't you know it is Kilt Day today? Go to and see for yourself!"

~Mark in CA

I am the proud father of a little boy, born 11/5/2004. I wear my UK whenever I can - which means 1) not at work and 2) when it's clean (or at least not too dirty). I have found that the UK's cargo pockets are great for extra tissues and such things. I've done the Avent bottle in the pocket, too, but generally we have a diaper bag around for such stuff.

I didn't wear it on the day he was born, as it wouldn't have fit in the little paper suit they made me wear in the O.R. (my wife had a C-section), but I wore it on the days after that. I probably got some extra attention but nothing too great. Suffice to say it was fun answering some of the dumb questions (example: the staff pediatrician asking "is that a game-day thing?" - our hospital is Ohio State University's).

I wore a real (wool tartan) kilt to my sister's wedding... and had the tissues in the sporran for my boy there, too (my wife was IN the wedding so I had baby duty. The one request I got from my sister was that I wear underwear... which I tried to ignore but my wife wouldn't let me. Man, what is it with chicks and weddings? ;)

I've found that in Columbus, where I live, most folks who don't understand it simply don't say anything. I've never gotten a negative comment about it. In fact, I've had a couple of women tell me that it's very masculine and that it takes a real man to wear a kilt. Of course, my wife has a t-shirt that says "Real Men Don't Wear Pants" so I have that going for me.

The one snide comment I got was from my brother who asked why I was wearing a skirt. My answer: "Some of us need the extra room." I then glanced at his jeans. "You must not." That shut him up.

I'm a proud father of twins (one girl and one boy) who were born 7 weeks early, on April 7, 2005. I have been a constant Utilikilt-wearer since February of 2004 - no pants or shorts since then, ever or anywhere! I like to think that wearing the kilt was responsible for my increased virility - since nobody else in our family has had fraternal twins, it's entirely possible. At least I know that my "boys" are healthy. :)

In the weeks leading up to the birth of our children, I was regularly visiting my wife in the maternity wing during her prolonged bed-rest. I wore a Utilikilt every day, on every visit. The doctors and nurses eventually got used to it. I also wore my kilts every time we visited our babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. Nobody had any problems.

Unlike the previous poster, I did wear my kilt into the O.R. for delivery. The nurses did their best to stuff my legs into a paper outfit, but the kilt stayed on. (Maybe there's something about hairy legs in an operating room that is an issue for them.)

However, I must admit that I don't wear my kilt all the time at home for parenting tasks. For these casual hours I usually wear one of my sweatskirts, which I converted from old pairs of sweatpants. Nothing beats the casual feel of a soft, warm, and relaxed sweatskirt for changing diapers, bathing babies, mixing formula, and cleaning up around the house.

I also work full-time at a large computer company in Oregon, and wear my 3 Utilikilts full-time to work. Noboby gives me any grief about it. In fact, I get positive comments all the time, at work and out in public. :)

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