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Reflections in a kilt

About the blog

This weblog is mainly to describe slices-of-life in a kilt and with the objective, of course, that more men shall make the kilt a valuable addition to their wardrobe.

The more we are the easier it is.

How much kilt can you get for £16.95?

Kilt wearing Posted on Mon, July 22, 2019 07:50:28

I have decided to find out. Tartanista in London is selling their “Value kilt” range at prices starting at £16.95. In order to have it that cheap, you must be pretty slim, however. A 30” waistline isn’t much for a grown up man. Two inches more and you are two pounds up. And from 34” through 42” the price is 22.95. That’s probably where most of customers are. For men of some substance, between 44” and 48” you have to pay one pound more and when ii cannot be larger, at 50”, the kilt shall cost you £24.95. But still, less than £25 for a kilt is cheap, whatever the size.

Yesterday I ordered it.

Tartanista I know already. I have bought a few sporrans from them. And they have been good and cheap. And I have bought a Tartanista forest green kilt many years ago. To the price it was fine. I haven’t used it very much, however. It was to the tight side. When buying other off-the peg kilts ordering them one size down has always given a better fit. This time I have followed Tartanista’s sizing instructions, so let’s see.

What made me interested in ordering a new kilt was the fact that the Tartanista Value kilts you can now have shorter and longer than the otherwise standardized 24”. Well, only in one tartan, Black Watch, but a start it is. Mine to come is 22” short.

I know already that this kilt shall involve a compromise. The pleats are – according to the pictures – not sewn down. And nowhere are they told to be. And therefore they shall not be, I’m sure. No doubt, the sewing down process is time consuming and cost ineffective and contradicting a starting price of just 16.95 British pounds.
I never had a kilt without sewn-down pleats. How obvious shall it be that it has not? Shall it make a difference on windy days? I’m going to find out.

How about accuracy of the pleating? Black Watch is probably not the most difficult of tartans when it comes to arrange the pleats to the sett. But again, let’s see.

And the fabric itself? Shall it feel nice? Look nice (enough)? In seven to ten days I’ll know. And I’m going to tell you.

How many are actually going commando under kilts?

Kilt wearing Posted on Fri, June 22, 2018 09:17:34

Commando or not?

The never ending question, but in fact there is an indication in a YouGov research from 2016, according to which no less than 45 per cent of Scottish men voting for independence in the 2014 referendum stated that they ‘go commando’; whereas 32 per cent of those voting No will do.
Under the condition that the 45/55 result for independence also applies to men; it means that almost 38% of Scottish men should go commando under kilt – and nothing being said about frequency – at least sometimes.

Shooting oneself in the foot?

Kilt wearing Posted on Sun, June 17, 2018 07:39:00

A quality kilt, sewn by a Scottish kiltmaker shall last you a lifetime; and it might go on to generations.

Something like this is what you often see when looking for a kilt.

No doubt, it is thought to be an argument justifying a high investment in a kilt. But should it really make sense to you as a customer?

Well, if you keep your size all life and the kilt shall not only fit next generation but also be interesting for a son or grandson to wear; it may. But how likely is it? Don’t forget the importance of the correct fitting when having your kilt made exactly to your measures. And the very thought of caring for your precious kilt might probably mean that you should only use it at few and very special occasions.

But is it a clever argument from the perspective of the kiltmaker, then? No. It is an extremely bad one, in fact; at least a most short-sighted one. Could you imagine a manufacturer of anything else being interesting in selling no more than one of his products to the same customer – and his heirs?
Like me, I’m rather convinced that you cannot.

And, somehow absurdly, even the cheapest kilt, worn only twice a year could serve you a lifetime and be handed over to next generation. It wouldn’t look as good as that fine and expensive kilt. It would never have. But that is quite another story.

A “from” price should be a “from” price

Kilt wearing Posted on Thu, June 07, 2018 11:40:55

Two years ago a 5 yard made to measure James Morrison kilt by Heritage of Scotland was to buy from £151. On most tartans there was an additional charge, but in the most common tartans £151 would do.

Today the James Morrison brand has disappeared but Heritage of Scotland are still offering five yard kilts made to measure. Now, however, prices start at £200. But you can hardly find a tartan without an additional charge. At least I have not been able to. They are £30 or far more extra.

Companies are free to take the price for their products they want to and to increase prices as much as they want to. But I find it rather questionable if a “from” price is pure theory.

Why this dramatic price increase on Scottish kilts?

Kilt wearing Posted on Thu, June 07, 2018 11:06:23

During the last couple of years prices on kilts made in Scotland have increased rather dramatically. Perhaps the vendors are trying to compensate for the drop in the British pound since the country decided to leave the European Union? This, however, makes no sense to me, as it is to believe that the wool comes from Scotland, and that wages to Scottish kilt makers have not increased that much.

You might remember that a few years ago some Scottish kilt manufacturers demanded that only kilts made by skilled Scottish kiltmakers in Scotland and from Scottish wool should be allowed to be called kilts.

Prices on imported Pakistani made cheap kilts have not gone up, which should have been the consequence.

I don’t understand it.

Too long no activity

Kilt wearing Posted on Thu, June 07, 2018 10:47:02

I just realized that it is almost two years ago since anything has happened on this blog. And I only have myself to blame. To those of you who have followed it I can only say that I’m sorry. And that I’ll try to revitalize the blog. My interest in kilts and kilt wearing hasn’t gone. Rather the opposite. There hardly is a day where I’m not out and about in a kilt. And very often kilted means 24/7.

Improved web designs

Kilt wearing Posted on Tue, July 05, 2016 11:07:56

Just a few years ago I complained about kilt makers’ and vendors’ pretty bad web sites.

Well, still some are looking most old fashioned, but most sites have obviously been renewed, resulting in a better design and improved functionality.

A site that has really impressed me is the new Heritage of home page. Not that their old web site was ever bad, far from, but the new one is definitely more stylish, and then it gives a lot of information on kilts, tartans, clans etc. Add to that it is as easy as never before to order a kilt according to your measures.

Only one thing could need a revision: When ordering a kilt you might get the impression that you have only 10 (most popular) or 20 (view all) tartans to choose from. And that is not the case.

There are in fact no less than 1.500 tartans on their tartan list. But if your are looking for a nice tartan you must know the name of it (not all customers have their one and only tartan) – or be inspired somewhere else, like on The Scottish Register of Tartans site – and then return to the Heritage pf Scotland site to check the price.

It is a little bit complicated. Much better, it would be, could you have tartans on display, sorted by letter or colour(s).

My old kilt

Kilt wearing Posted on Wed, June 29, 2016 16:37:24

”Do you know, this kilt must be nearly 20 years old?” I a couple of days told my wife.
And it must be, not being my first kilt, but one of the first ones.

“It still looks very nice”, she answered and added “I think tartans, like this, not too colorful look the best.”

I had on my four yard wool kilt in Ramsay Blue tartan, meaning a rather subdued blue, black and a thin white stripe.

The picture above, showing me in my Ramsay tartan kilt is a few months old

So now having got a clue I might perhaps think of buying myself a new kilt in a somewhat subdued tartan. What a pleasant occupation look for a suitable one.

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