I’ve skirted around the idea for years, but I’m glad I finally got to wear a kilt. The Scots have been wearing them for centuries, and fashion had reinterpreted the garment in a multitude of ways: heavy and black at Yohji, voluminous and tartan-plaid at Comme and Westwood, shorter and over pants at Rick. I’ve shied away from wearing skirts for the trouble of having to overcompensate and butch the outfit up with combat boots or the like, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and have a simple one tailor-made while I was in Manila for a couple of months. I was very pleased with what came out: a simple basic black skirt with the ease of big shorts; my tailor kilt it.
It really is more of a basic pleated skirt than a traditional kilt, for the lack of the fold-over, because I wanted to keep things simple in this maiden foray into legless bottoms. I had my tailor construct the skirt out of black suiting wool, zip and hook sides with a side zip, 2.5-inch pleats, and pockets. I had it measured to hang right at my hip when worn on its own, and it can hike up to my true waist when worn over pants.
Wearing a kilt for the first time was a treat. It was breezy, and very comfortable. Looking at myself in the mirror, I never felt more masculine than I did wearing this skirt: it had heft, it was strong and angular, and it showed off my calves. One thing of note though—I learned the hard way to make sure not to spread my legs while wearing it. Next time, I’ll wear shorts underneath. I’ll be donning this through the warmer months, with t-shirts and beat-up oxfords, perhaps even with a button-down and a structured jacket.
photographs by Sophia Callahan