How popular are kilts nowadays?

Depends on what kind of Kilt and region of the world you are talking about. In Scotland, where the kilt is prized, it’s only worn for certain occasions, not always special occasions. Many are handed down from many generations and others are bought with large sums of money, so these guys are not going to sit around in them, and wear as their daily clothing. 

Now in America it’s a different story. The kilt has been modified with pockets, at least mass produced to cut down on the price, and many are getting away from Scottish Tartan to become a causal kilt. It’s in response that American Kilt wearers are buying three, to five, to seven, to even 15 kilts, mostly under $500, typically around $100, but you hardly see them on the streets. Americans are buying three out of four kilts made in the world, even in Scotland, but India (who really mass produces) as well. It has gotten so crazy that Scotland has gone to the UN and wants to essentially copyright the word “Scottish Kilt” because there are so many on the market that are no where near Scotland, and many no longer look Scottish if not even near their quality, that they want to separate their kilts from the many other types and qualities. 

Just check out Utilikilt and Sport Kilt just to name a couple. I believe the last time I saw the list there were like 12 American mass producers and nearly 20 American handmakers, which in Scotland it was like 50 known handmakers to roughly two mass producers. A handmade kilt takes roughly 20 hours to make a quality kilt, and range from $400 to $1200 per kilt. 

The big difference is that Americans will wear their causal kilts all the time in their home and backyards, sometimes out in public as there are more and more “Kilt Nights” where you go out to a local Pub with local kilted guys to form in numbers not to mention all the more Celtic Festivals and Ren-Faires. But the trend is changing slowly and a good many who are buying kilts are venturing outside their homes to dare the public’s eye which can be varied, either being very positive where many want to come up and ask all kinds of questions such as where do you buy it, is it comfortable and not barring a few who have to ask what is worn with or rather under the kilt. Then you can also get negative stares, but either way a kilted guy in America is standout. 

I believe when it comes to other regions, such as native Africans who still dress like their ancestors, those from what I have seen would be more like a sarong. 

With many wanting to go back to their historical pop-culture roots, some of the Greeks and Albanians are sporting Fastenellas which is a 100% pleated garment that they wear for dancing and special occasions. All that have seen are snow-white, worn with a white shirt and then colored or black vest. 

When you get to looking at the functionality of Kilts, or man skirt-like garments for that matter, I believe most if not all early cultures had their version. It would have been the second form of clothing after animal skins, as soon as people figured out weaving animal and plant fibers. Unfortunately for curiosity most of this history is lost to the ancients we hardly know but through few clues, and for most clothing rotted unless somehow preserved in just the right conditions unlike the other implements man mad thousands of years ago. 

I can tell you as a kilted guy that besides comfort, you can walk and run in them far easier than any kind of shorts or pants. I found this out on accident hiking. On weekends I would hike 14 miles, and although I was not tired, I could tell I did some walking. I did it with one of my first kilts just proud of my kilt, and at the end of the 14 miles I was like, I could do 14 more because I did not feel a thing. Anything you wrap any kind of fabric, even loose fitting, there is going to be some slight resistance and drag. Of course not all kilts are the same, I did that same hike with a retired heavyweight that I damaged, and on a cool morning I could feel the weight on my legs, but those Scottish kilts are heavy, but I will say surprisingly warm which I learned that you never wear in summer time. 

So if running and distance is a factor, a good light weight skirt is best, had you had to chase your dinner down or fight for your survival, the kilt would be a better garment. Just look at some of the earlier societies that their versions such as the Romans and even the Egyptians.

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