Monday, February 1, 2016

“So why the kilt?”

It’s the question I hear the most when I’m wearing a kilt, on a bike or off. Sometimes it’s called a skirt, or a dress. But folks are always curious, even if they’re not always polite. So here are my Top Five Answers:

5. It’s my heritage. Ok, this is a bit of a stretch. Only my great-grandmother was a MacDonald, so that’s not much of a claim to Scottish identity, as it makes me about one-thirty-second Scottish. And to be honest, I find the MacDonald tartan somewhat ugly, at least in the base version.

4. I split pants like Ron Jeremy. I’m 6’5” tall, with a 36” inseam, and a waist that varies between 38 and 42”. Finding pants that fit is literally a pain in the ass. Pants that look good aren't comfortable. Pants that are comfortable don't look good. A pair of Dockers or Levi’s may look fine, but I can’t pop a squat without busting a crotch. I can spend eighty or a hundred bucks on a pair of pants, only to have them rip apart the second or third time I wear them. Because of my thick, muscular thighs, pants that fit in the waist don’t fit in the legs. And pants that are loose enough in the legs usually fall off my waist. Baggy sweatpants and camouflage, battle-dress-uniform (or “cammies”) feel good, but they look sloppy. Specialty manufacturers sell trousers with diamond-gusseted crotches, but they’re hard to find and pricey.

3. I’ve got the legs for it. I bike and walk every day. I’ve got tight thighs and bulging calves. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. I get compliments on my kilts every day I wear them, and that feels pretty darn good.

2. Riding a bike is hard on pants. I’ve blown out the crotch on too many pairs of pants, throwing my leg over the saddle. I’ve caught the cuffs in the chain, and torn the knees when crashing. There are more knickers on the market now than there once were, and yoga pants (not leggings) are also comfy on the bike. But the number one reason I wear a kilt is…

1. Comfort. My kilts are comfy on the bike and off. They’re cool when it’s hot, and warm when it’s cold. They don’t bind or chafe my legs and nether regions. I don’t get cramps in my back from belts tightened too much to keep up sagging pants. 

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