I wonder what our Celtic ancestors would say about Utilikilts.
The Utilikilt is a rugged modern take on the Celtic kilt. The garment - made in Seattle by the company of the same name - adds a twist of practicality to the traditional kilt. Made with tough fabric and accessories such as cargo pockets and a hammer loop, the garment has attracted customers ranging from marine biologists to construction workers, who often point to the comfort factor as their reason for donning the pleats. About 12,000 kilts are sold each year, said Steven Villegas, the company's founder and owner.
They've become a common sight around Seattle - especially in funkier neighborhoods and at the city's many alternative cultural events - and are often worn with chunky black boots.
Cari Maciolek bought one as an anniversary gift for her husband, who works in construction and whom she described as a "big kind of guy." "You have to be a tough guy to be able to pull it off," Maciolek said.
Advocates of the more traditional Scottish tartan kilts are not so sure. Robert Laeger-Robertson, president of the Southwest Washington Scottish Highlanders Association, likes the idea. "It presents the functionality of a kilt and it promotes the Celtic tradition," Laeger-Robertson said.
But David Garman, president of the Scottish American Athletic Association, based in Los Angeles, says Utilikilts miss the point of the tartan colors and patterns, which represents family history and tradition.