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  1. #1
    Join Date
    24th January 18
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    Public acceptance of kilts?

    I bought a couple of kilts primarily for hiking since I had read how comfortable they are and how common it is becoming. I attended the Long's Peak Scottish-Irish Festival in Estes Park and saw a ton of guys in kilts there, giving me the courage to try it. The first part is true, it is more comfortable than pants or shorts. But I have yet to see another person on a trail wearing a kilt. And I see a lot of people who won't make eye contact or who subtly avoid me, like taking their time to let me get further ahead. I have had two young guys ask about the kilt and what kind it was, so there is some hope. But I have found most men are uncomfortable walking toward me on a trail, while women seem to be more accepting and will make eye contact and say hi. I guess they "get it" since they wear skirts and also enjoy the ventilation "down there".

    If you wear a kilt while hiking, what has been your experience? And how about public places like gas stations and grocery stores? Are people more accepting where you live than what I have found around here? I do think some of it is location. I have hiked trails near Estes Park where people have spoken to me and made eye contact the most. When I hike south of Denver in Castlewood Canyon State Park I get more people avoiding me.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    6th July 07
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    In all honesty what else do you expect? You are wearing a garment that is beyond the ken of most and those that might have a wee tad of knowledge about the kilt expect it to be worn in Scotland.

    Perhaps as a beginner in kilt attire you might also be super sensitive to the vibes given off by others and perhaps, you may also be misinterpreting some of those vibes?
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 24th January 18 at 03:36 PM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    27th October 09
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    I've done a lot of hiking/backpacking/camping in a kilt, although usually it's a canvas Utilikilt that doesn't look like a traditional tartan kilt. So it's not quite the same thing in terms of public reaction. But to be honest, I have never had any sort of noticeable reaction to my kilt, either positive or negative, on the trail. People just say hi as they pass, or stare straight ahead just like they do when I'm wearing shorts or trousers.

    I think Jock Scot is right that it's easy to be hypersensitive to it when you're in the first months or years of wearing it. After that, you stop looking to see peoples' facial expressions, sideways glances, etc.

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    3rd June 15
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    You’re hiking, you’re exercising and stayin fit, you’re enjoying yourself.

    I think any perceived reactions says more about those people than about you.

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  9. #5
    Join Date
    24th January 18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    In all honesty what else do you expect? You are wearing a garment that is beyond the ken of most and those that might have a wee tad of knowledge about the kilt expect it to be worn in Scotland.

    Perhaps as a beginner in kilt attire you might also be super sensitive to the vibes given off by others and perhaps, you may also be misinterpreting some of those vibes?
    You are probably right, I am probably being self conscious and looking for something that isn't there. I should go hiking again at the same location in pants and try to be just as observant. I will probably find the same reactions.

    I hope as more of us get out there in kilts it will become more "normal" and more guys will wear them. I did have two guys ask about mine so there is a chance I could see them out there in kilts one day.

    Thanks for the responses!
    Last edited by MacKenzieKlan; 24th January 18 at 03:51 PM.
    --
    Steve ..........................o`\o

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  11. #6
    Join Date
    3rd November 08
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    When you get good reactions from people who you know and trust, your confidence will grow and you will be less careful concerned with what others think.
    I go walking in mine all the tine. i’m not aware that people avoid me. Comments are few and generally favourable.

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  13. #7
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    Most folks are on the streets or in cars, on the Iphone. The hikers are out of the norm for the general public. You have taken it one step further by wearing a kilt. The other members that hike and run kilted will chime in and tell you all about the benefits. As the public becomes aware of the difference (as you have discovered) in kilted verses shorts or pants, you will become the voice of experience they may rely on.

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  15. #8
    Join Date
    24th September 04
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    Victoria, BC Canada 48° 25' 47.31"N 123° 20' 4.59" W
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    I wear a kilt everyday. I wear them everywhere.

    With that said I am also a member of the most reviled demographic in the world. I am a gray haired white male. If I were to dress in trousers no one would pay any attention to me. I would blend into the background of any street. No one makes eye contact and heaven forbid I am to bump into a female.

    In a kilt and everything changes. I can and do say hi to people one the street and people, even women say hi back. They smile.

    I have found a kilt to be the biggest ice breaker. Even if someone does not know me they can ask what my Tartan is.

    I have even had young ladies in our local mall try to pick me up with my wife standing right next to me.

    So, would I wear a kilt hiking? You bet.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner


  16. #9
    Join Date
    21st May 08
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    Inverness-shire, Scotland & British Columbia, Canada
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    Ah, Steve my friend, you only forgot your pony-tail and stare . Those get it down to the brasses every time.

    Jock and Jack_Carrick are right, too. Those of us who have worn the kilt all our lives long-ago ceased to be conscious of what we were wearing and at sometime/somewhere/somehow placed all the emphasis on who it was we were meeting or greeting; that no doubt got us beyond any self-consciousness years ago. Don't look for reactions or responses from others and then value what you are wearing on those.

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  18. #10
    Join Date
    8th September 16
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    It's rather interesting, living in the Washington DC area, you get so many ethnic traditional dress, especially from the middle east. Recently, I sold my house, to prepare for retirement, plan to move to another area of the country in a year or two, and moved into an apartment complex only a few miles from the Washington DC line. Many ethic people in the complex, mainly Korean, Middle Eastern and Indian with Sikhs. So the wearing of their native dress is common. Only thing I hate is the smell of curry that seems to make its presence known.

    I have grown use to seeing in the apartment complex and local shopping areas many walking about with worry beads, many Middle Eastern men wearing the Thawb, or Dishdasha: that long white tunic, and the headscarf, thekeffieh, with a cotton cable, think its called the Aghal. While more and more women are seen wearing burqas, including the AL-AMIRA: a two-piece veil, SHAYLA: it is a one-piece veil or the hijab is a headscarf. Then you have Indians wearing women win sarees with head scarfs, and men wearing the tunics and Sikhs wearing tunics and turbans.

    Not to even mention people from Africa, Viet Nam, China, and other countries in that area. But, when I wear my kilt, people stare at me as an oddity. They actually believe you are cross-dressing. I have worn my kilt in the apartment complex going to a Scottish events only to have a several people from both Nigerian, Indian, and Saudi Arabia ask me if. "I was doing transgender". I had to explain, the Saudi told me he felt foolish after I told him I was Scottish the other just said Oh that's nice, Nigerian said, "I believe that is very British of you." Ironically, its the Americans, who do look twice, or make any comments, but from my experience I get many looks, not imagined but true, from Middle Easterners and Indians. People from Korea, Viet Nam and China think its very honorable to dress as your ancestors....

    Just find it amusing, and does not really bother me, maybe I am educating a few of our Scottish Heritage.
    Last edited by CollinMacD; 25th January 18 at 05:52 AM.
    Allan Collin MacDonald III
    Grandfather - Clan Donald, MacDonald (Clanranald) /MacBride, Antigonish, NS, 1791
    Grandmother - Clan Chisholm of Strathglass, West River, Antigonish, 1803
    Scottish Roots: Knoidart, Inverness, Scotland, then to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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