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  1. #1
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    16th November 11
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    Black Stewart Stillwater Thrifty Kilt first impressions

    Hey folks, I haven't been around here much lately. but this winter's unrelenting cold and snow have gotten me thinking ahead to warmer days, and last week I made an impulse purchase of a Stillwater Thrifty kilt in Black Stewart to add to my knock around the house rotation. True to reputation, it shipped very quickly; ordered Thursday night, shipped Friday morning. For some reason (absolutely no fault of Stillwater's) the USPS sent it from Minnesota to Massachusetts by way of San Francisco, so my 2-3 day jones wound up being more like 5. Even so - that's a pretty quick jones!

    I haven't taken any photos yet but I did open it up and try it on, and have to say: it's a pretty good deal for $36 shipped. You'd probably spend at least that much on the fabric alone if you tried to source it yourself. It has its limitations and I would not recommend it as someone's first/only kilt (save up a little more and get a Standard model, or a made-to-measure USA Kilts casual if you're on a limited budget) but it's really pretty impressive for the price, and will be just the thing to wear around the house this summer.

    Material
    The acrylic fabric feels a little bit lighter and more loosely woven than polyviscose, and I can already tell that it's going to pill. But it should breathe nicely in warmer weather. The colors are definitely modern, a little more vibrant than they appear on the web site.

    Construction
    The fabric has a clean selvedge, so there's no hem. I got a medium (34-37") expecting it to be a little bit snug at exactly 34", and that turned out to be spot on. The drop is 24 inches - a little bit long in my case but I don't mind the extra rise, and probably won't bother to hem it myself. The pleats are stitched at the waistband, and there is also some kind of interfacing or stiffener right at the waist to give it a little support and structure. As has been noted elsewhere, the pleats are not stitched down to the fell. What this means is that the pleats have no built-in taper, and instead they naturally distribute themselves as they fall over your rump. I haven't worn it long enough to get a sense of how that holds up or feels long term; I have a feeling they might lose definition and start to look a little unruly over time. I will probably calculate the correct pleat width and fell length for my hips and stitch them down myself, should be an evening's work. The apron shaping looks pretty good from the front, and overall it looks like a kilt.

    I'm well pleased and have a feeling this won't be my last purchase from Stillwater.
    Last edited by usonian; 26th March 15 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Typo

  2. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to usonian For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Join Date
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    I see the description states, "fully pleated." Does that mean knife pleat? Let us see some photos when you get to that point please. Maybe after some use to show how it holds up.

  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Yes, my medium size has 12 knife pleats, each about 1.5 inches wide (and I would say about 1.5 inches deep as well, but I haven't measured). By "Fully pleated" I expect they mean that the pleats are formed all the way from the waist to the bottom edge, versus some of the weird configurations I've seen on cheapo kilts where the waistband and/or fell are a separate piece of tartan sewn on the bias. Check out BuchananBiker's shots of his Buchanan Thrifty Kilt from a few years back (including a good pleat shot which was what sold me: )

    http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...ew-kilt-75242/
    Last edited by usonian; 26th February 15 at 06:17 PM. Reason: typo

  5. #4
    Join Date
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    It finally (barely) thawed enough for me to throw the Thrifty kilt on for a while the other day. Still no photos, but a couple more notes: Although this kilt does have pleats adjacent to the aprons, they are very shallow; not the deep pleats you would find in a more traditional kilt. This means there's a little less overall freedom of motion in those areas; not drastic, but noticeable. I probably wouldn't go hiking in this kilt.

    I haven't made up my mind with regards to sewing down the pleats along the fell. The way the pleats hang on the sides as they go around your hips, they'd want to be pinned in place with the garment on as they're at a fairly pronounced angle compared to the pleats in the back.

    The acrylic fabric seems a little more wrinkle-prone than poly viscose; it remains to be seen how much touching up it will need after a gentle wash and hang dry. Very comfortable! I've got my eye on a MacKenzie next. (An affiliation even further back in the family tree than my Munro connection.)

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