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  1. #51
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    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
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    I'm sorry but this idea that men of old did not wear underwear, or that underwear is a modern invention, is not supported by any historical documentation.

    Human bodies leak - fact.

    In even the oldest writings we hear of men who will be engaging in physical labor "Girding their loins". This is binding up the genitals to prevent them from moving. Anyone who has run any distance or played sports without a jock strap can attest that you will hurt the next day.
    There are Greek and Roman manuals about how to dress for battle and they all include some form of using an existing under garment to bind those parts that jiggle.
    The myth that Scots of old would drop their kilts and charge into battle naked to frighten their enemies is just that - myth. Can you imagine going up against other guys with sharp swords. I for one would want as much protection around me as I could get.

    Current archaeological evidence is that undergarments, both male and female, have been around since at least the 1400's. We simple do not know what was worn before that because we do not have preserved physical artifacts. But both writings and illustrations going back long before the middle ages support that something has been worn to keep outer clothing clean since the middle kingdom of Egypt. Usually the finer and fancier the outer clothing, the more care was taken with hygiene.

    I am of the opinion that this fascination of what is worn under the kilt is partly due to it being a rare thing because everyone else was wearing something. Just because it is not written is not proof that it did not exist. It is just as likely that it was so common and well known that it did not have to be described.

    There seems to be this idea today that "real men" don't wear underwear under their kilt. Well, if that is what you need to boost your manly self image, or if you derive some sexual titillation from thinking that women want to see your junk, OK.

    But don't bring your kilt, that you have worn 'regimental', into my shop for alterations without first taking it to the cleaners. I once shot steam at a kilt that came in to be re-pressed. The smell that came up off that kilt, even after it had been dry cleaned, drove all 4 ladies that worked for me at the time, running right out into the parking lot. It was gross. The entire inner apron was permanently stained and there were stains in the back that grossed out even me. (And I spent time in the Marine Corp where we used to joke that you could get 8 days out of a single pair of underwear. 1-right side 2-inside out, 3-backwards right side out, 4-backwards inside out, And then 5-6-7-8 you swap with your buddy.)

    There is one written letter from a WWI soldier, to his friend back home, where he states that the uniform when issued included kilt and drawers. But the troops could not bathe for weeks on end and they all ended up with crab lice. So they all dispensed with the underwear and shaved. He was complaining how uncomfortable going without was, and told his friend that he could not wait until they were able to spend some time in the rear so that they could have a shower and put the underwear back on.

    If you look at some of the old kilt shop catalogs, that have been posted here, you will see that drawers as part of the kilt outfit were not only common but supplied as a unit. All you had to the decide was if you wanted them out of the same Tartan as the kilt or you wanted solid colors.

    My kilts are expensive and highly prized garments. I have more pride in myself and my investment to ruin them.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

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  3. #52
    Join Date
    18th July 07
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    Entirely agree, Steve, except that, as I suggested above, it would be better if the word "underwear" were never used in the same paragraph as the word "kilt" because the notion of a skirt is implied whereas the feileadh was an overgarment. In the days of my youth it was still quite normal for boys and indeed men to remove their kilts in public if circumstances (climbing a tree, running a race, paddling in the burn...) demanded.
    Alan

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  5. #53
    Join Date
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    An issue of semantics perhaps. I use the words as to mean -
    A kilt is indeed worn on the outside so it is outerwear. Anything worn closer to the skin would them be underwear.

    A kilt is a skirt. This forum has chosen to use the Merriam Webster dictionary as our source and Merriam Webster defines a kilt as - "a knee-length pleated skirt usually of tartan worn by men in Scotland and by Scottish regiments in the British armies." and skirt is defined as - "A free-hanging part of an outer garment or undergarment extending from the waist down."

    By this definition a kilt is worn by men but a skirt is gender neutral.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

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  7. #54
    Join Date
    18th July 07
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    The problem is, Steve, that the general public does not go around with a dictionary in its head so a skirt is seen as having female associations. If you put on a coat to go out in inclement weather, do the kilt or breeks you are wearing become "underwear". No, you are fully dressed without the coat and, in the same way, the Highlander of old was fully dressed without his feileadh.
    Alan

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  9. #55
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  10. #56
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    4th August 18
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    Next to nothing, but something still, under the kilt

    For summertime, anyone who wants minimal "safety" and "modesty" might consider the almost-paper-thin Japanese underwear (wrap loincloth) called a 100% all cotton thin modern "fundoshi" (once traditional male underwear in Japan and now being revived) available on Ebay for about $13 with shipping from Japan. Beautiful cloth, loose and almost imperceptible by the wearer but functions well in any moments when the apron might part a bit too much, as when sitting, etc. Can even be easily altered to be a front and rear panel, rather than a total wrap (but even the latter is loose and free fitting pure cotton).

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