Can a femme wear a utilikilt?

Or would that just ruin it for everyone?

Seriously, though: I am grooving on the objectification thread over at Pandagon* (except, funnily enough, for the guy wearing the kilt, who looks like he’s posing for the cover of The Virginal British Heiress and the Glowering But Tender-Hearted Scottish Laird), and wondering why I’ve seen so few women–even butches–in kilts of any kind. What gives? Lack of nostalgia? I mean, think of all the fun you could pack into all those pockets.


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24 comments for “Can a femme wear a utilikilt?

  1. July 26, 2007 at 6:59 am

    I know that guy! That’s Crash Happy. I camped with him at Burning Man last year. He’s a swell chap.

  2. July 26, 2007 at 9:06 am

    The more ruining the better, I say!

  3. B.D.
    July 26, 2007 at 9:25 am

    It doesn’t ruin it at all. I live in Seattle, home of the utilikilt and am a proud owner of a couple of those garments. All types are invited to wear them.

  4. GreyLadyBast
    July 26, 2007 at 9:44 am

    I sincerely hope Femmes can wear Utilitkilts, as I’ve decided I need basically one of everything from them. Well, when/if I can ever afford it.


  5. Tricia(freya)
    July 26, 2007 at 10:13 am

    I want one myself… of course I’m one of those equal opportunity pagan types, where everyone is welcome to wear sarongs and/or kilts at the festivals I attend.

  6. B.D.
    July 26, 2007 at 10:19 am

    I should note that I was fitted for my Utilikilts by a Femme in the main store. When I pulled up at the place with my partner, we noted that a man was up on a ladder in his Utilikilt (modesty snap in place) fixing a sign. He directed us to the door. The staff were very friendly and offered to fit my partner, but she wasn’t interested in it.

  7. July 26, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Oh absolutely, yes, femmes *can* wear utilikilts. And I’ve seen it a couple of times. Hawt.

    But it doesn’t carry the same visual transgressive power it does when a man wears one. Because femmes are traditionally expected to wear dresses, the visual punch packed by a femme in a utilikilt isn’t as WHAMMO! as when a man wears one.

    Now WE know better, of course. Because how twisted and hot is it for someone to take her gender identity (femme) and deliberately turn it around and take a garment traditionally associated with transgressing *masculinity* and making it her own?

    Gender identities. Yum.

  8. mythago
    July 26, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Butches in Utilikits? There goes MY productivity for the day. Thanks heaps.

    And kind of what Peggy Sue said–nothing *wrong* with anyone wearing a Utilikilt, obviously, but it would be just another skirt.

  9. July 26, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    there’s utilikilts, and then there’s actual traditional tartan kilts with the leather buckled straps; and then there’s the ones that are kinda too small. yep, i know a dom F who wears one, to great effect.

    we are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

  10. oudemia
    July 26, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    I used to wear a regular-old kilt with a tatty sweater and combat boots in high school sometimes, and it just came across like I was being uncharacteristically preppy I think.

  11. Ab_Normal
    July 26, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    dang it, now you’ve got me pondering a corset + utilikilt combination (already have the corset…)

  12. July 26, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    how paradoxical?

  13. William
    July 26, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    I love my utilikilt, but I’d have to agree with the poster who said that it wouldn’t have the same effect on a femme. Part of the appeal of the utilikilt (for me at least) is that it manages to break taboo (the transgressive effect Peggy Sue mentioned) while at the same time tapping into something primitive and macho. Somehow this ridiculous pleated school-girl skirt sized for a guy became a symbol of manliness and confidence once I put it on. The utilikilt’s whole marketing campaign seems to play on this aggressive trangression, the whole “I-dare-you-to-call-it-a-skirt” mentality. Without all the psychology and the totemic aspects, it just seems like another piece of clothing.

  14. Lauren S
    July 26, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Being a somewhat femme person covetous of utilikilts, and having actually tried on a utilikilt, I have to say that they look best on folks with thick, muscular calves. If your legs are slender (like mine), the juxtaposition with the rugged utilikilt looks kind of ridiculous (in my opinion – could very well be someone’s cup of tea though).

  15. sadie_sabot
    July 26, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    hmmm, what about a sorta-kinda butch? I *never* wear dresses or skirts but am not quite butch, but when i look at utilikilts I’m tempted. It’s like the skirt version of Carhart’s…not so excited by men in them, though, probably because I like my men to be at least a bit fey, and utilikilts are so, so macho.

  16. July 26, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    Another female utilikilt-wearer here. :)

  17. July 26, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    I have looked at Utilikilts at their display area at several SF cons, and know several people who own and wear them (no women though), and was tempted, really tempted, until I gave up on trying to figure how to afford one. //sigh//

  18. sophonisba
    July 26, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Somehow this ridiculous pleated school-girl skirt sized for a guy became a symbol of manliness and confidence once I put it on.

    The utilikilt’s whole marketing campaign seems to play on this aggressive trangression,

    So…what’s the transgressive part then?

    the whole “I-dare-you-to-call-it-a-skirt” mentality

    It’s a skirt.

    I realize that most people don’t wear it for any other reason than that it’s cute, which is great, but I think the baseline for manly transgression here requires having the balls, if you will, to acknowledge that what you’re wearing is, in fact, a skirt. Even if it is important to you that it be a primitive and macho skirt.

  19. sophonisba
    July 26, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    Also: are there any skirts explicitly designed for a woman’s body that have actual useful working pockets, like the utilikilt does? Because I am resigned to the fact that if you want durable trousers with useful, deep pockets, your best bet is the men’s department, but the idea that a woman who wants a decent skirt,, of all things, still has to shop on the men’s side — well, I’ll do it if I have to, but it’s particularly galling. (And can you get them without the crotch-framing rivets? Because WTF.)

  20. Tricia(freya)
    July 27, 2007 at 10:17 am

    sophonisba: I have no idea what size you are or your “style,” but Lane Bryant had some awesome “cargo” skirts a couple of seasons ago (I still see them on ebay occasionally). And you can try Torrid or Hot Topic (or any other punk/goth type store) — they have Dickies and other brands that are more functional than most other women’s clothes.

    I live in skirts and love decent pockets.

  21. William
    July 27, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    sophoisba: You know, you’ve got a bit of a point there. Hell, who am I kidding, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The only response I have, weak as it is, would be that the transgressive act is being a man in a skirt. People don’t see the psychology going on in your head, they see a man in a skirt. What I was trying, and failing, to get at was that a lot of things about the Utilikilt go into dispersing some of the cognitive dissonance that a man (or at least this man) in this society is going to experience while wearing a skirt.

  22. sun rat
    July 27, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    the survival utilikilt holds no less than 20 bottles of liquid. i prefer beer.

    and whether or not a man will wear a utilikilt is very much a factor in whether or not i will consider dating said man.

  23. Topher.
    August 5, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Many of the bartenders here in Savannah, GA wear Utilikilts, both male and female. I wear the man-skirt as well with pride. I own Utilikilt’s workman kilt, but will soon be purchasing my family tartan. Utilikilts are about half the cost of a traditional kilt.

    The kilt is not very suitable for women though. It is meant to be worn by a man-as men do not have hips. *When a woman wears a kilt/Utilikilt, it should not be worn at the waist, but instead be worn low on the hips-no covering of the navel. The Utilikilt website suggest the same and recommends woman be fitted in the store, or at a festival.

    I would love to see more women of all types wearing kilts. Good luck with your search.

  24. August 14, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, your Utilikilt adds +1 to awesome, with a 2% more likely to score modifier to the designator(s) of your preference, double bonus if you have the workmens or leather models.

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