The Utilikilt is one of a few fringe kilt manifestations, and because it’s the most versatile and promising we’ve seen, it’s the Item of the Week. Since 2000 the company has been championing the comfortable and practical aspects of this U.S. made man-skirt, and now it seems the tide is turning slowly even in the fashion world.
Utilikilts deserve attention in this time when we’ve seen kilts on Marc Jacobs for his spring ‘09 fashion week show, in Juicy Couture’s fall ’08 window display in Manhattan, and from scotsweb.co.uk. When the Chicago Tribune recently posted a fashion retrospective, I found a kilt from 1986 among the slides (slide #25).
But Utilikilts are not just a fashion kilt, if you hadn’t guessed from the name. Eight designs (currently six in the online store) will cover your nethers in comfort whether you’re tapping keys in a highrise or tapping wells on an offshore oil platform. There’s something for everyone, from the “Mockers,” intended to replace Dockers on office workers, to the extreme “Survival,” bearing a bevy of features including a key fob, detachable cargo pockets with elastic-rimmed gussets and a promised “survival beverage” bottle capacity of 20.
Representatives swathed in them cut quite a profile at MAGIC for spring ’09. Utilikilt representative Heather Mayhew told me they planned to leave South Hall for men’s casual next season. At the time, Utilikilts had just made a vigorous bid to clothe U.S. Postal carriers. Dean Peterson, a Seattle postal carrier, had led a charge to see the kilt approved for USPS uniform use. Utilikilts went so far as to fabricate carrier-customized samples in the coarse navy polyester used by the USPS for its uniforms. According to Utilikilts, mailmen’s support for the MUG (“men’s unbifurcated garment”) option came to an up-or-down vote at the convention. The National Association of Letter Carriers decided the “demand would be too small,” but partisans fighting the “trouser tyranny” will campaign on.
Images courtesy of Utilikilt.
Each week, MR’s editors will comment on a product we’ve seen in the market. It could be an emerging trend, a novel take on a classic or something that just caught our eyes.
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