Wednesday, April 25, 2012

the kilted shepherd

I have fallen in love with modern utility kilts. They are my go-to farm and office clothes of choice, my new jeans. A few companies make these now, and I have been getting mine off ebay. The canvas kilts are made of heavy duty fabric, the same as Carhartts or Dickies and come with big cargo pockets with places for pens, pocket knives, phones, and farm gear. Paired with a pair of muck boots my entire leg is covered, but I have more freedom of movement, more air circulation, cooler in the spring sun, and feel ready to take on anything the farm throws at me. For the office it looks like a regular skirt, paired with Chacos or sandals and a nice top. But when I get home and lace up boots, hook on a sporran full of wire cutters, electrical tape, lambing gear, and more it becomes a feral thing. A working extension of myself.

I am pro kilts. Try them, you'll like them.

44 Comments:

Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

I've always used denim skirts as my summertime knock-around the yard gear. I am absolutely anti-shorts (for myself), and skirts are much cooler because of the airflow, as you said. The problem with a lot of denim skirts is a lack of decent pockets. I'm going to check this out--this might be the way to go.

BTW, stop it, you enabler. Just stop. Kidding. Keep on leading us down the garden path. :)

April 25, 2012 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I am 100% anti shorts. I think human beings look ridiculous in them. Like a sheep wearing a tux.

April 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Ooooh, checking ebay out now. I love all those pockets! :D

April 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

My wife can do shorts. She would look 100% ridiculous in a skirt, so it's only fair that she have an option.

I have a question--looks like the kilts on ebay are mostly for men. Are they adjustable for those of us with... let's call it shapely hips? When I wear men's pants I have to get a size big enough for my butt, then the waistband gapes and I have to cinch it with a belt. I've never tried on a kilt/skirt made for a man, though, so how does that work out?

April 25, 2012 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

You wear them higher, around your belly button and the kilt falls over your knees. I wear a size 38 from UTkilts.com and a size 10 jean.

April 25, 2012 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

List of things I have starting doing or purchased this year because of Jenna:
- keeping chickens
- making beer
- Rosie's overalls
- mini-greenhouse for my driveway
- playing the fiddle
- naming my proto-farm
- driving a pickup truck (this one isn't totally your fault, but it fits the theme.)
- looking for property in the countryside

and soon...
- wearing a darn utility kilt

I swear, I'm not a stalker, I just think you have a hell of a lot of good ideas.

April 25, 2012 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger seagoddess said...

Very cute!

April 25, 2012 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Hey Elizabeth (not erin) I am beaming here.

April 25, 2012 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Glad to hear it. :)

April 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Jenna H said...

My husband loves his Kilt. He has the kilt in the picture. It looks great and yes has lots of pockets.

April 25, 2012 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Sue Steeves said...

I already went on ebay and got the thai fisherman pants you mentioned.I love them for just about everything from when I get up in the morning to when I go to bed.....guess it is back to ebay for some more shopping! I knew a girl in college who rocked the utility kilts. Maybe now it is my turn?

April 25, 2012 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Granny Kate said...

I love it

April 25, 2012 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

There's no way I would ever do a kilt. When working outside, there's entirely too much bending/crouching/moving to not have everything covered. Sorry, but I don't want the chance that my undercarriage is showing to the world if I move wrong or if the breeze is too strong. Plus, chafing is often an issue with skirts with those of us with legs that touch. I'd have to wear shorts under it anyways, and what's the point? May as well just go with shorts!

April 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

With my Scottish background, I love this. :) There's a guy who works in the waterfront public park in Portsmouth, New Hampshire who wears one of these while working. Everyone knows who he is and he always looks so comfortable.

April 25, 2012 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Odd Ducks Farm said...

I wore a casual kilt to the Folk School and really appreciated the "ventilation" with the hot weather there. If I could get away with it, I would wear my kilt to work every day. Love it!

April 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Odd Ducks Farm said...

I wore my own casual kilt to the Folk School a couple weeks ago. I sure appreciated the "ventilation" during the hotter days. I love casual kilts and would wear mine to work . . . if they would let me. :o)

April 25, 2012 at 1:19 PM  
OpenID domesteading said...

Very into these. Shorts are just wrong - feels like wearing a diaper. But it gets HOT in NorCal in the summer and my summer wardrobe last year was a jersey dress (now dead from overuse), running shoes, and work gloves, which worked ok except NO POCKETS. I might need to upgrade....also, digging the v. cute little A-line of the kilts.

April 25, 2012 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

My husband wear them all of the time. I am usually wearing overalls or a longer skirt with pockets. People are amazed that I don't get all tangled up, but I like both the coverage from the sun and the airflow.

April 25, 2012 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

There's a family living off grid in Idaho whose men-folk wear homemade kilts to work around the farm in the summer (Paratus Familia Blog- check out Men in Kilts label). I wouldn't mind seeing more men in kilts around this farm (or should I say, more OF my man in kilts :). Pretty sweet!

April 25, 2012 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger TwoBlueHeelers said...

For those who are friends with a sewing machine, it looks like you can sew your own utility kilt. Search for "utility kilt sewing pattern". I found several articles with step-by-step instructions. Here is one of the clearer ones, at least in my eyes. http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Cargo-Kilt/

April 25, 2012 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

They are definitely very cute, but I'm sticking with my cargo capri pants. I just don't want to worry about bending over or sitting cross legged on the ground.

April 25, 2012 at 6:09 PM  
OpenID kindsofhoney said...

I've never heard of this - how interesting! I think I want one!

April 25, 2012 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Okay, confession... I just about flipped when I saw the price tag for the utility kilts on Ebay, but after searching around and finding everything else for $90 to $349, the Ebay kilts suddenly seem a good price! ;) I tried finding a good pattern to make one, but they were all too pleated for my taste... Jenna, is the back of your kilt fully pleated, or are the pleats just on the side? Maybe I'll just try winging a pattern...

April 25, 2012 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

yeah, they aren't a factory type piece of clothing, everyone is making them by hand in small batches. UTkilts (whom I use) has ebay versions around 55 bucks and that is for a handmade garmet. I have 3, one bought each month at paycheck time. The pleats are pretty common, a traditional kilt thing, but I think any wrapped, cargo skirt, counts.

April 25, 2012 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I'm about 80% pro-shorts, and 150% pro-sundress. I'm pretty anti-waistband, so I generally can't stand skirts of any kind. With a sundress I get the airflow minus the binding, and if I need pockets or doing work where I need to be on the ground, I'll go for shorts with a very loose, low-riding waist. I also live on the surface of the sun, so that heavily influences my choices. When you have to be outside in summer, any kind of waistband is from hell! My favorite bit of utility clothing is actually bib overalls, but after a certain point, it's too hot for those.

April 25, 2012 at 8:21 PM  
Anonymous ruralaspirations said...

OMG, Jenna you are my HERO. I have been telling my husband I wished I had some sort of "gardening skirt" that I could use to work outside. I agree that skirts are way cooler in the summer,and I find them warmer in the winter, too (with tights). Thank you SO Much for finding these!!!

April 25, 2012 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

I certainly don't mind the pleats (without them they sorta' look more like mini skirts, rather than kilts!), but some are just *too* pleated... I like big and few pleats, over a bunch of teeny ones. The bigger pleats are also easier to keep in shape, whereas the smaller pleats get all out of shape and then it turns into a poofy mess. [smacks forehead]. Ah well, I better start saving my dimes and nickels. The most I've ever spend on an article of clothing was $20!

April 25, 2012 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

Up until now I have been sundress. Need to try the kilt. More pockets. I always thought more men would wear kilts if they knew how breezy they were.

April 25, 2012 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Weez said...

I'm so excited. I've been looking at kilts online for months but they were too expensive. I really can't do regular skirts cause as my wife Elizabeth (not erin) says, I look like I'm in drag! I like my shorts to be below my knees so these sound perfect for someone with no hips. I echo my wife, thanks for all the great ideas.

April 25, 2012 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger kaelak said...

I adore kilts!

Q: how many canaries can fit under a piper's kilt?

...

...

...

...

...

A: it depends on the size of the perch!

Heh.

April 25, 2012 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Right now I can’t live without my silky basketball style shorts that hang down to my knees and dry really fast when wet from sweating to death in the heat or watering the garden (even if they make me look like a sheep wearing a tux!). I’ve acquired quite the color assortment since moving to the desert and I’ll even wear them with my cowboy boots which I’m sure makes even more of a fashion statement…but I’ve never been into all that. Then it’s blue jeans. Trying to picture myself in a kilt. The fact that it’s a cross between something like a Carhart has me a little more willing to consider it, maybe...:-)..do like all the pockets.

April 26, 2012 at 1:32 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

Should have known a kilt would show up here sooner than later!

April 26, 2012 at 1:34 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

@Weez... Oh dear, we'll have to make sure to get different colors so we don't end up matchy-matchy. I call dark khaki! You can have black and green. Just remember--I'm the one with the Scottish ancestry.

April 26, 2012 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

@Weez... Oh dear, we'll have to make sure to get different colors so we don't end up matchy-matchy. I call dark khaki! You can have black and green. Just remember--I'm the one with the Scottish ancestry.

April 26, 2012 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger EBCornell said...

Kilt On! I've been rocking the kilt at home for the past few years, though my better half still isn't so sure about them. I started out with a Utilikilt mocker and now have several other traditional kilts in my family tartans. My first kilt no longer fits and I've been considering a replacement -- I'll have to check out UTKilts. If anyone else is considering trying out the kilt I'd highly recommend the forum over at www.xmarksthescot.com.

April 26, 2012 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

A gentleman friend of mine swears by them.

i'm with katiegirl on this one though, i scale too many fences to risk mooning neighbors. i also don't like being weighed down with pockets full of stuff, especially heavy tools. my equipment either gos in a bucket or tool belt i can take on and off.

April 26, 2012 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Ellie, As Always! said...

Wish they made these for pregnant women. lol ;P

April 26, 2012 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Ellie, As Always! said...

Wish they made these for pregnant women. lol ;P

April 26, 2012 at 4:24 PM  
OpenID chickadeeworkshop said...

Jenna, have we seen a photo of you in your work kilt? I'd love to see how it looks on you, as a frame of reference.

April 26, 2012 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Aye. I'd like to see a pic of the CAF Scottish shepherd too. :)

April 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lNbFGn8iQCA/T5sLogUlawI/AAAAAAAAGOk/EjqPpwxJ5UQ/s1600/kilto.JPG


picture of me in a kilt in the wind!

April 27, 2012 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

a-freaking-dorable.

April 27, 2012 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Okay, now I see what the big deal is—you look great!

April 27, 2012 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger EBCornell said...

Jenna, do you know if Brice at UTKilts makes the kilts himself or buys them from another manufacturer?

April 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM  

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