Are Those Guys Wearing Skirts? Kilts in ScotlandPictures of people in kilts
Kilts aren't what you would call a common sight in North America. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen one worn in the U.S. I saw them a few times in Canada, although the most prominent example I can remember was a fellow engineering student of Polish descent who was in the Canadian military. He complained that they were drafty, and that he didn't dare sit down on the TTC (public transit) because protocol requires you not wear any underwear underneath your kilt.
I vaguely considered buying a kilt while I was there. I really did, although my father swore I would never set foot in his house wearing one. Catherine encouraged me, and she and Evelyn more than once discussed the fact that a big burly guy (they seem to think I fall into that category) is the one most likely to look good in one. I postulated that the big burly guy doesn't look any better - it's just that no one is willing to make fun of him. All other factors aside, I was dissuaded by the price. They are $400 or so just for the kilt. It's a large quantity (about nine yards) of high quality Scottish wool dyed in small batches. I think the tourist trade in them is actually rather small, and as a result you probably won't get cheated when you buy one - you'll pay dearly like everyone else. The associated gear (sporran, socks, the right shoes, the dagger to go in your sock ...) would probably run you the same amount again. Not something to purchase on a whim unless you're extremely wealthy.
Catherine's father actually seemed rather disappointed that we hadn't brought him one back. Again, it was the cost, and for one gag weekend on the golf course I think it would have been a high price to pay. But I must admit it makes for a rich mental image.
Kilts, we find, are worn only by highlanders. Lowlanders don't wear them. It would also seem that they are no longer in wide use, although we did see several men over the course of the week wearing them on the street. The largest number I saw in one place was at a wedding we passed by at the Greyfriar's church - there were about 15 people in kilts, and one or two in suits. I guess kilts are formalwear.
I received an e-mail from Reuben in Metro DC, who sent along several links about wearing kilts. I've had to delete a couple due to age-induced breakage:Pictures of people in kilts