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Matthew A. C. Newsome

Kilt Maker - Kilt Wearer - Kilt Historian

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Name: Matthew Newsome
Location: NC,

Member of the International Guild of Tartan Scholars, curator of the Scottish Tartans Museum

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sit like a lady!

Summer is here, and with it "Highland Games" season. I'm traveling to a lot of Highland Games and Scottish festivals, and seeing lots of men in kilts. Most look very sharp, but I always notice quite a few otherwise fine kilts that are blemished by the fact that the pleats are extremely wrinkled!

Nothing spoils the look of a good kilt more than all those nice, neat pleats being messed up and criss-crossed with wrinkles. While good quality heavy kilt weight wool tends to wrinkle less than the lighter kilt weights, the heavy cloth can still wrinkle if you are not careful.

And the single most effective thing you can do to avoid wrinkling your kilt is this -- learn to sit like a lady!

By that I mean you need to learn the proper way to sit down while wearing a kilt. The best way to do this is to watch how ladies sit while wearing a skirt.

When you sit, you need to take your hand (or both hands) and smooth the pleats out as you sit down. Start up at your seat and sweep the pleats straight down the backs of your thighs underneath of you. This way when you sit, you are sitting on straight, flat pleats.

What many men do, not used to sitting in the kilt, is simply plop down on the chair as they are used to doing. The pleats get bunched up and wrinkled, and the weight of the gentleman sitting on them literally presses the wrinkles in (this can be especially bad if it is a humid day!).

For a while I've been considering a post making this point, thinking of the best way to photograph myself to illustrate the right way to sit. Then, lo and behold, Hamish Birknell over on X Marks the Scot, managed to get a video of himself on the internet, showing just what I am talking about!

Click here to see the video -- How to Sit in the Kilt!

I couldn't put it any better than that. Thanks, Hamish!

Ok, men. Start practicing. (And by the way, you know you wear the kilt a lot when you find yourself doing this little maneuver even when you are not kilted!).

And speaking of "sitting like a lady," also pay attention to how Hamish pushes his sporran down in front when he sits. I, myself, don't do this necessarily, but do take care not to sit with my legs spread wide open like many men are used to doing. The point is, if you sit properly and take care to preserve your modesty, you won't ever have to worry about inadvertently revealing the answer to "the question."

You know the question I mean... As I tell people who ask me, I don't care what you wear (or don't wear) under your kilt, and if you sit properly no one will ever have to know!

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