summer kilts

Lee Fuell

Message 21937 · 17 Jul 2000 04:13:51 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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A few years ago I saw a piper in a band with what appeared to be a
cotton kilt of Black Watch tartan. It also looked much like Sandy's
description, below. Although not as oppressive and long-lasting as
in the American Southeast, summers in this part of Ohio can be
pretty hot and steamy. None of our regular summer dancing
venues are air conditioned, so the kilts pretty much get packed
away June through September. Shorts and tee shirts become our
standard dance wear, or light summer frocks for the ladies.

One of the stereotypes about Scots is that they are pragmatic. If
I've learned the history properly, the modern kilt evolved from the
belted plaid, or great kilt, which was an imminently practical
garment in the cool, wet, Scottish highlands. Other than possibly
for special occasions (like when forming Loyalist Highland
regiments during the American Revolution), Scottish immigrants to
the warm colonies of Georgia, South Carolina, and (mostly) North
Carolina abandoned the heavy plaid and dressed more sensibly for
the climate (and culture, for that matter). In this part of the world,
"summer kilts" is probably an oxymoron.

BTW, how is it that Highland attire became de rigeur for Scottish
Country Dancing? I doubt there were many kilts in evidence in the
Assembly Halls of Edinburgh and the Forth/Clyde central belt
during the heydey of Scottish Country Dancing in the eighteenth
and early nineteenth centuries. Is it due to the evolution of the kilt
from "Highland dress" to "National dress?"

Lee Fuell
Beavercreek, OH, USA

Date sent: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 19:02:34 EDT

> My two cents worth on this subject....
> Back in the 70's, my mother made 2 kilts out of Black Watch polyester
> material so that my other brothers could compete in athletic events at games
> without distroying their good wool kilt. It was light-weight, breathed fine
> (then again if you are running a kilted mile there is enough air passing
> through there as is) and disposible (although they are still in good
> condition some 25 years later.)
> The drawback was that it didn't hold the pleat, wrinkled like a cheap suit,
> and it looked like a cheap suit. As a southerner, where the heat can be
> enduring, I don't feel that wool kilt makes that much of an issue. Ask me
> about the wool hose, and I will say that I have always empathised with women
> and their issue with hose.
> I'll get down from the podium now.....
> -Sandy Gallamore
> Charlotte, North Carolina
> --

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