Where to buy my first kilt? What kilt? What about sizes for a kilt? The correcy length of a kilt. What tartan?






Not everyone, tired of always wearing trousers, think the traditional kilt is the best solution, not even if their motives are exactly the same: the feeling of freedom, not possible to obtain with two-legged garments, more variety to an otherwise somewhat boring wardrobe, health aspects and the difference it makes, being just little bit different.

What they go for may be a strictly manly skirted garment being less Scottish, easier to maintain, having pockets, not demanding any specific accessories, and with no strict rules to follow.  

In the market for such garment might also be men, wearing already traditional kilts, but wanting just another option, depending of situation or task to do.


Classic kilt style - no tartans

Allready mentioned vendors, Kilt Society, Scotweb, and MacGregor & MacDuff will also deliver you a solid coloured, otherwise traditional kilt.

By Scotweb you can also buy some nice made-to-measure Camouflage Casual Kilts in four different patterns. The price is only £125 delivered at your door step (comes with free worldwide shipping). Or a Denim Casual Kilt or a tweed kilt.

Paul Henry Kilts
 (England) can not only make you a traditional tartan kilt sewn by hand but also kilts in tweed, linen, denim and cotton. 


"Neo-classic" kilt style

21st Century Kilts

Top quality reflected in price.



Going for something even more casual, easier to maintain, something not connected with rules for wearing and with no need for special accessories?

A utility kilt might be what you are after.


Utility kilts

In 2000 Steven Villegas, founder of Utilikilts in Seattle, launched a modern or contemporary kilt and named it Utilikilt. It soon proved successful on the market place, competitors emerged and the modern or contemporary kilt was a reality. Today these kilts are often referred to as utility kilts.

Utilikilt Original Black

Utility kilts, neither the Utilikilt itself nor its competitors have much resemblance with traditional kilts. They do have pleats in the back and a front apron which, however, is not as wide as on a traditional kilt. But they are solid coloured or camo, and made of cotton or denim instead of wool, and last not least they have big pockets, typically of the cargo type and they are closed in another way.

They go in the washing machine, which is a good thing. With a few exceptions these kilts have blue jeans functions. Nevertheless there are rather many examples on the internet of grooms and best men who at weddings have been wearing Utilikilts. Well, you may also find examples of grooms in shorts.

Despite no tartans and different in design these kilts have also become popular with men of Scottish descent, which to me indicates that to them the kilt as a garment may be more important than heritage. And nothing wrong about that.

Today the Utilikilt has gained almost iconic status. And it has influenced prices. But also the fact that it is made in USA; not in Far East. Today you have to pay 215 dollars for the Utilikilt Spartan, which has recently replaced the Utilikilt Original. The cheapest Utilikilt today is the Mocker, selling at $200.

If you live in an EU-country you must not only add freight, but also 12% import tax, VAT plus a customs clearance fee and you may be well over 300 Euro.


All pictures above show the Original Utilikilt which is no longer available. I prefer that over the new design, but judge for yourself. If the new one sells better, it is better.


New competition

The increasing prices among established brands and the fact that a market for this type of kilts exists has opened up for a segment of cheaper utility kilts, typically made in Pakistan and China. They are sold by several kilt shops in America and Scotland. The quality is not on the same level as for example the Utilikilt but certainly not bad. Most of the affordable utility kilts unfortunately only come with a 24" standard drop, where Utilikilts offer three different lengths.

When you buy a low priced utility kilt from a vendor in USA, UK or where ever, you don't know who has manufactured it. Chances are it comes from Expo International, only one, however, of several B2B manufacturers, all of them concentrated in the city of Sialkot in Northern Pakistan. The picture shows one of the Expo International utility kilts, which I'll wear a lot.


As much as I like utility kilts, as much would I prefer that they came with less pockets – if any – and that they would have less metal buttons - if any. Probably the intention has been to give the skirted garment a manlier note. But a traditional kilt, which definitely is regarded manly, has none of this kind.
Therefore I like the Utilikilt Mocker with its inside pockets. But, as already mentioned, it is expensive, especially to Europeans who have to pay import tax, VAT and an import fee on top, and even if I see functional advantages in their new Switchback design I better liked the old one.


But do we Europeans have a real alternative? I think we have, and a very good one, it might be:

Union Kilts, a British company, has launched a kilt with trouser pockets, called Hill Walker. It has two trouser front pockets, comes in four different colours and with a 23" standard drop, which I prefer over the 24" seen on most other utility kilts. And you can even order it the length you prefer.

The Hill Walker Kilt in Grey

I have only seen the Hill Walker on pictures but judged from them it seems to be a high quality kilt. And then there is the price, no more than £50. Only freight comes on top (as long as Brexit is not effective). It certaily looks like a bargain.



All pictures showing the Hill Walker Kilt are property of Unionkilts.com and are published here with their permission.







Copyright 2010 - 2018 Greman   Latest revision 9 March 2018