Utilikilt is a company founded in Seattle, Washington, that produces Men's Unbifurcated Garments, or MUGs, for short. The original utilikilt is a cross between a traditional kilt, with stitched-down pleats, and a carpenter's tool belt. Good belt loops, sturdy canvas, large patch pockets and a hammer loop, all made out of the Carharts colored brown duck. Apparently some men tired of wearing trousers in the summer heat drummed up this idea, and went for it.

Needless to say, at the Sacramento Valley Scottish Games, you are far more likely to see men in skirts wandering around than you would on, oh, the Washington, D.C. Metro. The games were described to me as "lots of big guys in kilts throwing heavy things". With whisky tasting and haggis and bagpipes. What's not to like?

Personally, I am a huge fan of men in skirts. Traditional kilt rig, a Burmese longi, a sarong, or a utlitikilt, I'm in favor. Highly. First of all, gents, let me tell you that a kilt or a sarong is very flattering to men's anatomy. The traditional kilt is worn high, with a wide belt, and is supposed to hit mid-knee. The tight waist makes men's shoulders look wider, and heavy socks and brogues draw attention to nice, muscular calves. They work on those heavy guys, as well - strong legs, broad shoulders, okay, maybe he has a bit of a gut but if he can pick me up under one arm along with 120 pounds of telephone pole, I won't fuss.

The sporran, that little bag worn in front of the kilt, (and apparently is usually made out of some small creature that you've clubbed with one of the heavy things (see above)), is supposed to swing in rhythm with your marching. And yes, gentlemen, you are supposed to go commando. If you think this doesn't lead us ladies to imagine...uhm, things, as it were, why were they selling a tee shirt that says "Objects under kilts may be larger than they appear"? The kilt, the sporran, and everything else is supposed to swing in rhythm. Loooove this pipe bands, ta-rum, ta-rum.…

The utilikilt is worn lower, on your hips, as a pair of work pants would be. Their advertising kit is hilarious, describing the proper fit - from "skinny guy, no ass" (wertperch), "athletic with bubble butt" (yours truly), to "big stomach and big ass" or "lift and synch" (sic - I assume they mean cinch) and of course their trademarked Beer Gut Cut. If you have a beer gut, for 25 extra bucks you can get the beer gut cut, so it'll ride down below your belly, but the hem will still ride straight. As they say, they are the only ones in the "men's gawment industwy" (sic) with this offer.

The utilikilts now range from the original, to red or blue corduroy, through some slimy-looking nylon fabric (this one did not appeal to me, can you tell?) to 100% cotton, The Survivor. Detachable pockets (handy for airplanes, you just put the whole pocket through the x-ray machine), and the pockets have belt loops, in case you want to hang them from your belt instead of the snaps. What else? A key loop, and the requisite "modesty toggles", belt loops, sturdy closure snaps. The story is that you can carry a case of beer in the pockets. It doesn't specify bottles or cans, but wertperch easily managed a half-rack of Red Hook, in bottles. From someone who build clothes out of string and has studied how good clothes are put together, this is one of the most well-thought-out garments I've ever seen.

When you purchase one, they say "Welcome to the Utiliclan."

To him - "Enjoy your freedom."

To me: "Enjoy your access."

Needless to say, their marketing is clever, funny, and they have our number.

Yes, we bought one. And I want one as well. Now I just have to decide whether to go with the mini, or traditional knee length.

Not to mention that I got to see my somewhat reserved and modest stiff upper-lip Brit husband being dressed (and undressed) by an enormous, bearded, tattooed guy. In a skirt.

Picture currently on his homenode, or failing that, http://tinyurl.com/37e6t