Adventures of one man's journey through 365 days in a kilt.
Kilts at work is a subject I have wrestled with myself. I work in a corporate environment. Could I wear a kilt to work every day? I won’t answer that just yet. My work is in information technology so I don’t work directly with paying customers. That is a positive on the kilt question as the only people that would see me are my co-workers. Company dress code for men just says “trousers”. Well, what else are they going to say? I am sure kilts never came to mind with whoever wrote the policy. They just needed to ensure men never wear shorts to work. So there is problem #1 a kilt could be interpreted as shorts. Especially in the summer when you would more likely wear a kilt with socks pushed down. The other issue for me is I have been there for almost 30 years. So for me to one day just start wearing kilts would be looked at as a major change in character. My immediate co-workers knew about my kilts long before I ever wore one into the office. Others in the building that don’t work with me on a regular basis don’t know about my kilts. We have 300 people in my building; over 2000 in the facility. I have worn the kilt to work a few times. A few years during a hot summer the activity committee came up with “shorts and flip-flops” day. There were only two rules: no short-shorts, no sleeveless tank tops. No word about kilts. By gosh the company just set up a KILT DAY!!! So In I came with my USA Kilts Semi-traditional PV (the real stuff) kilt worn with a short sleeve polo shirt. I had on my Harley 10” boots with knee socks pushed down. So how did it go over? I was in the building 15 minutes and word spread about me being in a kilt. For those that did not know my interest in kilts came over just to see if it was true. So there was quite a buzz in the building for the first hour. I only had two people give me negative comments. One was a project manager that just could not get past “a guy in a skirt”. I just blew him off joking right back at his comments. The other came from a lady in senior management. I don’t really know if she had an issue with the kilt or just took this as an opportunity to joke around with me. One person in senior management said to me that if they were giving out awards I would get one for “thinking out of the box”. So overall day 1 in a kilt was a success. But this was a special occasion being “shorts and flip-flop” day. The company only did this one other day which I again wore the kilt.. I joke that they stopped it because they were afraid all the guys would show up in kilts. The next time I wore the kilt was for the Christmas party. It was held at the facility during the business day. I got positive responses. I wore a 100% real wool traditional kilt, nice shirt, Lewis kilt hose and nice shoes. Again, this is a kilt worn on a special occasion. Not a normal business day. Last summer I decided to push it a little. There was a lady that worked in my building that was Scottish. She encouraged me to just start wearing them on Friday in the summer. Historically, in the old days, everyone wore a shirt and tie. That was actually in the dress code of years past. Friday became “casual Friday” and the tie was not present. Eventually the tie disappeared completely and now many wear jeans every day. So we have become a rather casual dressed bunch. When summer came I picked a Friday at random and wore the kilt. Many asked what was the occasion: none it is just Friday. I did this about one Friday a month for few months. I started to pick up a few more joking negative comments from co-workers however no one in management said anything about it. Most just ignored the kilt as the office novelty had worn off. So I have decided that the kilt will not become daily wear at work but left to special occasions and selected “casual Fridays”. When the weather warms up I will wear the kilt on more Fridays and pick up days that could be considered kilt related such as National Tartan Day on April 6th. We will see how this year goes with the kilt at work.
Ah, yes. If you can swing it, wear it whenever but make sure the whole outfit is appropriate for work. I'm a high school teacher and I created Kilted Friday. My students love it, as far as I can tell, and many high-five me or compliment me. I've yet to hear anything negative but I think attitude goes a long way as well as a properly put-together outfit. For me, it's either a nice Utilikilt Original or a UT Kilt Deluxe (for now) and a nice merino wool polo shirt or a button-down shirt w/necktie. I have 1914 Dr Martens on my feet that are in very good condition. Overall, I'm pleased but I pretend to be very confident and I think that helps. I figure, life is short and death is long and one never knows when it's their time to check out.