Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Kilts I have known and loved

In my senior year of high school, I wore a red kilt and a long red wool vest to the Homecoming dance. I bought it at the Limited, and I felt it was quite fetching and fashion-forward, and certainly a considerable improvement over my previous Homecoming ensembles, which included two shiny, frilly silk shirts; a black velvet choker; a pair of dyeable shoes; and one tight, forest-green suede skirt.

Perhaps that sense of progress, of challenges met, bad outfits bested, obstacles overcome, explains why I kept the entire outfit (minus the large brass safety pin that went on the kilt, which disappeared when some girl borrowed the kilt to wear as part of a schoolgirl costume in college, for which I still resent her somewhat) for 10 years. I packed it up and moved it, unworn, approximately 12 times in that period, each time thinking something along the lines of "Some day kilts and long red wool vests will be cool again."

It was only two years ago that my friend M. finally shattered this false fantasy by asking me to try the outfit on in front of other people. Soon after that incident, the kilt and its vesty partner were offered up at a garage sale, and then, after being snubbed by bargain-hunters, banished to the Salvation Army.

That might have been the end of that story, except for this:

That is my kilt. I mean, I don't think it's my actual kilt--I think mine was a smaller size--but you kind of never know with kilts, their expandability was part of the appeal. This picture appeared in this Washington Post article about how the ponytailed fellow tried to challenge his New Jersey school district's dress code, which bans shorts in the winter, on the grounds that it discriminated against boys, since girls are allowed to wear skirts in the winter. The ACLU helped come up with a compromise solution wherein he can wear a skirt too: hence the kilt.

The entire article is about what a bad fashion decision the kilt is, and you really can't argue with the analysis. But what does this mean for me and my erstwhile kilt outfit? Was it just random chance that it was this dude, and not me, profiled in the WaPo for our unfortunate high school fashion decisions? How can I chide DC for its pleated pants whilst some sequel to the kilt might be lurking in my closet even as we speak?

Sobering thoughts. Watch out, baby Goodwill donations box, momma's got a big, fat nightcrawler of fashion missteps for you.*

*This is a poorly executed reference to the Colbert Report.


Anonymous said...

Unbifurcated garments for men are the wave of the future I tell you.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, the kilt and vest. It was worth trekking it all over the country so that we could have our jollies when you modeled in summer 2004 (despite the fact that it was vintage 1994).