Photo by Jeanne RiceAs a woman who fancies her guy most in a pair of faded Diesel jeans and whatever indie-rock-band tee he could salvage from the laundry bin, it's hard to imagine there being something sexy about a man in a kilt. But apparently that's just me.
"Women love a man in a kilt," boasts Long Beach native James Ansite, co-owner of nine-year-old Signal Hill-based kilt purveyor Sport Kilt. "It's a fact. Chicks dig them."
Ansite drops this "fact" toward the end of our chat about Sport Kilts, which, I find out, are basically just the modern, Big 5 version of the centuries-old Celtic fashion statement. Sport Kilts are made from a machine-washable poly blend fabric; the standard wool is just cumbersome and nasty. And they're cheap. Their version, which they hawk on their website and at gaming conventions, slashes the average kilt price of $400 by more than three-quarters, retailing from $70 to $90.
Still, I'm inclined to think Ansite's full of shite—it's been his job to come up with lines like this since he founded Sport Kilt with his father—until I notice something about his voice: it's a little too confident, with a touch of smugness that betrays his wink-wink "I'm-not-just-the-president" testimonial. All I can think is: Thismanoncegotlaidforwearingaskirt.
"Guys e-mail back after having worn a kilt to the bar for the first time, saying, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you,'" Ansite continues. And again, it's clear that Sport Kilt's customer-satisfaction rating has less to do with the company's wide selection of clan tartans than it does with what happens under those tartans when the lights go out.
Ansite, it seems, is on to something. After all, as he points out, Sport Kilt still promotes the tradition of going commando beneath your kilt—it's "part of the fun of wearing a kilt." So it's easy to see how, inevitably, anyone sporting (ha!) a Sport Kilt at a bar would have at least one advantage over every pair of khakis in the room: easy access.
My female friends agree. "I think the easiness factor is good," one observed. "Sexy jeans are great, but if you're in a bar bathroom, the kilts work for me."
Kilt wearers, Ansite believes, also have an advantage over regular Joes in the rugged constitution that a kilt implies: "It takes guts to wear a kilt. Mostly rebel individuals [buy Sport Kilts]," he notes. "Hair-on-fire kind of people. The kind who like to stand out from the crowd." Given the female species' perennial attraction to rebellious hearts, it would follow we simply can't help but be intrigued by an underwear-less man in a kilt.
Well, maybe most can't.
As for me, I'll still take the Diesels. I'm all for easy access, but if I put my head under a kilt, I'd feel like there should be a poonan staring back.
SPORT KILT, 2225 E. 28TH ST., STE. 507, SIGNAL HILL, (562) 427-3232 OR (800) 451-KILT; WWW.SPORTKILT.COM.