The MacBitseach

I am The MacBitseach of Clan MacBitseach. (MacBitseach is Irish Gaelic for son of a bitch.)
This blog is about wearing, making, and some of the social aspects of kilts. I started wearing and making kilts in 2003.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas, email me at macbitseach@gmail.com

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Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Friday, November 18, 2005

Bear's Birthday Sale!

Okay, here's your chance to get a deal. I try not to use this blog for blatant commercialism for Bear Kilts but I'm having my first ever sale. If it goes well, I'll do it every year.
Bear's Birthday Sale!
If you don't have a kilt yet, this would be a good time to start!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Leather Kilt Coat

A guy walks into a bar ... no wait. That's not the joke. A guy walks into a second hand store ... never mind.

Does anyone here have the ability to walk BY a second hand store? I don't. Same thing with a thrift store, though you don't (usually) get the same quality of stuff.
Every now and then, I get lucky and find a deal on just what I want. It's hard to find a kilt jacket/coat because they have to be cut short at the bottom to allow the pleats to move freely. Not all styles look 'right' with a kilt, either.
Check out this leather coat I bought for $40.00! It really suits being worn with a kilt. The best part is that it works with all my kilts, unlike a wool jacket.
I guess the joke is on those who don't dive into second hand stores!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ironikilty

There is a double standard, even among those who go kilted, that is generally accepted as a good double standard. It has to do with proper accessorization of kilts.
On the bus to work today, I noticed a man in a black suit wearing brown shoes.
"Never get away with that in a kilt," I thought. Then I mentally slapped my own face.
All day I've been seeing guys 'dressed up' in suits, committing horrible gaffs in their wardrobe choices - and nobody cares!
Put on a kilt though, and every stranger on the street feels the need to point out that your shoes don't match your sporran, or one sock is higher than the other by half an inch. And the people who comment invariably have a glaring fashion faux pas to throw back at them.

I'm also told by the kilted community that I am representing all those others who are wearing kilts, so if I'm rude to someone, it reflects badly on the kilted. WTF is with that?
My worry is that people will start to think of men in kilts, not as real men, but as those guys who can be insulted without consequence. Milquetoasts. Dressy metrosexuals.

People in or out of kilts want you to think, act, and dress the way THEY think you should think, act, and dress.

You get a crash course in control when you start wearing a kilt all the time. It almost always leads to more self control for the guy in a kilt.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

How old is your tartan?

What if I told you that the clan tartans as we know them today are only 200 years old?

This link is a page on the albanach.org site. Matt Newsome states that clan tartans came to be recognised and listed much later in history than I had imagined; in the 18th century!

There have been kilts and tartans in Scotland for at least since the 16th century. Nobody I know is questioning that, nor have I seen any solid evidence that kilts were invented anywhere else but Scotland. (My Irish blood compells me to add that if a Scotii combined a leine and brat, he'd get a rudimentary kilt.)
I had also thought that clan tartans were from the 16th century but the albanach.org site gives evidence to the contrary, even telling you the where and why that the clan tartans were made.

Whatever you think of the site, it's a fascinating read and Newsome certainly seems to know his stuff!

Also see The Irish Kilt Club for some interesting info on Irish kilts.

Padraig Pearce was a poet, a schoolmaster, a high ranking member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and a leader in the Irish Volunteers. He was shot after the Easter rebellion in 1916. He had written in a letter in 1900 that the Irish national costume should be a kilt.

They made a movie called The Quiet man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in 1952. In the movie are some youngsters in solid blue kilts.

Here's my train of thought. There is only 100 to 150 years difference in Scottish clan tartans and Irish solid coloured or place tartans. Historically, that's inconsequential. And they both seem to have been invented for similar reasons. Why then, do so many Scots keep telling me that Irish tartans are, "not traditional because they're too new and just invented tartans?"

I'm not picking a fight with the Scots with all this. It just seems to me that a lot of people seem to have the belief that clan tartans are as old as kilts, and seem to want to defend their 'ancient heritage' and hold to the common, incorrect beliefs, in spite of evidence to the contrary.

Suppose I can say today that clan tartans were designed and catalogued in Scotland in 1800, then in Ireland in 1950. In 500 years from now, I could say that 700 years ago the Scots designed their tartans and 550 years ago the Irish designed theirs. It doesn't seem so far apart if you look at it from a distance.

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