15 Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Men who Wear Kilts

Now that Mother’s Day has come and gone, the fathers in our lives will soon have their turn. On June 18, dads and granddads all over will be hit with an onslaught of items emblazoned with some variation of the phrase “World’s Best Dad.”

But if the special daddy in your life wears a kilt, then the average Father’s Day gift just won’t do. Sure, you can fall back on the usual necktie or coffee mug. But why settle for the same-old, same-old when you can choose a gift that honors your favorite kilted men?

Men who wear kilts deserve a Father’s Day gift that speaks to them personally and shows you went the extra mile in thoughtfulness. So if you’re looking to get your kilt-wearing father or grandfather an exceptional gift on his special day, here’s a list of ideas to help you do just that.

Deluxe Antique Thistle Leather Sporran

No kilt is complete without an accompanying sporran. This beauty is crafted of fine leather and boasts a magnificent antique-finish thistle medallion. Three elegant chain tassels add a regal touch, making this sporran fit for a laird.

Clan Crest Kilt Belt Buckles

These pewter belt buckles are made in dozens of Irish and Scottish family names so your kilt-wearing dad can add a badge of clan honor to his outfit. Perfect for the next Highland Games or clan gathering, or any occasion that calls for Celtic pride.

Scottish-Irish Sash

Skip the plain old necktie and get your special dad a gorgeous sash in a range of Scottish and Irish tartan patterns. It also comes in tartans representing the Armed Forces and several US states.

Stag Horn Sgian Brew

This variation on the traditional sgian dubh is cleverly converted into a bottle opener for wearing in public places where weapons aren’t allowed. Not to mention convenience for the next trip to the pub.

Personalized Whiskey Barrel

This lovely barrel comes in three different size options and can be personalized to your specifications in a number of different font types. It’s a thoughtful gift, and it’ll make your dad the most popular guy on the block.

Piper Etched Pewter Tankard

Your kilt-wearing dad can enjoy his favorite beverage in this beautiful tankard that features an intricate engraving of a kilted bagpiper. However, Dad will have to provide his own bagpipe music.

Scottish Meat Pies

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so treat your father to a taste of Scotland with a savory meat pie. Beef, lamb, chicken, pork, and beans are among the flavor choices for these tasty treats, which Dad might share if you ask him really

Whisky Honey

Possibly the best culinary pairing since peanut butter and chocolate. Your dad can spread it on his morning toast, add to his favorite tea, or you could use it to make him a batch of baked goods with an extra kick-up-the-arse.

Walton’s Scottish Tin Whistle Value Pack

For the kilted music-loving dad. The instruction booklet features traditional Scottish favorites, so your dad can learn to play in no time. Just make sure he doesn’t play it too loud—don’t want the neighbors to be unhappy!

Celtic Cross Bodhran

A majestic Celtic cross graces the head of this classic Celtic drum. It comes with a cover, a beater, and an instructional DVD. Suggestion: Throw in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones for yourself.

Scottish Spurtle

In case you don’t know, a spurtle is an iconic Scottish kitchen tool, mainly used for preparing that Scottish breakfast of champions—porridge. If your kilt-wearing dad likes puttering around in the kitchen, this will be a Father’s Day gift that keeps on giving.

Scottish Thistle Flask

A flask is a useful item for any kilt-wearer. Decorated with a Scottish thistle, this stainless-steel flask can hold whisky, water, or whatever your dad likes to quench his thirst.

Hopped Up Coffee Scottish Ale

Here’s another beverage idea for the flask mentioned above. Now your dad can enjoy his morning coffee with an extra kick. This specialty coffee combines delicious Scottish flavors for a brew he’s sure to love.

Acorn TV

Does your dad love UK television shows? Give him a gift he can use with a subscription to Acorn, the premier website for the best British TV shows so he can enjoy his favorite stories commercial-free. Great for when he has a weekend to himself or when he needs to zone out.

 

The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic

Nobody does “naughty” like the Scots. Celtic scholar Michael Newman has assembled all the dirtiest bits of Gaelic into an entertaining little book. Dad will have endless fun mastering all kinds of curses for different occasions from the barroom to the bedroom. Not for the easily offended, but if your father wears his sense of humor as well as a kilt, go for it.

All the ideas on this list are just suggestions, but they’ll give you plenty of inspiration. So if you know an awesome father or grandfather who wears a kilt, show him how much you care by getting them a Father’s Day gift that speaks to him in a language he can understand. By giving him a memorable gift, you’ll touch his heart and let him know how much he means to you. To all the dads out there, kilted or otherwise, Happy Father’s Day! Or, as they say in Scotland, Beannachd Latha na Athair Dhut!

—Heather McNamara

In My Own Words: Andrew Graham

Andrew Graham

Photo courtesy of Andrew Graham

My kilted journey began in 1999, the year I graduated from high school.  The year my father and I went to Scotland to explore our Scottish roots.  In the airport was a gentleman wearing a kilt. I had seen them on television, and once in person when we went to the Scottish games.  But this was the first time I had seen on up close and personal.  I felt no need to hide behind my hand and snicker as so many teenagers do.  In fact I thought it was cool.

Fast forward several years in which I think about becoming a kilted gentleman but do nothing about it.  Then I am introduced to a local Celtic Rock band called…My Three Kilts.  Great guys, in kilts doing fun Scottish/Irish music in the style of The Ramones.  Alas they have gone their separate ways but I will forever be in their debt for getting me out of my rut and putting my money where my mind always was.

Now every Sunday I kilt up for church.  Many people request that I wear my kilt to events, parties, or just because and I am always happy to oblige them.

I wear the kilt because I take great pride in my family traditions and heritage.  I wear the kilt because I like to be different.  I wear the kilt because it’s fun.

—Andrew

Andrew Graham

Photo courtesy of Andrew Graham

In My Own Words: Gene R. Clevinger

Feast 2004

My life in a kilt began over 50 years ago, following the brutal assassination of President John F. Kennedy. During that long weekend and following week, we were, as a Nation, glued to the glowing silver light of television as the funerary drama played out before our stunned eyes. The Crown sent The Black Watch, which had been at the White House to present the President with an officers’dirk and to play on the South lawn just that previous week, returning from their North American tour to play for the funeral procession out to Arlington. I can remember it to this day, the sound of muffled rope-tension drums and mournfully shrill bagpipes.

My next brush with the kilted life came just as I was entering my twenties. My younger brother had been cutting grass for an older gentleman near our neighborhood in exchange for bagpipe lessons. By the time our tour with The Band of Music of the 42nd Royal Highlanders, Inc. was over, I had learned much about not only Scottish history and Field Music, but many of the important values that I still cherish as a mark of my personal honor. Duty to clan, personal integrity, gentlemanly turn-out and kindness to those less fortunate.

As I have progressed on in my long career as a living historian and historic site interpreter, the kilt has remained my constant companion. I principally participate in French and Indian War reenactments (1754-1761) and have represented the famous 42nd Foot, The Black Watch-the 78th Foot, Fraser’s Highlanders and the 77th Foot, Montgomerie’s Highlanders on service in North America. It has been a rugged life, lived out of doors in all weather and as I’ve become too aged to actively participate the way I used to, I do sorely miss it. My kit stands at the ready to go out any weekend I am up to it!

— Gene R. Clevinger-FSA Scot, Captain-Stewart’s Company, 42nd Foot

Heather Wedding 1206.22

Kilt of Steel

Ray Bowen

Photo courtesy of Ray Bowen

There is something about Ray Bowen that brings to mind the blacksmiths of old. He often goes only by the name “Ray the Blacksmith,” the way you imagine a metalsmith in an ancient Glaswegian village would do. His workshop is organized, yet rustic with its exposed brick walls, wood beams, metal roof and the big black stove in the corner, belching out blistering, orange flames. An unyielding anvil resides in the middle of the floor and, if you’ve only seen an anvil in Roadrunner cartoons falling on the Coyote’s head, you’ll discover it is much more immense than you’d thought it would be. Not at all something you’d want falling on your head. Ray Bowen stands above it and he actually looks like he could crush the thing. His mighty arm slams a hammer down on a plank of glowing iron. Sparks fly up, then rain down like a New Year’s Day parade. They bounce off his heavy canvas kilt like bullets off of Superman’s chest. It all looks like random destruction, but, in the end, the smoky metal, fire, sweat and energy will be transformed into an elegant piece of art that will outlast, by centuries, both you and me. But maybe not Ray.

“I didn’t choose to be a blacksmith,” Ray says. “It chose me. I’m a fifth-generation blacksmith with roots in Islay. Didn’t even know that until I went to France to study the art. My uncle Rodger told me.”

In 1990, Ray moved to Atlanta, Georgia to enroll at Emory University Law School. After doing private investigation work for a few years, he started playing in a band and gigging regularly around town. One of the band members turned out to be a welder who had studied in France, and that eventually piqued Ray’s interest in blacksmithing. “I could just do it,” Ray says. Soon his love of metal was less about music and more about, well, actual metal. The best part about it according to Ray? “I solve problems and then I get to hit hot metal with a hammer. Heat it. Beat it. Paint it. Put it up.”

Ray Bowen

Photo courtesy of Ray Bowen

Around the year 2000, Ray began wearing kilts regularly and has done so every day since. “I grew up in Scotland County, North Carolina. We were ‘The Fighting Scots.’ I always wanted a kilt. No idea why, just to be different I guess. Now I rarely don’t wear a kilt. I think I own maybe two pairs of pants and I only wear those when I have to work under my truck. I wear a kilt everyday. Period. I have about 25 of them.”

When questioned about his favorite kilt, Ray will immediately say, “My ‘Howie.’ Howie Nicholsby is a kilt-maker in Scotland, 21st Century Kilts. I traded him a store sign for my Ancient Hunting Donald Tartan. Also, I wear a lot of Utilikilts. The canvas is easy to clean and mostly fireproof. I do prefer the traditional wools, though.”

Whether in his Scottish tartans or American canvas kilts, Ray specializes as a blacksmith in classical French style. He says the work he is most proud of is the work he did with his mentor and former head of the French Blacksmith Guild, Jacques Brunet. “From the biggest gate to the smallest fire poker.”

These days you’ll find Ray Bowen in his Atlanta-based Invictus Forge studio heating, beating, painting and putting up garden gates, chandeliers, fireplace pieces, tables, sculptures and custom-designed and crafted specialty objects. The ideas are only limited to a client’s imagination. Well, that and Ray Bowen’s iron-bending, metal-twisting, kilt-wearing, anvil-pounding, super-human strength.

INVICTUS FORGE  1174 Zonolite Place  Atlanta, GA  30329

 

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In My Own Words: Casey Custard

Casey CustardI wear a kilt because I love the Scottish culture.  There is also some Scottish ancestry in my family. When I purchased my first modern kilt, I never realized how restricting pants really were.

At work we have to wear a uniform. So most generally I’m not able to wear my kilt, but I wear it as much as possible.  It’s a black watch tartan, and I love the colors.

Something I love to do is attend medieval faires.  That’s when I get to bring out my great kilt. I get a lot of respect while wearing it.  You have to put a bit of effort into pleating it yourself every time, but it always looks awesome.

— Casey

In My Own Words: Matthew Hall

Matt HallMy wife, a woman of Scottish decent, turned to me one day and said, “You’d look good in a kilt.”

I turned and told her, “You’re weird!”

About three months later we took a trip to Seattle and my wife arranged a side trip to the Utilikilt store. When we walked in I kind of liked what I saw but still wasn’t too sure about the idea of wearing a kilt.

A salesman named Otto helped my wife pick one out and she helped put it on by telling me to unbutton my jeans and slip them down off my hips a little in order to get the right fit. I was taking a look in a mirror and it still seemed a bit out of the ordinary. Meanwhile, Otto was whispering something to my wife and an evil grin grew across her face.

Otto started walking towards the front door to swing it open while my wife walked up behind, put her hands up my kilt and yanked down my jeans along with my boxer shorts.

As I turned to give her the, “What The Hell Are You Doing?” look, a gust of wind rushed through the front door, between my legs and under my kilt. And that was the enlightening moment I experienced the kind of freedom that cannot be found in a pair of pants. I believe it is called ‘The Breeze Between the Knees.’

Naturally, I bought the kilt. (A caramel colored Workman Utilikilt.)

I wore it around the house at first because I wasn’t comfortable wearing it anywhere else. Then one day it seemed alright to wear it while I was mowing the lawn. I got a few sideways glances and a couple of people trying to take pictures without being noticed. Over time I eventually got to the point of wearing it around town.

Yes, there will be people who whisper, people who stare. And you might even meet a rude, college aged twerp who tries to show off to his girlfriend by loudly pronouncing, “Nice skirt!” That boy just about wet his pants when I told him, “It’s only skirt if you’re wearin’ underwear! How bad do ya’ wanna find out?”

Judging by the flustered look on his face, he did not want to know the answer.

Judging by the smile on his girlfriend’s face, her curiosity was piqued.

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