Fiona McCade: All hail the kilt and its holistic powers

NOT for the first time, we discover that our ancestors knew something important that we – being so terribly civilised – have forgotten.
Sir Richard Branson arriving in Edinburgh Airport wearing a Harris Tweed Kilt. Picture: GettySir Richard Branson arriving in Edinburgh Airport wearing a Harris Tweed Kilt. Picture: Getty
Sir Richard Branson arriving in Edinburgh Airport wearing a Harris Tweed Kilt. Picture: Getty

In this case, it’s that kilts are good for us. I don’t just mean that kilts are picturesque, exciting during windy weather and good for wearing to weddings. I mean that kilts may actually be the best way to ensure the survival and wellbeing of mankind. Well, Scotsmankind at least.

According to a report in the latest edition of the Scottish Medical Journal, kilts provide the “ideal physiological scrotal environment”.

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The long-term popularity of tight underpants and trews across the First World has led to a serious decline in sperm quality – because when a gentlemen’s jewels are constantly kept scrunched up at the same temperature as the rest of his body (they need to be kept at least three degrees cooler), they generate less effective sperm – if any. Makes you wonder how the Bee Gees managed to reproduce at all.

However, as the ancient Scots knew, the solution to this problem lies in allowing the male undercarriage its liberty. When they invented the kilt, they put the “man” into emancipation.

And if that man is in Scotland, the breeze around his boys is likely to be a good ten degrees below core body-temperature, thus ensuring maximum fertility levels (well, as long as he still has feeling down there).

This might explain why men in kilts are so attractive to women. Frankly, a bloke could be making serviette swans, but if he’s wearing a kilt, he can’t help but look hunky.

It’s not just the gentle swing of plaid against buttock that makes us swoon, it’s the subconscious message that, barely contained beneath the pleats, there lurks a potency unheard of in most industrialised nations. It’s a heady combination.

Perhaps even more importantly for Caledonian males, the SMJ study has found that kilts also have a profound psychological effect on their wearers. It concludes that a kilt “will get you noticed no matter where you are” and that “research has shown that wearing a kilt gives a man a strong sense of masculinity 
and freedom … it also gives [him] a sensuous awareness of his body”.

A quick poll of male kiltophiles proves this to be absolutely true. Apparently, kilts make you feel different, and special. When wearing one, you can’t simply walk – it actually forces you to stride, ensuring instant manliness.

Also, since it has no pockets, you have to find something else to do with your hands, like strangling stags, or hacking things to death with claymores.

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Alternatively, you can stand with fists on hips – which makes you look ready for anything – or fold your arms, for moody magnificence.

The implication is that if you can wear a skirt and no underwear, you must have more testosterone than you know what to do with. You are so comfortable in your masculinity that you fear nothing – not even the bite of the Scottish winter on bare flesh. In short, a kilt is the garment of choice for every bold chieftain, standing atop a windswept Cairngorm, tossing a caber like a matchstick and bringing down a golden eagle.

It would also appear that wrapping themselves in tartan gives the laddies a real sense of identity. Not only does it often make them the centre of attention – I went to a French wedding with my husband and his kilt almost upstaged the bride – it seems to act as a passport to worldwide acceptance. It says: I am not American; I am not English; I am none of those other nationalities you might not like. I am a SCOT and I’m LOVELY!

With such huge physiological, psychological and social advantages, the kilt must surely qualify as the world’s first holistic garment. It also manages to achieve the impossible; to be macho, as well as egalitarian. After all, only where kilts are involved can you have a household where nobody wears the trousers.

So come on, Scotsmen, embrace the plaid on a daily basis. Reclaim your national dress. It’s good for you and, speaking on behalf of lasses everywhere, I can assure you it’s good for us, too. Most importantly of all, the future of Scotland – and perhaps even the world – may depend upon it.