in partnership
Andy Maloney (1).jpg
(Image: Andy Maloney)

We went kilt shopping in Pioneer Square, and you should too

Break out the bagpipes, we're going kilt shopping in Pioneer Square. But this isn't just any old shop - Utilikilts is kind of a big deal.

"We’ve got a lot of famous people wearing Utilikilts, and I don’t name drop," said owner Steven Villegas.

Villegas may be skirting the issue, but even celebs love Utilikilts

The Seattle-based company has been in business for two decades, and the Scottish have nothing to do with it.

"The idea for Utilikilts came to me in about 1999," said Villegas. "I was working in a hot garage, and I was thinking there has to be something more comfortable than pants or shorts, which I was wearing at the time."

"So I envisioned a kilt [that] wasn’t of any Scottish decent particularly, I just borrowed a girlfriend’s sewing machine and went to work," he laughed.

Just like a hem line before church on Sunday, Villegas' business grew, and the kilts just got more innovative.

"We’ve got one that’s really, really great for backpacking, [called the] Survival Utilikilts," he said. "It’s got more pockets than you could ever ask for, more pockets than you could even hold. It could actually hold 20 bottles of beer."

These garments may be on the outskirts of fashion, but you just may find yourself becoming a customer for life. Apparently, once you experience the freedom of a kilt - you don't go back.

"About 25 percent of all of our customers are lifers, this is all they wear," said Villegas. About 80 percent are repeat customers, so for 20 years that's how we’ve been surviving, mostly to our repeat customers.