Statement of Intent

This is Old Fools outlet for kilts and other unbifurcated garments for men or women. It is not for furthering cross dressing or costuming. It is for the furthering of alternate apparel for men and sometimes will discuss bifurcated (trousers, pants, etc.) garments as well. Since women can and do wear anything they want little will be said about womens clothing. That is not to say that nothing will be said about them. If men want to dress and look like a woman that is fine with me and some do it very well. Here, however, the intent is about men that want alternate mens clothing. The Old Fool (me) is not an expert in this field but he sews, has made several kilts, modified store bought kilts and wears them. I also wear sarongs, pareu, lava lava and anything else that is comfortable and practical. Some of my kilts might be called skirts but I am comfortable with that.

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So I said to the boys "hello girls".
"We're not girls" they replied.
I said "you're dressed like girls".
They immediately pointed out that I was the one wearing a skirt. I had on a kilt.
I then asked "when was the last time you saw a female in anything but pants?"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Old Fools Kilts: The Leine

The image below is from the website. The description is from there as well. Unfortunately they are out of stock.

Alter Years PAY015 "Irish" Leine (Shirt)
With this pattern you can make several different styles of the traditional Irish shirt called a leine (pronounced "linn") worn by both men and women. The shirt is very large and loose and has full, bagged sleeves gathered at the shoulder and down the arm on a drawstring or with its sleeve gathers stitched in place with stitches or decorative trim. There are diamond shaped gussets under the arm for ease.
Two different sleeves are given - rectangular or triangular - and two necklines - scooped or slit front. While both necklines and sleeve styles are seen on both men and women, for women the leine commonly is styled with the scoop neckline and large rectangular bag sleeves. The leine is usually worn under the Irish dress (PAY014).
For men, the neckline is often higher with the slit front opening, and frequently the sleeves are the somewhat smaller triangular bagged style. A long leine could be belted and worn alone, or with an ionar (a type of short doublet). In modern Renaissance festival tradition, men also wear leines with great kilts.
This is a very loose fitting garment and some people prefer their leine looser than others. Choose the appropriate cutting line by comparing your bust/chest measurements to the size chart. If you like a lot of room in your shirts, choose the next size up.
The pattern includes sizes from a 32 inch chest through a 52 inch chest.

Leine is the Gaelic word for "shirt". It doesn't actually refer to any particular kind – it is (and was) used for any sort of shirt. I have heard Leine is pronounced as shown above but also as, very roughly, LANE-yeh, where LANE is like the English word "lane" and the y is like in the English word "yes".

This is what men women in cold climates wore in one form or another until recent history (several hundred years). Probably the first were of animal skins later, as textiles became available, were made of clothe. They were made long, short, fancy and plain. They became dresses or robes but basically they were a leine. They are basically the same as tunics which have been worn since the cave folk made them from animal skins. To most Americans, who mostly think history started 10 years ago, it's a dress. The baggy sleeves were used as pockets.

A leine can be worn stand alone, over other clothing or under other clothing. The long tee shirts that you see many young men wearing these days is basically a leine. The below the knee over-sized baggy shorts that young men wear are made to look like a skirt. Google "Leine" to "traditional Irish clothing and you'll find lots of information about this garment.

Near as I can tell it was and is unisex and common in medieval times. Personally I like the more modern versions. Long tee shirts and long collared shirts are quit comfortable for laying about the house and garden not that anybody does that these days. When you work 70 to 100 hours a week there is not much laying about. When I say I am going to change into something more comfortable I am probably going to change into one of my oversized knee length tee shirts. Instead of building up the fire when it gets cold I add a kilt and/or wool knee socks. Simple comfortable clothes for a simple man.

Examples of ancient Irish kilts are usually a belted leine.

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