Spotlight: Murphy from Central Maryland

Spotlight: Murphy from Central Maryland

Tags: People Spotlight Story

What do you go by?


Where are you based?

Central Maryland

How did you get into skirts?

Kilts got me on the path to skirts. I was always curious about kilts even as a kid. Then in the early 2000s I bought my first kilt – a cotton non traditional kilt – and I was hooked!

Murphy standing with red kilt, black shirt, and name tag, looking at others, in front of others.

Soon I had more than one kilt but then I discovered there were leather kilts. I had to get one. I loved the structure, weight and swoosh of the leather while walking.

Murphy standing in front of 'Schooner Wharf' with sailboat in background. He has a leather kilt, and dark leather vest over a white t-shirt, and a sporran.

Then came rip stop kilts in orange cammo, work out kilts in moisture wicking material, even kilteralls. I also have a couple traditional kilts but leather is my favorite. I always wanted more head turning colors which kind of made me want pleated skirts. However, because I grew up in a very conservative rural town that indoctrinated everyone to fear anything not in line with conservative cultural norms, I found myself holding back on skirts as a line I shouldn’t cross. At the same time traditionalist kilt people don’t always like non-traditional kilts.

During the pandemic when everything was kind of on hold and upside down, I started thinking “why not?”

Now that I’ve now tasted the “forbidden fruit” of skirts and added them along with petticoats & corsets to my wardrobe. I’ve also got to add that I love the shape, swoosh and structure petticoats can add to skirts!

What’s your favourite thing about skirts?

The freedom of expression they offer is amazing, through a variety of colors, patterns and styles. Prices for skirts are also so much better than for kilts but they still have all the freedom kilts offer.

Is it hard to find skirts that you want to wear?

Being over 6’4” and on the heavy side yes but so far Hot Topic, Amazon and Women Within have had items in my size. Hopefully more companies will offer large and tall! If anyone knows of a good source for plus size leather skirts I’m all ears…

Can you describe any challenges you’ve faced in wearing skirts?

Lack of pockets is an issue (I need to carry my phone for off duty call outs). It would be nice if at least one pocket for a phone was available in more skirts. My workaround for this is a vest with pockets.

Can you share a meaningful story around skirts?

One day a few years ago, I was wearing a 511 tactical kilt in a store (this is a kilt that looks more like a skirt).

Someone asked me why I was wearing a skirt. Once I told them it was from 511 and it was a kilt all was good and he was off to get one himself.

So to me much of the stigmatism is in peoples heads.

What situations do you wear or avoid wearing skirts?

I’d wear a kilt pretty much anywhere now except for motorcycle riding. I would probably hold back on skirts at more conservative events or locations because my spouse dislikes the extra attention and finds it uncomfortable. I myself have become quite immune to other peoples looks and comments, especially since we now live in a very open-minded diverse community.

If you could share one thing with the world around skirts, masculinity, or nonconformity, what would it be?

I’d say start small. My first ventures were out in nature, hiking, driving, visits with supportive people, ren fairs, then out shopping and finally large events. Above all be yourself and enjoy it. To me it's a stress relieving, happy place! I wish I'd discovered skirts a long time ago.

Any other thoughts, comments, or aspirations?

I’d recommend trying a non-traditional kilt with either a pipe band or Celtic t-shirt. People will come up and ask if you play the pipes and admire your kilt. Once you try the freedom of unbifurcated garments you’ll never look back. As for myself, I will probably be looking for a Victorian style skirt or dress in the future, if I can get one in my size!

Tags: People Spotlight Story

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