Justin Guthrie

Traditional custom kilts surging in popularity

View Royal shop specializes in the Scottish fashion statements

Two local kilt makers are breathing fresh life into the classic garment-making tradition.

Jackson Wagner and Justin Guthrie are on a mission to bring the joy and freedom of everyday kilt wearing to men and women of all ages and are opening a store in View Royal to help them do just that.

Due to the surging popularity of kilts, fuelled by a growing trend of personalizing weddings, their business has grown out of Wagner’s retrofitted garage in Langford to their new retail location.

“This is our first big venture,” says Wagner, co-owner and kilt maker at North of Hadrian’s Kilts and Celtic Clothing. “Business put us there sooner than expected.”

The business partners couldn’t be happier with the growth, he says, but they are terrified just the same.

But the duo know kilts – Wagner, for example, only owns one pair of pants.

“I have a beat-up pair of jogging pants,” he says, noting they’re for emergencies such as having to run out of the house quickly, say to escape a fire. He doubts, however, that he would grab the pants over a kilt in the middle of the night. “I’ve worn kilts for a little over two decades. It’s so comfortable to wear a kilt, so why not wear one?”

He compares the experience to getting out of the shower and wrapping a towel around your waist. “Once it’s on … You just can’t help but stand a little taller and put a little swoosh in your pleats as we say.”

For those unsure of the process, Wagner says there really is no wrong way to wear a kilt. From a style perspective, they range from the more traditional through to leather studded ones. With thousands of different tartans to choose from, he says, there’s something for everyone.

“We often tell people, don’t try to put yourself in a mould … If you like what you see you’re doing it right. There’s no such thing as someone who shouldn’t wear a kilt.”

For those a little wary of sudden gusts of wind, Wagner assures that “Marilyn Monroe moments” are rare. “I have yet to give someone a free show,” he says, laughing.

After a soft opening through October to fine tune the storefront, Wagner and Guthrie will celebrate the grand opening of the first North of Hadrian’s store front, 264 Island Hwy. this Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 14 and 15) from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Celebrations include a tartan ribbon cutting Saturday and traditional Scottish music performed by the Vancouver Island Caledonia Pipe Band. Wagner said there will also be some special discounts and deals to mark the occasion.

For more information go to northofhadrians.com.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Victoria Shamrocks win proves costly

Shamrocks lose Rhys Duch to a season-ending injury

BC Ferries adds extra and late night summer sailings

Seasonal adjustments to sailing times also in effect on many routes

Greater Victoria records drop in building permit values

Values are up for British Columbia and Canada thanks to Vancouver

Campbell River teen on the mend a year later

Jonah Shankar’s treatment for brain tumour involved trips to UK

WATCH: Barbers battle it out in Victoria

‘Barber Battle’ saw stylists and barbers from across North America go head-to-head

Province comes through with funding for Charleigh Fales

Lake Cowichan toddler only one in B.C. diagnosed with CLN2 Batten disease

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Most Read