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Sturdy skirt a hit with Swedish workmen

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Sturdy skirt a hit with Swedish workmen
18:38 CET+01:00
Mechanics, carpenters and plumbers who have tough physical jobs need strong, functional clothing. But that doesn't mean they have to wear boring, old-fashioned overalls that their grandfathers might have worn. A kilt for professional men recently introduced in Sweden features roomy pockets needed to carry necessary tools and allows the worker to make a striking fashion statement at the same time.

This men's skirt in heavyweight cotton has other advantages. It is undoubtedly refreshing – or at least mildly alarming – to feel a cooling breeze running up your legs during a long, sweaty day hammering in plasterboard or installing a new floor.

“We initially launched the kilt as a sort of experiment. We thought only a small number of daring men would wear it. But it proved to be surprisingly popular,” says Susanne Kristianson of Blåkläder, the company from Svenljunga, western Sweden, behind the unconventional work wear.

The trendy kilt has attracted a following among self-confident young Swedish men who are not afraid to challenge conventional gender stereotypes - although, as any Scotsman would tell you, there was never anything girlie about wearing a kilt.

The unconventional garment is especially popular among carpenters: it features two reinforced nail pockets, a loop for carrying a hammer and a knife holder.

One of Sweden's largest manufacturers of heavy-duty and protective clothing for men, Blåkläder sells its new workingman's kilt nationwide; it is also listed as a regular item in its product catalogue. The garment was lauded as “Fashion Product of the Year” in late October 2007 by TEKO, the Swedish Textile and Clothing Association.

The company, whose name means “Blue Clothing,” has been making work clothes since 1959.

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