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Negotiations in masculine identities in the Utilikilts brand community

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Steven Villegas developed the Utilikilts clothing brand in the United States in 2000. The company’s main product is an un-bifurcated ‘manly’ kilt that is marketed and sold to men, not women. This article analyses individuals who adopt the Utilikilts brand kilt and how they navigate their multiple and shifting identities in a cultural setting where skirts for men are not readily acceptable. This study analyses online forums created by the Utilikilts Company where consumers share their personal experiences wearing the kilt, photographs of individuals wearing the kilt and the content and language used on Utilikilts.com. The authors conclude that the brand community formed in online spaces allows the Utilikilt wearers to experiment with gender-pushing dress.
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Keywords: Utilikilt; brand community; gendered performances; identity; masculinity; men’s skirts

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: San Francisco State University 2: Columbia College Chicago

Publication date: September 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Critical Studies in Men's Fashion examines the multi-faceted dimensions of men's appearance. It uses the holistic definition of dress as a means of examining the tangible and intangible aspects of creating and maintaining appearance. This journal is the first to exclusively focus on men's dress and topics of gender, identity, sexuality, culture, marketing and business will be discussed. Men's dress and fashion have been side-lined in scholarship, and this journal provides a dedicated space for the discussion, analysis, and theoretical development of men's appearance from multiple disciplines. All articles are blind-peer reviewed in order to maintain the highest standards of scholastic integrity. Theoretical and empirical scholarship in the form of original articles, manuscripts, research reports, pedagogy, and media reviews are welcome.
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