Clark has been interested in wearing kilts since middle school. He said he "got turned off of them for a while" when people he didn't like in his theater class began wearing kilts, but once he saw “Brave” with his girlfriend his love for kilts resurrected.
“She told me, ‘Why don’t you get one?’ and that just opened the flood gates for me,” Clark said. “When I went ahead and started looking into it, I really scoped it out and I found all of the places online to do it.”
He found the world’s largest forum for kilt enthusiasts, a site offering information ranging from aftercare to advice on how to accessorize. He asked around and was introduced to Rocky, a kilt-maker from USA Kilts. Clark’s kilt is custom-made for him and he said that his specific tartan, or fabric, is symbolic to him.
“It’s red, white and blue and the black is to honor people who have died fighting for our country,” Clark said. “It kind of is a double whammy for me because I’ve got the fact that yes, it’s a Scottish piece of clothing that I get to wear, but it also has my American background.”
His patriotism and Scottish ancestry do play a role in his love affair with his kilt, but Clark particularly enjoys wearing it because it is unusual.
Although he has never received a negative comment from a stranger, he said that people do look and occasionally make a Scottish joke or an attempt at a Scottish accent. He doesn’t have a problem with the stares or the jokes; he finds them “cute” and just smiles and nods.
His parents are simply happy that wearing the kilt makes him happy. His girlfriend’s mother, however, is not as welcoming.
“She will ask me occasionally, ‘Will you not wear your kilt to Disney? Can you not wear your kilt to the mall?’ and that’s cool,” Clark said. “Sometimes I’m cool with that and there are other times where I’m like, ‘Why should I have to be told what I can and can’t wear?’”
When it comes to his career, Clark said that he will wear something traditional upon meeting his employer the first few times. Once he gets a job, he wants to have a discussion with his boss about wearing the kilt. If he or she approves, Clark said that he will proudly wear it at work.
For now, he will wear his American tartan kilt every day until he buys more. He will don his satirical t-shirts with fictitious logos and his clubmaster-style glasses. He will feel the breeze on his legs when he is riding his footbike (a mixture of a scooter and a bike) to and from class. He’ll make a statement just as much as any other student with what they wear.
“I guess you could say I’m making a statement, but I’m not going out of my way to make one,” Clark said. “I’m just wearing what I like to wear.”