A few readers have emailed us to point out that those of us in the U.S. of A have our own regional tartans. Wikipedia has a nearly complete list. Matt, an American living in Scotland, points out that the California tartan (above) is based on the family tartan of John Muir, the great conservationist.
I actively support be-tartaned clothing, especially if it bears your family’s tartan. That said: unless you A) live in Scotland, B) were born in Scotland and have a lot to recommend you or C) have a family tartan and are actively participating in a Scotland-specific activity (Highland Games, Sons of Scotland meeting), you should NOT wear a kilt.
If you do, you’ll risk the same kind of wrath that my Irish stepmother occasionally unleashes upon Riverdance and St. Patrick’s Day revelers. This type of wrath includes a lot of profanity.