Who: Lil Nas X
The outfit he's wearing: A tartan kilt (or is it?), white blazer jacket, and Dr. Martens boots. All in order, with not a single malfunction.
Location: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Editor's Notes: There are two types of Scotsmen in this world: those who fuck with kilts, and those who don't. I most definitely fall into the latter category, yet cannot deny Lil Nas X makes a compelling case for Caledonia's national dress (or at least something extremely close to it). Fellow tux guys, look away now.
There is no bigger fashion paradox than the kilt — a piece that is both machismo and decidedly effeminate. Those who grew up in Scotland will more than likely have worn one at some kind of formal occasion, where a traditional clan tartan is usually paired with a Prince Charlie jacket, sporran, and traditional thick wool socks and sgian-dubh (yes, that's a word). I find it to be an item of unimaginable discomfort, particularly when worn at hot and stuffy events that involve cèilidh dancing and all other kinds of drunken Celtic hijinks. If you're sensitive to wool, don't bother, for these things chafe.
Across the pond, however, the kilt has taken on a whole new life unto itself as casualwear. Perhaps its most (in)famous moment came when Kanye West wore a leather Givenchy version during the Watch The Throne tour back in 2011, a moment which 'Ye himself credits as crystallizing his own fashion awakening. "When I saw this kilt, I liked it. I was into it. It looked fresh to me. I felt creative; I didn't feel limited by some perception." wrote the rapper in PAPER. "Who gets to decide what's hard and what's not hard?” It was an early foreshadowing of the kind of androgynous, gender-neutral menswear that has since been carried forth by the likes of Jaden Smith and, of course, Nas himself. On the fashion front, names such as Charles Jeffrey have offered up their own daring takes.
If we're splitting hairs then you could say that Nas's version is too long to be a kilt, which usually stops at the knee. But the idea is much the same. Like luminaries such as Axel Rose (grudgingly), Samuel L. Jackson (huge fit), and of course Kanye, the Highsnobiety cover star makes the case for ditching pants and wearing something a little roomier this summer. The only question left is, did he wear it the authentic way?