Bare knees are tough in winter, but local contractor Daoud Steele is out there year-round, renovating houses in a kilt. He started wearing the man-skirt about nine years ago, and he says he'll never go back to wearing pants. "A kilt allows more freedom of motion," he says. "I find it's more suited to physical work."
Steele's company, which does everything from remodel bathrooms and kitchens to install windows and decks—used to be called Steele Carpentry, but a year ago he decided to change it up. "Everybody's construction company is their last name," he says. The new name capitalizes on the most unusual thing about him—his kilt.
Now his company is called Kilt Bilt. Since he changed the name, Steele has gotten a lot more requests for quotes. Now work is steady. "Everywhere I go I'm a walking billboard for my company," he says.
Steele joins a local franchise of kilt-wearing window washers, but as far as we know, he's the only kilted general contractor in the Delaware Valley.
Steele buys his kilts from Seattle-based Utilikilts, whose website shows men with brawny knees doing manly things like framing a roof, hunting with rifles or holding a baby.
"I get a lot of old ladies asking what I'm wearing underneath," he says.
We're as curious as any old lady, so we asked too.
Steele's answer? "Socks."
· Soon: A Man in a Kilt Will Cling to the Facade of Liberty Place [CPHI]