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How Scots Stay Warm And Stylish During Winter

Picture of Tori Chalmers
Updated: 22 November 2016
It’s no secret that Scotland, as bonnie as she is, can be frightfully cold at times. From the erratic weather and high prevailing winds, you never quite know what to expect. But the Scots have a secret — they know precisely how to stay warm during the winter. Once more, they have the whole ‘staying stylish’ thing down to a fine art. So, dinnae get yer heid in a fankle about a spell of chilly weather. Instead, here are a few wee tips on how to embrace the delightfully cool Scottish winter.

Ah, that frightful predicament when you dress appropriately for the weather but are running late. You arrive at your destination flustered, beetroot red, and over heated. Then, once the heart rate settles down, the coldness sets in again. Typical. Those in Scotland, however, are well accustomed to such a conundrum and therefore have a simple trusty weapon — layering.

© Jigsaw

Start with a vest top or bodysuit, add a tee shirt, and then perhaps a thin cotton jumper. Top that off with either a cashmere sweater from Johnstons of Elgin or a look-at-me patterned oversized knit from Pringle of Scotland and you’re good to go. This way, when you arrive at your destination, you peel off those layers like a tangerine, which naturally, prevents scarlet hues and cold sweats. Those eager to make fashion followers hunter green with envy (while representing Scotland) can add a statement making sweater from Christopher Kane’s 10 Capsule Collection. For a more hipster approach that will last a lifetime, opt for a tradition Fair Isle sweater.

Tip: Scotland is filled with some of the most luxurious knits and heavenly cashmere out there. Take advantage of this joy, choose your style and consider it a worthy investment.

Cord Tie Neck Tunic / Boiled Wool Gilet / Prismatic Print Scarf / Conker Double Breasted Zip Pocket Coat
Cord Tie Neck Tunic / Boiled Wool Gilet / Prismatic Print Scarf / Conker Double Breasted Zip Pocket Coat | © Jaeger

As far as layering goes, there are no set rules. After adding as many as you wish, the pièce de résistance is a classic winter coat. Whether a tailored Harris Tweed number from Walker Slater or a silky soft cashmere showstopper (complete with fluffy collar) from Hawico, a winter outfit is not complete until a coat enters the equation.

Tip: Although winter coats make any outfit, even they need a little help at times. For those dreich Scottish days, pack a foldable lightweight puffer jacket as a back-up layer for those persistent rainstorms and elevated winds. A brolly is another must-have item item.

Whether ice skating like a picture perfect Christmas card or heading out to that mandatory festive drinks party, it is imperative to go big (or go home) when it comes to winter accessories. In other words, ‘dinnae forget yer bunnet’ (hat). From wool beanies with pom poms and cashmere classic options to a trapper hat, it doesn’t matter as long as the heat doesn’t leave your head! When it comes to hands, choose from a myriad of colours and wrap them up in the finest Johnstons of Elgin cashmere gloves. Once more, scarves are your friends, with bigger being better. For tartan numbers, Marchbrae has brilliant picks for the oversized look with a rock star leather jacket.

Tip: Double or triple up on socks (preferably cashmere or wool) — the Scots have been doing this for years!

Cashmere Tank Top / Silk Cotton Neck, Rich Paprika / Short Leather Jacket / Hana Donegal Pom Hat
Cashmere Tank Top / Silk Cotton Neck, Rich Paprika / Short Leather Jacket / Hana Donegal Pom Hat | © Jigsaw

At the end of the day, if all else fails, embrace the elements of Scotland with a hip flask filled with whisky and start your day with some hearty porridge oats.

Tip: The more, the better!