Best shops in Edinburgh for cashmere, tweed, knits and tartan
16 February 2011
Scotland produces some of the world's finest textiles. Buy wisely and your clothes will last a lifetime
See-You-Jimmy hats and kilt towels are all good fun, but if you want the real deal sartorial souvenir from Scotland, it's got to be cashmere, tweed, knits and tartan. So give the trashy tourist haunts on the High Street a swerve and head instead for the shops selling quality goods that will last.
Elgin Cashmere, on the Royal Mile, sells clothing by Johnstons of Elgin, which is the genuine article when it comes to jumpers and cardigans that are guaranteed to last. House of Edinburgh sells luxury knitwear from Scottish and international manufacturers, while the Edinburgh Woollen Mill also sells Johnstons of Elgin, alongside Harris Tweed and Hector Russell. Further down the mile, Ragamuffin offers gorgeous tactile knitwear for wool enthusiasts.
Marchbrae have got you covered when it comes to cashmere in an array or colours and styles, as well as Highland dress and country clothing. For a more modern take on knitwear and accessories, try the quirky Ness Clothing, also on the Royal Mile.
Anyone who has ever hankered after a pair of cashmere pants or a Merino wool jumper will find what they're looking for at Belinda Robertson in North Berwick. In the New Town, Brora have got a range of chic cashmere from luxurious coats to jumpsuits and pinafores, produced in their own 200-year-old Borders mill.
For tartans, tweeds and checks woven in Scotland and inspired by the colours of the landscape, you can't beat Anta on George Street, run by designers Annie and Lachlan Stewart. Everything they sell is made in Scotland, including their stylish carpet bags (£78). They also sell homewares, such as throws, cushions and stoneware, while their scarves are just the thing to keep the North Sea breeze at bay. Hawico in the Grassmarket is another great option, with elegant and contemporary items for both men and women, ranging from knitwear to accessories.
If you don't like too much kitsch with your kilt, try one of Howie R Nicholsby's. Launched at London Fashion Week in 1999, 21st Century Kilts' denim, leather, pinstripe and combat versions have been a hit ever since with celebrity fans including Vin Diesel, Robbie Williams and Alan Cumming.
And for simply beautiful tailored suits, jackets and coats that embody the spirit of the Highlands, head to tweed specialist Walker Slater. These clothes seem to capture the essence of fresh air, long walks and log fires – clothes that will take you from town to country and all the way home again. And not a See-You-Jimmy hat in sight.
Gorgeous, tactile knitwear for wool enthusiasts; stock includes several hard-to-find Scottish and European designers, and there's a quirky in-house label too.
Fenton Barns, Fenton Barns Retail Village,
The 'Queen of Cashmere' opened her only store outside London in Edinburgh in 2004, selling a range of cashmere couture that soon had expensive clients hot under the collar. Her collections of modern, flattering designs using the luxurious yarn and…