Saturday, April 13, 2024

Suiting Up at Scotland’s Oldest Suit Maker

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The scenic views of the popular television shows Outlander and Shetland may have fans booking trips to Scotland to take in the brilliant highlands, the intriguing history, the unique culture, some great Scotch whisky, and maybe a few pints of beer. Or maybe that bucket list includes attending a genuine Highland Games to check out some real feats of strength and displays of Scottish pride.

Stewart Christie storefrontThere is much to do on an excursion to the land of William Wallace and Sean Connery — including getting fitted for a new suit. A trip to one of the best-known Scottish tailors involves a bit more than wheeling into Men’s Warehouse, however. Stewart Christie & Co Ltd, located in Edinburgh, has been in operation since 1720 and is the oldest tailoring company in this tradition-rich country. Whether you’re looking for traditional tweed or something more modern, this shop offers the perfect fit for that perfect night out.

“We have serviced four generations of the distinguished gentry of Scotland’s capital and beyond,” the company states. “Supplying the likes of the The High Constables of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Company of Archers, the Moderators of the Church of Scotland and many family estates to name but a few. And always growing. After four generations in the same family, a new era has dawned under careful and respectful new ownership. A new future for SC&Co.”

It may be a new era, but Stewart Christie also works to preserve its heritage and legacy. The Starz network’s Men in Kilts offers viewers a real firsthand look at life in Scotland. Hosted by Outlander stars, both Scotsmen themselves, Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish take viewers on a trip around Scotland, and, fittingly, a trip to the famed clothing maker is part of the journey.

There’s nothing more traditional than a well-dressed Scotsman

Entering SC&Co is like a step back in time, although the shop isn’t located on the Royal Mile as it once was. It’s a good bet a few Jacobites, the 17th- and 18th-century Scottish revolutionaries who supported restoring a Stuart king to the British throne, stopped in for a fitting.

The tailor makes use of Scottish mills, weavers, and materials, and remains one of the only tailors in the entire country sewing custom jackets and trousers on site. Heughan and McTavish, who play Jacobites on Outlander, are fitted for their own custom tweed suits as part of the Men in Kilts travelogue fun. But don’t look for modern technology; Stewart Christie uses generations-old tailoring skills and craftsmanship. That includes using garment shears that are more than 200 years old.

No trip to Scotland would be complete without a stop in the shop. There’s a feeling of regal elegance when slipping on a Stewart Christie suit. It’s as if you’ve been transported back to old Scotland, also a big part of the Outlander series, and these garments will always come with a story to share.

And when in Rome, er…Scotland…why not go all out? The shop also offers custom-made kilts, ceremonial wear, sport coats, and country outfits. Visitors will also find much more, including dress shoes and boots, ties, scarves, suspenders, belts, gloves, and everything else imaginable for a gentleman to look his best. A nice bag or blanket might also be a nice purchase to commemorate that trip to Edinburgh.

And what doesn’t say “cool” like a Scottish baker boy hat? Whether you’re out on the town for a pint, heading off for an adventure in the lush green Scottish countryside, or trekking through an ancient castle, it’s a look that will bring a feeling of being part of something uniquely special. If the clothes make the man, then sporting some from Stewart Christie & Co certainly make a man connect with this historic country.

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