I have wanted to do an Edinburgh shopping guide since starting this site and, after years of hand-wringing and procrastination, I’ve finally gotten around to it.
The shops I’ve included — listed in no particular order — represent the very best places to buy menswear in Scotland’s capital. While I’m not a native Edinburgher, I have lived in the city for nearly a decade at this point and have fostered a keen interest in its wardrobe offerings for all of that time.
Below you’ll find the full gamut of men’s clothing, including tailoring, workwear, streetwear, Ivy, and beyond — occasionally all under one roof. It probably goes without saying that in one sense this is the tip of the iceberg, representing just a fraction of the overall retail landscape in the city. In another, however, it is an attempt at assembling something comprehensive; a collection of those locations that should appeal not merely to people looking to buy clothes for men, but more specifically those who have a particular interest in capital ‘M’ Menswear. Shoppers, in other words, who are particularly interested in care, curation, and quality all in the service of dressing well. And while it’s doubtful that every location will appeal equally to every menswear fan, I feel confident there will be something here for everyone.
When I relocated to Edinburgh years ago, Dick’s was the very first menswear shop I heard about; many years later, it is still one of my favourite places in the world to shop. I’m not alone in this either. In 2020 Dick’s was a Permanent Style Awards recipient and, speaking to some of the people who work there, I’ve heard many stories of customers making pilgrimages from around the globe to show up on the shop’s door on NW Circus Place.
Founded back in 2012 by Andrew Dick, the eponymous store offers everything you could hope for in a great menswear boutique: impeccable product curation, a beautifully appointed shop floor, and a friendly and well-informed staff. By their own account, they stock ‘small, independent manufacturers, both old and new, who specialise in their craft and have a common philosophy of quality and longevity’. These include such stalwarts as Baracuta, Filson, Harley of Scotland, Jamieson’s of Shetland, Orslow, Mackintosh, Merz b. Schwanen, Paraboot, and many others in an ever-evolving selection of carefully chosen brands and products. And did I mention they also stock womenswear, accessories, and homewares? What more could anyone ask for?
Speaking of world-renowned menswear destinations, just down the road on Baker’s Place you’ll find Kestin. Created by Edinburgh’s own Kestin Hare, his namesake brand has expertly blended innovation and tradition by bringing a contemporary sensibility to Scotland’s rich history of textile- and garment manufacturing. By prioritising quality at every step from design through manufacturing to retail, Kestin has taken the menswear world by storm. They are now stocked in some 90 stores internationally, but their flagship branch is based in the heart of Edinburgh’s scenic Stockbridge neighbourhood with their design studio and HQ located across town in the equally iconic port area of Leith.
For the full gamut of workwear, militaria, sportswear, and outdoor gear, their offerings are well worth your perusal and you’d be remiss in skipping over their brick-and-mortar locale on your next visit to the city.
Sticking for a moment in the same neck of the woods geographically, just around the corner you will find treen, the vision of fashion graduate and retail veteran Cat Anderson who opened up shop back in 2018. treen is a vegan retailer with a meticulous selection of clothes, shoes, accessories, and home goods that adhere to its rigorous set of values, including products that are sustainable, organic, ethically made, plant-based, and cruelty-free.
Located on St Stephen Place, a street lined with lovely shops, eateries, and a couple of vintage boutiques mostly geared toward womenswear, don’t make the same mistake I did initially when passing by in assuming treen catered exclusively to a female clientele — the men’s section is located downstairs (in addition to being available online) and offers a rare opportunity for a guilt-free retail experience.
Located in the West End is another of the city’s must-visit menswear sites in the form of Frontiers Man. Situated across the way from its womenswear equivalent, Frontiers Woman, which was founded more than 30 years ago by knitwear designer Jane Forbes, the shop came into being when Forbes’ partner, Nigel Pashley, left his career in commercial property surveying to join the family business. The resulting venture speaks for itself. Frontiers Man stocks an exemplary selection of products spanning workwear, streetwear, and beyond, the uniting principle being clothing that is well-made, well-designed, and tastefully understated.
Included on their well-appointed shelves you will find such esteemed brands as Norse Projects, Oliver Spencer, Universal Works, Alex Mill, Lee 101, Nudie, Edwin Europe, Red Wing, and others. Plus, you can rest in the assurance that, in a context where fashion can so often be presented as the exclusive preserve of the young, Frontiers offers the helpful, generation-spanning reminder that ‘great style is timeless, ageless and should be for everyone’.
Stewart Christie & Co.
Whenever anyone asks me where to go as a tourist in Edinburgh, I suggest they consider popping by Stewart Christie & Co. If I know they are interested in clothing, however, I’ll insist on it.
As Scotland’s oldest tailor, Stewart Christie & Co. traces its origins as far back as 1720. With an unbeatable heritage, they continue to offer an impeccable range of products including bespoke and off-the-rack tailoring, shirts, knitwear, accessories, and more. They also stock a selection of womenswear and even have beautifully furnished rooms which can be booked should you require somewhere to stay while having a suit made. Plus, they cater to such distinguished clientele as The High Constables of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Company of Archers, the Moderators of the Church of Scotland, and generations of Scottish gentry from around the country. And, should any of this sound a tad intimidating, rest assured that, though I’ve never had a suit made there, I’ve only had unambiguously positive experiences on their welcoming and atmospheric sales floor. As I said, no visit to Edinburgh would be complete without it.
Walker Slater, the world-renowned purveyor of tweed and woollen fabrics, is another jewel in the crown of Edinburgh’s menswear offerings. I first learnt about it years before I moved to the city via Put This On’s founder, Jesse Thorn, and made sure to waste no time exploring in real life once I moved here their extensive catalogue I had long poured over online.
Now located on the famously picturesque Victoria Street in the Old Town, Walker Slater was first established back in 1989 as the eponymous venture of Frances Slater and Paul Walker in the Scottish Highlands. In the decades since they have also set up shop in Glasgow, London, and have an eye on further expansion overseas including in Japan. Over nearly thirty-five years of operations, Walker Slater has established itself as a leading provider of ready-to-wear and made-to-measure tweed tailoring, as well as a range of lifestyle garments including outerwear, knitwear, shirts, and accessories spanning a range of styles and textiles. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they have an equally well-stocked women’s shop just down the way.
Armstrong & Son Vintage
Armstrong & Son, Edinburgh’s world-renowned and locally-beloved vintage emporium, originally grew out of a small shop on the Cowgate opened by William Armstrong in 1840. It has since expanded to four different locations dotted around the centre city on the Grassmarket, Teviot Place, Clerk Street and Cockburn Street — each within walking distance of one another and all equally worth a visit.
While I make a point of frequenting nearly all of the stores listed here on the regular, there is no Edinburgh retailer I visit more often than Armstrong & Son. I’ve bought a tonne of stuff from them over the years such that the lion’s share of the thrifted gems in my wardrobe originated from their well-stocked shelves. As an established and prolific trader of second-hand goods, of all of the outlets listed here Armstrongs offers the widest variety of clothing at the lowest price point. No matter your style preference, there is simply no better place to find vintage and second-hand clothing in the Scottish capital than by visiting Armstrongs.
If you’re in the market for something more high-end, while you’re on the Grassmarket as part of your Armstrongs run, be sure to pop in next door at Hawico. With a history that stretches back to 1874, Hawico has spent just shy of 150 years building a reputation as a renowned seller of luxury cashmere garments.
Born in the Scottish Border town of Hawick to the south of Edinburgh, Hawico has since expanded its operations to include stores in England, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, and, of course, in the heart of the Scottish capital where their flagship outlet is located. With adjacent men’s and women’s shops, excellent service, and a range of products encompassing both classic and contemporary styles, they offer something for everyone in the market for some top-tier cashmere.
George Street and Surrounds
Not a single shop but rather a shopping district, no clothes-buying trip to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to George Street — even if only to ogle some window displays while you’re there.
The more upmarket version of Princes Street (Edinburgh’s main shopping drag located just two streets over and equally worth a visit if you want to pop into some high street locations), George Street and its various tributary roads offer an array of retail options. These include Saville Row and Jermyn Street outposts (Hackett, Charles Tyrwhitt, Hawes & Curtis, and Ede & Ravenscroft), long-serving department stores (Slater Menswear), brand outlets (Barbour, Gant, Church’s, and Loake Shoemakers), streetwear (AllSaints), as well as a range of jewellery stores if you’re interested in watches (including Hamilton & Inches, Laings, Rox, and several others on nearby Princes Street).
Epitome of Edinburgh
NOTE: Epitome is not strictly speaking a menswear store. In fact, it caters primarily to customers looking to buy womenswear. And yet I go shopping there all the time. It’s just too good not to. I’m also not the only menswear enthusiast to do so — it’s all thanks to Put This On and Die, Workwear!’s Derek Guy, that I first heard about the shop many years ago.
Epitome was established on Dundas Street in Edinburgh’s New Town back in 2012 and has since provided the city and the world at large with some of the best garments the more eclectic and avant-garde side of the clothing world has to offer. With brands in their inventory like and Wander, Battenwear, Engineered Garments, Gramicci, Kapital, RoToTo, Snow Peak, and countless others, it’s a must-visit location for any clothing fan. Trust me, even if you’re too big to fit in any of the clothing or shoes like I am, the accessories alone will have you coming back again and again.