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Burns Night 2024: How to look chic in tartan

Our favourite Scottish inspired pieces for you to shop now...

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 09: Zina Charkoplia wears red navy checkered Dior coat, grey pleadet Frankie Shop mini skirt, black Massimo Dutti sweater, knee high black Blanc sur Blanc boots, black Dior bag on November 09, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
Lauren Ramsay
Online Writer
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Though the start of the year brings global fashion-forward occasions like the Golden Globes, Valentine's Day and Fashion Weeks, it's imperative not to forget the Scottish celebration of Burns Night which takes place annually on January 25.

Celebrating the life and poetry of Scotland's national bard, the evening is an excellent excuse to wear tartan, and embrace Scottish heritage and culture. Donning check on this night pays homage to tradition and adds a vibrant touch to  festivities.

What is Burns Night?

January 25 is the birthday of the legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns who possessed a nationalist spirit and is the most famous lyricist ever to have written in the Scottish language. 

How is Burns Night celebrated?

"A casual evening includes a haggis supper accompanied by music and a toast to the poet himself", says Scottish fashion and lifestyle brand Locharron of Scotland, "A more formal celebration comprises numerous traditional elements." Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane usually hosts an annual gathering which is one of the hottest Burns night tickets in town, clad with It-girls, socialites and VIPs. 

Camille Charriere celebrating Burns Night at Christopher Kane's party in 2023© Dave Benett
Camille Charriere celebrating Burns Night at Christopher Kane's party in 2023

What should I wear on Burns Night?

"Many people, particularly in the Scottish Highlands, will wear a kilt for the occasion. In fact, almost all guests will include some element of tartan in their festive dress, likely in the design of a region or family clan. Highlighting the patron saint of Scotland, The Scottish St. Andrew’s flag is displayed." 

If you aren't remotely Scottish or just don't possess a tartan pattern personal to you, fear not. The classic check is a timeless pattern, therefore it never really leaves the sartorial agendas of designers and tartan pieces are often readily available to purchase. The late Princess Diana was perhaps the most unequivocal advocate for tartan, schooling us in styling it for almost every occasion possible. "If you're stuck on what to wear you cant go wrong in a long tartan skirt and chic black turtleneck," says Hello! Fashion's digital editor Natalie Salmon, "The combo always looks classic and on theme."

Princess Diana wore a Catherine Walker suit and hat to the Braemar Games, Scotland in 1989© Princess Diana Archive
Princess Diana wore a Catherine Walker suit and hat to the Braemar Games, Scotland in 1989

Is tartan trending in 2024?

It appears however that tartan is in fact trending for 2024. From Ulla Johnson to Luisavaroma, Etro and DSquared2, the checked pattern was consistent on the SS24 runways. Looking back to the AW23 shows last February, Saint Laurent, Emilia Wickstead and Thom Browne to name a few, paid homage to the classic design through modern silhouettes including cropped boxy jackets, maxi coats with dramatic shoulders and classic two-piece suits.

Ulla Johnson SS24
Ulla Johnson SS24

Suffice it to say, there's no time like the present to invest in some good ol' tartan clobber. Scroll on for Hello! Fashion's favourite tartan pieces for you to buy for Burns Night 2024...

What to wear on Burns Night 2024:

  • The Coat

    Full Length Marlborough Trench Coat

    Holland Cooper

    With the seal of approval from the Princess of Wales, it's hard to go wrong with British equestrian label Holland Cooper. This coat certainly packs a punch, but the fitted silhouette and statement gold buttons keep it seriously chic. Throw any old outfit underneath, because this is the item that will certainly capture attention...

  • The Accessory

    Checked Brand-tab Cotton Scrunchie

    Good Squish

    I totally understand not everybody wants to wear head-to-toe red check for one night, so why not accessorise with it instead? Good Squish is the accessories brand of everybody's lips right now thanks to its coveted oversized scrunchies. This red number is perfect for pairing with your favorite outfit from a navy trouser suit to a red mini dress and tights.

  • The Trousers

    Tartan Wool Flared Pants

    Polo Ralph Lauren

    These tartan trousers are perhaps the most versatile piece on the list. From the office to the dinner, they can be dressed up or down for any occasion. No brand does preppy cool like Ralph Lauren, and I love that these still make a statement, but are much less harsh than the classic red.

  • The Skirt

    Mid-Rise Check Mini Skirt


    Pleated mini skirts are back with a bang and I am so here for it. Amp up the sleaze academia aesthetic with this tartan skirt from Superdry. It comes in four different colours, but this one screams 'Clueless' and I'm obsessed.

  • The Blazer

    Cambridge Blazer

    Saint + Sofia

    A tartan blazer is another wardrobe staple suitable for any time of the year. The green and navy check is a classic, and I love this piece with a double-breasted fit. Pair with jeans and trainers or trousers and heels, depending on your Burns Night shenanigans.

How we chose:

Pattern: As tartan check is the traditional Scottish design, each piece is a take on the pattern, in a range of different colours.

Style: Though tartan clothing is classic, I've used my fashion expertise to find silhouettes that are either on trend right now, will be in future or are timeless. I've also found pieces ranging from hair accessories to full-length coats, to hopefully give options depending how you want to style the trend.

Budget: Whether you're after a high-street bargain or an investment piece , I've found pieces from £22.50 all the way to £849.00

HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.

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