Photo by Muffy Aldrich
The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Ask Muffy: “Should I get my Scottish Shetland sweaters stateside or directly from the Scottish vendors?”

Photos by Salt Water New England
I understand why some people prefer to go through the various U.S. based clothing stores.  They sweaters are easier to return if you order the wrong fit, and shipping would appear to be faster.  And it just feels familiar. 

However, there is no reason not to buy them directly from Scottish vendor any longer, simply because they cost less.  I compared a few items just now:

  • Scottish vendor: Shetland Crew Neck is $135.00 (£108.00) for Men's, $127.50 (£102.00) for Women's plus shipping of £22 (plus £2 per extra item) for DHL Two Day Shipping to the USA. (Shaggy Brushing from £12.00.)

  • U.S. Importer #1:  Shetland Crew Neck is $195.00 plus shipping of  $15.00 (UPS Ground) or $30.00 (2-Day). 

  • U.S. Importer #2: Brushed Shetland Crew Neck is $245.00 with Free Shipping.

For whatever reason, U.S. clothing stores and companies have grown very comfortable with substantial mark-ups.  This either means you pay more for your sweater, or you get a lesser quality for the same price.   So unless there is a specific color that you can only get from a US vendor, buy directly from Scotland.  They are often from the same Scottish producer.

However, I do recommend getting comfortable using an overseas vendor's sizing chart.  And if you are not sure between two sizes, order larger the first time. 

Buy hard, dress easy,



For example (Bosie is owned by a Harley family member): 

Women's Harley of Scotland Seamless Saddle Shoulder Shetland Sweater - Kelly Green (and Iced Sea Blue Behind It)



  1. Yes, I too see no reason why anyone should ever buy their Shetlands from any place other than Bosie.

    As I mentioned in a recent post, you will encounter unique colors there found no place else. And the pricing is quite reasonable - even with the $22 international shipping fee to America.

    I used to buy my Shetlands from two unnamed U.S. shops (one in New York State, and the other in South Carolina), but as Muffy pointed out, their prices are now exorbitant and their limited color selection is mundane. Scotland rules.

    I currently own three Bosie Shetlands, and one Mogganer, and will be adding more. They are the best.

  2. I'm a first timer with Bosie. I'm really looking forward to receiving my two sweaters directly from the Scottish merchant. I ordered one sweater with brushing and the other without(NA). The average cost came to 128 pounds per sweater including shipping, that's a very nice price, IMO.
    J. Press is $245 plus shipping for a Shaggy Dog.
    Thank you for this post and exposing us to Bosie et al.

  3. I've posted this advice in the SWNE comment sections for several years. It also applies in the UK as several prominent retailers, such as Cordings and Drakes, have raised their Shetland jumpers' prices to US levels and above.

  4. Go to the proven source! Thanks once again!

  5. Much prefer the fit of O'Connell's, they are more easily returnable, the selection is peerless, and there is the joy of supporting a family business -- perhaps the only family business committing to keeping prep alive.

    1. I have to say I agree with you about the fit of the O’Connells sweaters.
      They have an neater appearance, and I really like supporting there business. I have ordered from Bosie but switched back.

  6. I have purchased multiple sweaters directly from Bosie and they have been a pleasure to order from. Website is easy to use, no issue with the currency conversion and the DHL delivery is faster than many US domestic vendors. Excellent value overall and the quality is beautiful.

  7. I've purchased two shetland pieces from House of Bruar's website. One is a dark brown pullover, and the other is a kingfisher cardigan. They were reasonably priced and they still look great after approximately six years of wear. I don't know how they compare in quality to Bosie.

  8. I doubt that House of Bruar's Shetlands, at their low prices, are made in Scotland. My guess is that they are made in China or Asia and will be thinner than Bosie's and Jamieson's of Shetland. The former are made by Harley in Peterhead (near Aberdeen) and latter are made in the Shetland Islands from local wool. Jamieson's are the thickest and toughest Shetlands that I have bought.

  9. I messaged The House of Bruar and asked where their Shetland pieces are made. They said they are made in the U.K. by Munrospun.

    1. House of Bruar's website that the some, but not all, of the ladies' Shetland jumpers and cardigans are made by Munrospun and Harley of Scotland. Those brands can be selected using the filters on the left hand side. If the manufacturer or country of manufacture is not specified, e.g. House of Bruar's own brand, it is reasonable to assume that they are not made in the UK.

    2. Thanks Ken. The House of Bruar owns the Munrospun trademark.

  10. Take a look over at Genuine Scottish Knits, I have one of their pieces from a few years back, very nice. The Donegal sweaters are very tempting.

  11. If not sure on the shipping, there is always eBay. :-) Just make sure you test the merchant by asking questions!! The honest ones always come back and give details, others, not so much or give one word answers. It is my test.

    My family says I am sleuth on eBay, but I just know what to look for and I refuse to pay full price if I don't have to and have some excellent vintage wearable clothes. My favorite is an old printed Lacroste shirt with gators all over the shirt... which I am currently wearing. NO one has this...

    To our best looks!!

  12. I received an order from Bosie last night, and here's a bit of feedback:

    - Shipping time: I ordered on Friday night, and the order shipped Monday by DHL. It was delivered to my doorstep in the US on Wednesday afternoon. Pretty comparable to ordering domestically.

    - Sizing: I wear a 42 jacket, and I measured a Laurence Odie sweater tagged as a 42 for reference. Based on actual flat measurements, I ordered XLs from both Bosie and Harley. They fit exactly as expected. The Bosie is slightly smaller than the Harley, which I suspect has to do with differences in the wool.

    If you're nervous about sizing, go by actual measurements and not your expectations. The Scottish XLs are nearly identical in size to a Gap faux Shetland from 10 years ago tagged Medium. Vanity sizing in the US is real.

    Quality and impressions: The sweaters are both knit in the round, with no seams in the sides, neck, or shoulders. The Bosie I ordered was in their un-dyed Voe yarn, and it's the real showstopper. It still smells a bit like barnyard, and it's a bit fuzzy. The Harley was just standard navy. It's a nice sweater, but less noteworthy without much of any color variation.

    In the future, I'd like to try one of the Bosie cashmere blends.

    Overall, I'd say that ordering direct was a good experience.


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