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Hogmanay dressing For New Year Celebrations

December 28, 2015

Hogmanay is the Scottish New Year Celebrations and it’s the big one in terms of parties. So for hogmanay dressing, you definitely want to be looking glamorous and/or cool, but also warm. You know you’ll be standing in that party queue or striding from pub to pub in the freezing air, so avoid hypothermia, layer up so you look great both outside on the streets and inside in the warm.

New Year’s Hogmanay Dressing

Quite co-incidentally I’ve been reading all about tiny Frozen Charlotte dolls, a traditional Victorian doll that is said to be based on a poem that was published, appropriately, the day before New Year’s Eve, 1843 in the USA. The poem, “Fair Charlotte”, by Seba Smith is a cautionary tale of a party girl who got all dressed up to go partying one night, but refused to cover her great outfit in warm blankets.

Hogmanay dressing-Embroidered velvet capes-from Blue17

Embroidered velvet capes-from Blue17

Hogmanay Dressing, Victorian Style

(from Fair Charlotte)

One New Year’s Eve as the sun went down, far looked her wishful eye,

Out from the frosty window pane as merry sleighs went by;

In a village fifteen miles away, was to be a ball that night,

And though the air was heavy and cold, her heart was warm and light.


How brightly beamed her laughing eye, as a well-known voice was heard,

And driving up to the cottage door, her lover’s sleigh appeared;

“O, daughter dear,” her mother cried, “This blanket ’round you fold,

It is a dreadful night tonight, you’ll catch your death of cold.”


“O, nay! O, nay!” young Charlotte cried, and she laughed like a gypsy queen,

“To ride in blankets muffled up, I never would be seen;

My silken cloak is quite enough, you know ’tis lined throughout,

Besides, I have my silken scarf to twine my neck about.” 


Her bonnet and her gloves were on, she stepped into the sleigh,

Rode swiftly down the mountainside and o’er the hills away;

With muffled face and silent lips, five miles at length were passed,

When Charles with few and shivering words, the silence broke at last.


“Such a dreadful night I never saw, the reins I scarce can hold.”

Fair Charlotte shivering faintly said, “I am exceeding cold.”

He cracked his whip, he urged his steed much faster than before,

And thus five other dreary miles in silence were passed o’er.


Of course by the end, young Charlotte is dead from the cold, and soon her lover Charlie joins her in her tomb, dying from grief.

Inspired by the Seventies and Nineties

Don’t be a Frozen Charlotte! Luckily, both the Nineties and the Seventies are firmly in this year, making hogmanay dressing easy. Nineties dressing is all about layers, so you can wear your favourite tiny sparkly dress with warm leggings underneath, and bonus flat stompy boots on your feet – handy for non stop dancing and not slipping in the ice. For the Seventies touch, a huge shaggy vintage faux fur jacket on top. Really warm, and rock star cool. Pile on some glitter eye make up, do something fun with your hair, and wait for the admiring glances.