Monday, September 24, 2018

No Such Thing as a Bad Tattersall

Photo by Salt Water New England

14 comments:

  1. That's a great and varied collection - from Mercer I presume. I've seen some average tattersalls, mainly due to odd shaped collars and cheap buttons. The big issue is fit as some, e.g. Purdey, are very big on the body. Shooters need roomy shirts but sometimes there is just too much room.

    Cordings' size chart suggests that their tattersalls are slimmer this year. They are now average British size rather than very big. The sleeves are 36 inches, an inch or two on the long side. The autumn promotion, 3 for £120 last year, is usually in late November. The new "Peter" checks are very tempting.

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    1. I do love the variety of tattersall colors and patterns available from the English makers but the fit just does not seem to work for me personally. They are a very different animal from Mercer: Typically they are cut much slimmer, the shirt collar comes up higher on the neck, the collar and cuffs are stiff, the sleeves run (quite) long, and the material is twill, not soft flannel. Plus Mercer’s are sized vs. S-M-L-XL.

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    2. That is the complete opposite of my experience. Most "English" makers' tattersall shirts have sized collars like Mercer's. They tend to have a generous regular fit, rarely slim cut. Uniquely, Charles Tyrwhitt offers regular and slim fit with a choice of sleeve lengths.

      Some makers (e.g. Budd) use Italian twill cloth. However, most use brushed cotton, some with up to with 20% wool. It would be useful to know the English brands that you have tried personally. Please post the details at your earliest convenience.

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    3. I've bought tattersalls from Cordings and Harvie. I have found that when they say "generously" cut that that is a relative term. I don't have them anymore but know that if I placed them alongside the Mercer shirts that the Mercer shirts would be far more roomy in the body and in the sleeves. The Harvie collar was, to borrow from Rumpole, like a blunt execution. Both had sleeves that were ridiculously long compared with the overall dimensions of the shirt. I don't know if there is a difference between brushed cotton flannel (Mercer) and brushed cotton twill (the others), but practically speaking Mercer's shirt is far softer. Maybe the nap is more pronounced. These are of course only personal preferences. (I love everything else from Cordings, I have been keeping them in business for the last year.)

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    4. I have had similar problems with those brands too. The (old?) Cordings cut was much too big. The sleeves were too long for me but they can be shortened if necessary. Harvie & Hudson's collars were too high and stiff so I switched to Charles Tyrwhitt.

      I totally understand your preference for Mercer's but they are considerably dearer. For similar quality in London, you would probably need to try Drakes or Budd but they are expensive too.

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  2. I tend to wear more tattersall shirts these days, along with trad stripes and solids! I've become a shirt hoarder, so many patterns to choice from compared to twenty years ago! Don't get me started on belt selections these days...boom!

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  3. The advantages of Mercer's sizing is obvious. The s/m/l/xl game doesn't work for many and usually require sleeve alterations.

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  4. I love my Orvis tattersall blouses from a few years ago, but they are no longer available. I considered House of Bruar , but their smallest option is too big🙁. I’ll keep looking . . .cheers!

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  5. If that's someone's closet, I'm impressed and with my 4 tattersalls I have alot of catching up to do.

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  6. I truly do not understand English garment sizing. Realizing that the typical American male body type often differs from the English, as the English cut of sportcoat seems inappropriate for many American men, among other differences.

    As others have noted, many of the shirts have disproportionately long sleeves. And then there are the Barbour jackets, such as the Beaufort, with sleeves far too short for the jacket sizing. Recommendation: do not wear English tattersals with Barbour Beaufort, unless one prefers to look like an ill-dressed school child.

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    1. A good shirtmaker will shorten sleeves for a small fee. My local alterations tailor will shorten shirt sleeves for around £10. She is used by our local shops, e.g. TM Lewin, Tommy Hilfiger and department stores.

      In Britain, Barbour will lengthen jacket sleeves (replacing them if necessary) for a reasonable charge. Similarly nylon sleeve linings (e.g. in the Ashby) can be replaced with cotton (like the Bedale and Beaufort) too.

      The real recommendation should be to buy from reputable firms who offer quick and affordable alteration services. Another is to buy MTM, probably the best option for those who find it difficult to find RTW garments that fill well.

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    2. Ken, I rarely have problems finding RTW garments that fit well on my rather typical male frame. What bothers me is when there is a noticeable variance from the mean, such as a few shirtmakers whose sleeves are longer than most competitive makers, and Barbour outerwear with rather ridiculously short sleeves. The Filson equivalent of the Beaufort, for example, has normal-length sleeves. My local quality menswear retailer, the only source of Barbour within a three hour driving distance, admits they rarely sell a Beaufort without sending it back to England for alterations. Why should that even be necessary? Do the English really wish to discourage their potential customers and limit sales to affluent regions having many options for obtaining alterations?

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    3. I must admit to being puzzled by your complaint. Do Britons have shorter arms than Americans? I have have never heard anyone complain that the sleeves of Barbour's waxed jackets are too short, not even on this blog.

      Italians do have longer arms than Brits, demonstrated by the driving positions of their sports cars which are very uncomfortable. The old Alfa Romeo spider, driven by Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate", was particularly bad. Yet Barbour's waxed jackets are very popular in Italy, especially with Roman soccer fans.

      My guess is that Barbour's jackets and coats are designed to fit the vast majority of their customers. Barbour used to offer MTO options and they may be still available on request. However, the alterations service is reasonably priced for those who need it. Btw, even less affluent areas in England have competent alterations tailors.

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