Why you need a Tattersall shirt

Ideal for weekend wear a Burnden tattersall shirt from Samuel Windsor

Ideal for weekend wear
Image: Burnden tattersall shirt from Samuel Windsor

It’s versatile. It’s stylish. It works well with chinos for a casual day in the office, with jeans at the weekend, or even as part of a three-piece suit. You may not have heard of a “tattersall shirt” before, but you’re sure to have seen one – and once you realize how adaptable and timeless these shirts truly are, you’ll definitely want one.

But what sets this particular style of checked shirt apart from the rest?

An equestrian heritage

Like Gucci “horsebit” loafers, the Tattersall shirt has an equestrian heritage

Like Gucci “horsebit” loafers, the Tattersall shirt has an equestrian heritage
Image: Highfield Tattersall shirt from Samuel Windsor

At first glance, the tattersall pattern looks similar to graph or windowpane with thin, regularly spaced vertical warp stripes repeated horizontally in the weft. But unlike other checks, the tattersall pattern features stripes of alternating colors to form the characteristic “square within a square” look.

The pattern takes its name from Richard Tattersall, an English groom who opened a horse market back in 1776 where he also sold checked horse blankets. The stylishness of the pattern ensured it quickly became widely popular amongst wealthy horse owners, as well as the general population.

The tattersall check has been a staple of British fashion ever since – successfully crossing the pond to North America as well. Most commonly found on shirts, it also lends a country-style gravitas to vests and sports coats.

Tattersall shirts – for work, rest or play

This versatile shirt looks great with a tweed jacket

This versatile shirt looks great with a tweed jacket
Image: Cranbourne Tweed Jacket by Samuel Windsor

Despite being a firm favorite of the British hunting, shooting, and fishing set, opting for a tattersall shirt paired with a tweed jacket is just one of a wide variety of ways to wear your tattersall.

According to the team at Tie-a-Tie.net:

“Tattersall…while casual in design, adds an air of sophistication to practically any piece that it’s added to…perfect for the modern man.”

Ideal with a pair of smart indigo jeans or chinos, the subtle pattern especially lends itself to lazy weekend lunches, trips to the movies or a few drinks after work. Simply add a sport coat and tie if you need to smarten up a notch.

More colors means more options

Use the tattersall check colors to choose your cords, jacket and tie

Use the Tattersall check colors to choose your cords, jacket and tie
Image: Samuel Windsor

The contrasting checks of a tattersall shirt make it incredibly versatile. If you’re not confident with color, it’s a great way to add pattern and interest to your wardrobe.

For a smart, country gent look, pick out one of the tattersall check colors to guide your choice of vest and jacket, and choose another color to match your tie. For a casual look, use one of the colors to work with a rugged sweater.

The tattersall shirt looks great with or without a tie. If you’re going for a full British-inspired outfit, a woollen country tie and a traditional flat cap will finish your outfit off with real panache. Spiffing!

Now you know what sets this particular style of checked shirt apart from the rest, there’s really no excuse not to have one. Leave us a comment and tell us how you plan to wear yours.

Posted in Men's Style Guides.

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