I’ve made no secret over the past year about not being a fan of checked shirting.
While I’ve never had an issue with the more complex checks such as the Prince of Wales check, I’ve never liked tattersall or gingham.
The patterns have long been a pet peeve.
Both patterns signified to me the mark of the cluelessly dressed white collar worker, as they’re the go-to patterns in cheap menswear stores where people who don’t care about their looks tend to shop.
I still dislike gingham, I think it looks like a tablecloth.
But I’m slowly starting to accept tattersall.
I initially – and slowly – softened over a few months when seeing a few other gents around the web wearing tattersall in outfits that I enjoyed.
I’ve included four of them below.
It still wasn’t enough to make me want to wear it myself though.
What really made me interested was when I acquired my Barbour.
Barbours are a traditional English rural jacket, and tattersall is a traditional English rural pattern.
Tattersall as a pattern was named after an English horse market, coming to prominence in the 18th century.
Naturally, that formed a connection in my mind, and I started thinking about exploring the pattern in my own wardrobe.
I acquired an R.M. Williams tattersall sport shirt a short time ago, at a bargain price. It was in my size – quite a good fit at that – and I decided it would be my initial go at testing the tattersall waters.
Being on a white base with navy and brown checks, it proved to be a versatile fabric as I weighed up the outfit options within my wardrobe.
I didn’t keep the shirt long.
I quite liked the pattern of the fabric, and felt at home in it. Which was a big step for me, in breaking down that deep-seated dislike I had for tattersall.
However, I’ve come to be quite picky about my clothing, which is a good thing.
And this shirt failed to meet two key criteria.
Firstly, the fabric felt somewhat papery on the hand. It wasn’t the nicest feeling.
Seersucker, known for its coarseness, felt better on my skin.
Secondly, the collar of this shirt was entirely fused.
It wasn’t weighty, either, meaning it was a prime candidate for becoming a fly-away collar when worn open. There was no interlining or fusible to keep the collar in place.
Despite RMW being a name associated with quality here in Australia, the shirt felt cheap.
So, I sold it on.
I’m much more open to wearing tattersall now.
I chalk that up as a positive experience.
Next time I come across a quality tattersall shirt that fits my criteria, it’ll have a home in my wardrobe.
I still actively dislike gingham shirting, though.