Whether running about town, or spending a leisurely day in the country, the tattersall shirt never disappoints in the style stakes. G. Bruce Boyer applauds the enduring check motif.
Is there a more English shirt than a rustic tattersall? Not in my book there isn’t. It’s the perfect accompaniment to porridge-thick tweed sports jackets and cashmere ties, Scottish sweaters and corduroy trousers, jeans and desert boots. The perfect shirt for prowling ‘round the estate, even if the estate’s only a small apt in the city. Or for an outing of Sunday brunch at a snug bistro. There’s nothing more redolent of a woolly, rural air than a discreetly colourful tattersall shirt.
Strictly speaking, tattersall is a simple check pattern – the name comes from the checked horse blankets used by Tattersall’s thoroughbred Auction House at the Newmarket race course in Suffolk, founded in 1766 and still the premier auctioneers of horses in Europe – of symmetrically crossed lines of colour on usually a white, cream, or yellow background, although other solid colours have been used. The fabric is traditionally woven in wool for tailored clothing like jackets or more usually waistcoats, or in cotton for country shirting.