Field shirt in canopy cotton in dark navy

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Buying

£230.00

Field shirt — a shirt halfway into jacket territory — made in London, with rain-proof cotton from Scotland, and horn buttons from the Midlands.

Sizing

This version of the field shirt fits true to size for a shirt — which is to say, if you intend to wear it more as a jacket than a shirt, then go one size up. The mannequin here — the most standard 38 chest on Planet Earth — is wearing a size S.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 19 20 21 22 23
Sleeve from side-neck 30½ 31 31½ 32 32½
Back length 30 30½ 31 31½ 32

Caring

This is best washed by hand in lukewarm water, or dry-cleaned. If a washing machine must be used, a cold wash and no tumble-drying is the only option. Bonus points may be earned by using one of those clever washing potions designed for hydrophobic materials.

The field shirt is a heavy shirt or a light jacket, depending on where you draw the line. It is, either way, your quintessential mid-layer. It is suitable over a shirt or t-shirt — with a casual and capacious cut in the upper body — but is unlined and bulk-free, so can be sandwiched between a shirt and jacket.
The collar of the field shirt sits atop a full collar-stand, which itself has grown onto it a short throat tab. The tab is probably happiest undone — it isn't so long that it ever mopes around aimlessly — but can be whipped across to the opposite side to keep out the wind, or buttoned back on itself, out of sight.
The buttons at the front — solid horn, dark in colour and matte in finish, and snowflake-like in the individual uniqueness of their shades and markings — sit on a sewn-on placket. This placket runs two-thirds of the way down the front of the field shirt, and ends with a neat arrow.
There are two pockets on the field shirt, both at the chest. They are built into the chest-spanning seam that stems, in point of pattern-cutting fact, from the sleeve. One is a patch, and the other is an in-seam pocket, the stitching for which mirrors its counterpart. Bar-tacks strengthen the entranceways of both.
The cuffs are unusually slim: more coat-like in styling than shirt. They fasten with the help of an arrow-tipped tab and button. The relatively wide sleeve is pulled into this cuff with the the force of a gusset and the grace of a pleat — although the cuff is quite wide so the shirt is easily slipped off and on.
Formidable cotton, this. It acts like waxed cloth in wet weather — and over time acquires the same parchment-like patina — but is completely dry to touch. It is seriously rigid when new, but like raw denim soon softens up, and, with its already soft, brushed handle, soon becomes a man's best friend.

As worn

No, this isn't the field shirt. But, details aside, the fit and measurements of this, the overshirt, are identical. So it'll do for now. The gent here is 6'1" and is wearing a size S. His chest size is 38", and there are unconfirmed reports that he is 12 stone.

Makers of

The field shirt is made by a coat factory in north London. Note: not a shirt factory. Rather than being made like a shirt but with heavier cloth, the field shirt is made to the same standards, and with much the same structure, as the most robust outerwear, with heavy fusing and turned seams and the like.
The cotton comes from Scotland, from a mill on the coast, where the making of heavy, waxed, and otherwise element-proof materials emerged in hand, centuries ago, with local seafaring trades. Industry-strength cottons finished in industry-leading ways is very much the order of the day here.
The horn buttons were cut, shaped, and polished by the last such factory in Britain (now defunct). It was part of a tradition in the Midlands first linked to the meat industry of the 18th century. "It is no easy task," said William Hutton in 1780, "to enumerate the infinite diversity of buttons here in Birmingham."

So they say

I like to wear my field shirt over a shirt. Perfect fit. I like the heaviness and thickness of the linen. Simply wow. Thanks.

Spoken by a gent in Japan who bought the field shirt in very heavy linen in March 2018.