Field shirt in cotton-linen hopsack in petrol grey

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Buying

£260.00

Field shirt, made in London, with a fairly heavy (12oz) hopsack of linen and cotton from Lancashire, and with dark horn buttons — removable ones — from the West Midlands.

Sizing

This version of the field shirt fits true to size. 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 20 21 22 23 24
Back length 30½ 30¾ 31 31¼ 31½
Sleeve from   centre-back 33¼       33¾       34¼       34¾       35¼      

Caring

Although the cotton-linen cloth from which the field shirt is made is very hard-wearing, it is always best washed as gently as feasible to preserve colour and texture. Ideal, then, is washing by hand, in lukewarm water, or otherwise using a machine no hotter than 20ºc. Remember, too, to always avoid the tumble-dryer at all costs, for that way catastrophe lies.

The field shirt is an unstructured shirt or structured 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 capacious cut in the upper body — but is unlined and bulk-free, so can be sandwiched between your 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 are horn, and are dark in colour and matte in finish. Being as they're only a step or two from nature, each one is different, in terms of shade and marking. Those at the front are attached through eyelets and a metal ring — "butcher's buttons", sometimes they are called — and are thus removable.
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 bellows patch; the other is an in-seam pocket, the stitching for which mirrors its counterpart. Bar-tacks strengthen the entranceways of both.
There's no shoulder seam on the field shirt. No raglan, no in-set, no nothing. The absence of a seam means that the field shirt has the softest imaginable shoulder: for better or worse, it rolls over the natural lines of the wearer.
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.
The cloth is equal parts cotton and linen, and is a heavy hopsack, redolent of traditional workwear material. It is strong and hard-wearing, but because of the high linen content, is cool to touch and more breathable than you'd expect. The linen throws out a slub every now and then, too, adding character.

As worn

The gent here is just north of a 38 chest, and is wearing the field shirt in size S. He should consider going up a size if he wants to wear it as more of a mid-layer or jacket, rather than in the shirt-style that he here has assumed.

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 cloth is woven by a mill in east Lancashire: in a region of the country which was once red-brick cotton-mill chimneys as far as the eye could see. More or less the last of its kind, the mill has forgotten more about cotton than most will ever know — a fact born out by the quality of its work.
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 received the wool field shirt as a present. Exceptional construction and aesthetic. It is robust enough for the elements but precisely contoured for formal presentability.

A response for which you dream when gift-giving. This man received the field shirt in uniform melton in late November 2019.

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.