Field shirt in linen in dark navy

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Field shirt — a shirt halfway into jacket territory — made in London, with linen from Northern Ireland, and horn buttons from the Midlands.


There's not many of these left, by the looks of it. Still, don't despair. Email and perhaps something can be done about it.


The field shirt fits true to size for a mid-layer — which is to say, larger than a shirt, being as it is intended to be wearable over other layers. More like jacket sizing, then, than standard shirt. The mannequin — the most standard 38 chest in all of the world — is wearing a size S.

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      
To some, this is a heavy shirt; to others, a jacket-lite. Either way, here is a fairly substantial mid-layer, which can be worn over a t-shirt or shirt, and / or under a coat. Most notable is its whole-cut upper body, which means no seam — no shoulder seam, no raglan — and thus a very smooth drape over the shoulder.
Under the collar is a latch, which can be buttoned all the way across, as here — or neatly back on itself, onto the top button.
The buttons on the field shirt are large, and are horn — dark in colour and matte in finish — and each is a little different from one to the next. They are in that regard as if alpha-keratin snowflakes — such is the beauty of being a product of a high-grade natural material, rather than, say, a plastic replica.
The field shirt has two pockets, both of which sit at the chest at the front. One is a classic patch pocket, and the other is an in-seam pocket — built into that chest-spanning seam. Both have tacks at the corners, for life-lasting strength, as well as a tack to set the boundaries of a pencil compartment.
The otherwise minimal rear of the field shirt is decorated with a short box-pleat in the centre of the back below the shoulder. The sides of the shirt, meanwhile, are shaped with a curve (above-left, just about) and the hem is bound with cotton — like all other internal seams — to keep things neat and tidy.
The top-half of the body, and the sleeves, are made with a mid-weight linen, which has come to be known here as "working linen" for its pleasing world-weary and lived-in quality. It is a jacket-weight material — but, being linen, is at all times cool to the touch and breathable.
The bottom half is made with linen burlap. Cloth of real character, this, rich with slub and bobble. While heavy, it too is breathable, and held up to light can be seen to have a gauze-like airiness to its structure. It is a washed, so out goes natural starchiness and in comes a soft handle and pliancy.

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 linen mill, a few miles south of Belfast in Northern Ireland. The mill was built at the end of the 1800s, back when Belfast was "Linenopolis". That it's one of the last mills still standing in the area is testament to its exemplary work in the weaving, dying, and finishing of luxury-grade linen.
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.