Sleep shirt in linen poplin in navy

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£170.00 — ex VAT

Pullover shirt, made in London, with a deceptively plain but extremely high-grade linen of middling weight (9oz) from Northern Ireland, and a horn button from the West Midlands.

Sizing

The sleep shirt has a relaxed fit, but fits true to size, and so the effigy here of calico and wood — a 40 chest if ever there was — wears a size M.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 19 20 21 22 23
Back length 28¾ 29 29¼ 29½ 29¾
Sleeve from centre-back 32¼ 32¾ 33¼ 33¾ 34¼
There's nothing to stop one wearing the sleep shirt to sleep — there's certainly worse apparel for the land of nod — but its roots are in workwear and casual military attire, and as such, it strives to be relaxed enough to slink over the head without effort, and durable enough to withstand come whatever may.
The sleep shirt fastens with a single, small button at the neck. Since there's only one of them, the fact that every horn button is unique — being as each is a product of nature, differing in shade and marking and hue, as if an alpha-keratin snowflake — is rather moot, but it's good to know, all the same.
The front of the sleep shirt is adorned with two large pockets at the chest. These pockets are stitched through to the front of the shirt — to liven up what is otherwise a pure and simple (but somewhat belying) appearance — and their entry-points are strengthened with numerous short and stout little bar-tacks.
The sleeves have no cuffs, and instead welcome being turned up one or two times.
The sleep shirt is an exercise in simplicity. But the simplicity necessitates great precision, and the drape and pitch of the one-piece sleeve, and seamless shoulder, is an example of that. It drapes smoothly over the lines of the wearer, and offers up great space and comfort, as well as upward and forward movement.
This linen is meant not for shirts, but rather tailored jackets. It is a very fine, high-count weave of very fine, long-staple yarn, first mercerised for a sleek look, then sanforised to remove potential shrinkage. It is thick and strong, and creases less than most cottons, let alone crumpled, unkempt linens of stereotype.

Makers of

The sleep shirt, in how it is put together and with the sturdy nature of its cloth, has more in common with a jacket than e.g. a shirt, with heavy turned seams here and other seams bound tidily with cotton there. It is as such is made by a family-run specialist of coats and jackets in north-east London.
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 made in Birmingham."