Sleep shirt in union broadcloth in chalk

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£170.00 — ex VAT

Pullover shirt, made in London, with a mid-weight (9oz) blend of cotton and linen, and with a pale horn button from the West Midlands.


The sleep shirt fits true to size, and therefore the earnest young mannequin here — the most standard 38 in the country — is wearing size S.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Back length 29 29¼ 29½ 29¾ 30
Sleeve from centre-back 33½ 34 34½ 35 35½
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 at the neck with a single button, which is perched at the top and front of an opening which stems up from a seam which runs right across the chest of the sleep shirt (and indeed, all around the back, too).
A sizeable pocket is tucked into the cross-chest seam on the right side as worn. It runs precisely to the point, in fact, where the top side of the front overlaps the under, and is strengthened either side of its mouth with stout little bar-tacks.
There's no arm or shoulder seam on the sleep shirt. Nothing set in, nothing raglan, nothing nothing. The absence of such seams in the region means that the sleep shirt has the softest imaginable shoulder: for better or worse, it rolls over the natural lines of the wearer.
The cuffs are squat little affairs, fastening with a button of the same size and variety as found at the neck. Sharp, deep pleats either side of the gauntlet help to draw the sleeve, which as sleeves go is quite wide, into the cuff, which as cuffs go is quite wrist-gripping.
The cloth is a fine but dense plain-weave of cotton and linen. It resembles canvas, but with slubs of linen streaking across its surface. It is undyed, and is as such struck through with discolourations and impurities, which are usually disparaging terms, but are here highly coveted signs of the natural world.

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 sourced from a mill in Lancashire, in north-west England. Cottons have rolled off its line for nearly a century and a half. Industry-leading methods of weaving, dyeing, and finishing — unimproved in decades — along with steadfast adherence to quality, result in some truly first-rate cloth.
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."