The origins of the Tattersall

Monday, 4 November 2019
The origins of the Tattersall

Tattersall, now synonymous with country style, has an interesting pedigree. These immediately recognisable, simple two or three colour over checks started life as lowly horse blankets. First commissioned by Richard Tattersall in 1766, for use on the race horses auctioned at his eponymous auction house, near Hyde Park, in what was at the time on the outskirts of London.

a black and white sketch of a Tattersall race horse auction in Hyde Park
Tattersall race horse auction in Hyde Park


What Is A Tattersall Shirt?

A tattersall shirt is defined by distinctive patterns which originally started to be woven in pure cotton, in Lancashire for use in shirting’s. The robust twill construction and bright patterns made them ideal for working shirts, and they were adopted by agricultural workers. By the late nineteenth century, tattersall had become the natural shirt to partner tweed suits and was worn by any gentleman venturing into the country. The tattersall shirt is now instantly recognisable as a symbol of the British countryside.  Although there are now a wide variety of patterns and colours of tattersall shirts, the original foundation of the 100% cotton composition and the iconic check design remains in the Cordings collection.

Cordings adopted the style as part of its permanent collection in the late nineteenth and our tattersall shirts are still one of the cornerstones of the men’s collection. Our shirts have a distinctive block: deliberately roomy with long tails, ensuring that the garment is totally functional in the field. The cloth is still woven for us in exclusive patterns, some taken from our archives, and each season the colours are carefully selected to sit with our corduroy and moleskin trousers.



Man showing how to wear a tattersall shirt with a waistcoat, a classic tweed jacket, a bold printed tie, and a pocket square

How To Wear A Tattersall Shirt

If you’re wondering how best to wear a tattersall shirt, Cordings knows best.  For the perfect English country style, one that has been worn for over a century, team your tattersall with corduroy trousers and a tweed jacket, complete the look with a game motif tie and handkerchief.

In warmer weather, look for a lighter cloth and wear your tattersall without a tie or jacket for a more casual summer look.