Tattersall vs. Oxford Button-Down

Tattersall Shirt 

Draw a typical male from the US and you're likely to put him in a blue Oxford cloth button-down shirt, or an OCBD as some call them. He'll probably be smiling and looking earnest too. Let's place him in a diner. Appropriated from the British, button-down shirts have become the staple shirt style over there - almost a national dress.

Draw a typical Briton on the other hand and what shirt might he be wearing? Yes, that's what I'm thinking - country checks - a tattersall. You might want to put a world-weary frown on his face and place him in a pub nursing a pint of bitter.

Call me an internationalist, but I sometimes wear both styles of shirt. My inner-mod likes to wear the odd OCBD, but not very often with ties, I'll leave that to the Americans. My outer-Englishman, on the other hand, does like a nice tattersall such as the one above. It's the classic cotton/wool flannel mix for colder seasons. That one's a bit loose in terms of fit, but this is easily resolved by chucking it under a sweater. The collar's the thing.

What about you? American or Brit? Or both?

Tattersall Gallery

Cordings - Navy Overcheck Tattersall Shirt (Made in the UK)

Pakeman Catto & Carter - Flannel Shirt Pink/Grape Tattersall (Made in the UK)

Oliver Brown - Red & Blue Tattersall (Made in the UK)

Oxford Cloth Button-Down Gallery

Brooks Brothers - Egyptian Cotton Extra-Slim Fit Solid Pinpoint Luxury Dress Shirt (Made in the USA)

J Press - Pinpoint Oxford Blue (Made in the USA)

Paul Stuart - Blue Pinpoint Dress Shirt


  1. In total agreement. Both styles are great depending on circumstances. You’d enjoy fish and chips in a restaurant in the UK and a classic burger with pickle in an American diner. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    I also see the Tattersal Check shirt as winter wear, the Oxford button down is more spring / summer. I also find it more formal.

    1. Thanks. Tattersall's more wintry. Which means good for 9 months of the year in the UK!

  2. Both styles have their own place. I often wear a button down collar oxford with a knit tie. Goes very well with tweed. I struggle a bit with knit tie/tattersal/tweed - a bit aging on a chap of 40.

    1. Thanks. yes I 'do' the OCBD & knit tie combo. See the 'Bucharest and The Old Town Jacket' post - its a Church's cashmere knit tie and reversible. Handy for travelling with. People find knitted ties a bit floppy, but that's another debate. Agreed that tattersall plus tweed can look a bit full-on.

  3. As an expat Brit living in Canada, I wear both styles, in fact, the majority of my wardrobe is made up of these 2 shirt styles. I find it hard to wear a spread collar tattersall with no tie. It just isn't right. For this reason, I have tracked down a few button down collar tattersalls. The perfect compromise!

    1. Thanks Chris. We could call this the 'Canadian Compromise'.

  4. Have you looked at www.lewistaylorshirts.com?

    They have a fabric for a custom tailored tattersall shirt.


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