End of Summer Tartan Shirts

Here in Ohio I have been noticing summer drawing to a close over the past 2 weeks. We have been experiencing both summer and fall temps with Autumn in the air. Everyone is getting excited for the cooler weather and all of the layering that comes along with it, but until then we still have to deal with heat. This is the time of year wear a muddy madras shirt in browns, blues, and greens is indispensable, but I have found another late summer option in my poplin tartan shirt.

I have always thought (and still do to an extent) that tartan shirts are strictly for fall and winter wear. However, there seems to be a tradition of trads sporting tartan shirts in lightweight fabrics during the summer. I say that because these lightweight tartan shirts can be found at O’Connell’s and Mercer’s. I also recall seeing some from Brooks Brothers in the past and J.Press having them in walking shorts.
Gordon Broadcloth

Mercer & Son’s Dress Gordon in Broadcloth ($155)
Tartan Shirt in Broadcloth

O’Connell’s Blackwatch Shirt in Broadcloth ($145)

One thing that I found interesting about these shirts are the patterns. These shirts are primarily made in Dress Gordon and Blackwatch Tartans. This is great for me as Dress Gordon is by far my favorite tartan with Blackwatch being a close second. I seem to recall seeing some in Dress Stewart, but I could not find one available at this time.

As the weather transitions and the colors of summer start to fade lightweight tartan shirts make a great pairing. The poplin will keep you cool while the tartan colors are a nice nod to the changing weather. Additionally these shirts can be worn when warm weather is far far behind us and we are dreaming of madras again.

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

4 Comments on "End of Summer Tartan Shirts"

  1. wcherrycoke says:

    Thanks for a thought provoking post.

    I had bought a lightweight black watch shirt a few year ago, and wore it primarily in early spring, when the weather was still chilly. In that sense it was “backward looking” toward the cold weather we were leaving. I hadn’t thought to pull it out in late summer or early fall.

    After reading your post, and the arrival of some cooler weather this morning, I’m wearing it today. I think it fits in well, and in a sense, is “forward looking” toward the fall weather. This seems more natural and a better fit, and I think the switch will mean I get more use out of it.

  2. Kevin says:

    Kamakura does a Vintage Ivy shirt in blackwatch that I really like. Their shirts are trimmer fitting without being overly slim, and I like the unusual details they include like the locker loop and button behind the neck.

  3. Fred Johnson says:

    Mini tartans are my go to late summer/fall winter shirts. Thrifted Brooks when I can find them, outlet L L Bean when I can’t. Good post Ox.

  4. RMD says:

    Well, Kamakura USED to do one. Reading your post made me crave one, but Mercer and O’C’s is too much a price for me. I wish Kamakura still made one, those were ace.

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