Our pick of the best shooting shirts will have you looking smart and feeling comfortable even when you're in the field
Most people are puzzled when asked what makes a good shirt, but if you’ve ever worn a really good shirt, you’ll know it. Similarly, and more importantly, you’ll know a bad shirt – it’ll probably conjure up memories of nasty nylon schoolwear.
For something with an unusually practical edge, you could do worse than try the Jake winter field shirt from Belgian company John Field. Inspired by military designs, which use different fabrics for the body and the sleeves and collar, the Jake shirt uses Polartec® Powerdry® fabric to keep the torso warm and dry while allowing full freedom of movement. The sleeves and collar are made of brushed cotton to retain a traditionally smart look when worn under a sweater, waistcoat or jacket. Priced at £68.71, it’s available in sizes from S to XXXL and is suitable for both men and women. Visit www.johnfield.eu.
Yorkshire-based Rydale, one of the stalwarts of game fairs across the UK, produces its 100 per cent cotton Gransmore country shirts at such a reasonable price that it’d be almost unreasonable not to buy them. At £9.99 each or £18 for two, you’d have to look a long way to find a better bargain. Visit www.rydaleclothing.co.uk.
For something more eye-catching, if not quite as hard-wearing, the House of Bruar also stocks a range of cotton game-print blouses. Prints available include stags, grouse, fishing flies, hares and pheasants. I couldn’t resist buying one this summer and it’s been perfect for shooting on warmer autumn days, as well as for wearing on smarter, non-sporting occasions. Priced at £59.95. Visit www.houseofbruar.com.
With shirts as with breeks, a bit of extra cash can get you a few inches of extra cloth. Cordings again provide an excellent illustration of this with their 100-per-cent-cotton Tattersall shirts (4), which have long tails specifically designed to stay tucked in no matter how many birds you twist and turn for, and are cut generously to ensure ease of movement. Priced at £65 each. Visit www.cordings.co.uk.
At mid-level for ladies, the Perthshire temple of tweed, the House of Bruar, produces a high quality range of ladies’ classic cotton Tattersall shirts in a range of checks and colours to suit any shoot. I’ve had two of their shirts for years and can’t fault them for comfort, style or durability. Priced at £39.95 each.