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history of the grandfather shirt

The Timeless Grandfather Shirt


Timeless: The Grandfather Shirt

Distinctive Style

Once you’ve seen an Irish Grandfather Shirt, you’ll easily spot them anywhere. Whether made with a half-button placket (with only 5 buttons) or an entire row of 15 buttons. Whether featuring a breast pocket or no – the most distinguishing feature is the band collar. Both men and women enjoy them as day wear or made longer with flannel, as a night shirt. Traditionally made of cotton, linen or a mix, the style is at once casual and self-assured. This perfectly captures the values of its long and hard-working history.

 

Rich History

Many regions claim origin stories for the Grandfather or Grandad Shirt spanning more than 200 years. It is certainly the sturdy and comfortable garment of agricultural and blue-collar city laborers, alike. Typically worn by the main breadwinner, it harkens back to a time when many households included children and grandchildren while the family patriarch was still in his prime working years. Thus it was known as the Grandfather Shirt. Originally made in light, solid colors or featuring a fine blue stripe, you can now find Grandfather Shirts in a variety of fashionable hues. From the crofts to the industrial-era barrios to military service in both World Wars – the Grandfather Shirt has seen distinguished service in Ireland, the UK and across the globe.

 

Revivals – 1950’s - Today

The banded-collar Grandad Shirt was popularized by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the 1950s. In India’s warm climate, the Grandad Shirt was crafted in lightweight cotton, linen or muslin. It was practical and classically stylish. Ironically, when UK-born Beatles bandmates made their pilgrimage to India, they adopted this style causing a somewhat “hippy” resurgence in its popularity. “Everything old is new again.”

 

Available at The Celtic Ranch

Best of all, you can find your own Grandfather Shirt today! Just shop the Celtic Ranch – on Weston’s Main Street or on the web. We carry this authentic, traditional style made in Ireland by Civilian and Celtic Gent along with our housebrand, Celtic Ranchwear. Wear the crisp, white cotton “Sunday Shirt” with a blazer or jacket. Pair your favorite color with a wool flat cap and vest. Dress it up or dress it down, you’ll embody the perfect homage to the traditions and values of Irish heritage. 


Lori McAlister

Wrangler of Cultural Affairs

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