I own one shirt by Tender. It’s ecru, has short sleeves and a long body. And when I say long, I mean long. If I fist it inside my trousers, it gives my groin the topographical appearance of broccoli. If I wear it hanging out, I look like a Edward Woodward being dragged to The Wicker Man. Put simply, I bought a size too big. But such are my avaricious instincts around sale time, I can frequently be blinded to such fundamentals as, appropriate size, style, colour and do I look like a dick? This isn’t to say I’m down on Tender. Far from it, they make fantastic, interesting clothing. This shirt is a good example.
As you probably know, UK imprint Tender offer proper, down-and-dirty planet-hugging kit; constructed from natural fabrics, and dyed and patterned with the kind of roots, weeds, and herbs frequently used during pagan incantations. I don’t pretend to understand it. I’ve only a nodding interest in the specific processes of daubings and dippings that result in the brand’s rarified finishes, but rarified they are. No other brands manage to capture the Tender feel; it’s an extremely precise look and tone; a specific sense of disheveled splendour.
Over at retailer The Bureau, this piece is described thus: red ochre dye indigo doppler stripe calico periscope pocket tail shirt. Quite a title. But then, as discussed, Tender are all about the detail, especially when it concerns agrarian voodoo. The result is a shirt with a stubby, sticky-uppy collar, a distinctive pocket arrangement, a longer rear hem and an orange/toffee pattern reminiscent of of 1970s cologne bottle. It’s a work shirt. A shirt to be worked in. And it looks like it has been. Tender clothes have a scrunched, wrinkled feel. Beautiful, but exercise caution when teaming with flat, pressed cottons or wools, the contrast can jar. Other than that, give it a go. Just try and avoid my inimical tendencies and buy the right size.