I am just getting back into fox hunting and have not been able to find the information I am looking for on proper shirt attire. I have read that ratcatcher shirts are appropriate for cubbing and that turtlenecks are tolerated at some hunts, but not much more other than that, which, leaves me with some questions.
1) Ratcatchers, especially the pastel and pinstriped ones that were "in" the last time I wore one, seem to be "out" in the show world, in favor of white wrap collar shirts. Is this true for cubbing also? Wearing a patterned stock tie over a striped pastel shirt I would think would look very busy, especially if you wore a tattersall vest as well (I know it is mostly hidden under the jacket anyway), but I am just curious what most people seem to favor.
2) During formal season is a white rat catcher proper? I have seen some pullover hunt shirts with button up collars online that look like they may be a bit more comfortable.
Any insight you can give me is appreciated. I have to buy new shirts anyways, so I would rather buy the ones that don't make me look like a novice - and if they can do double or triple duty for cubbing, formal season and showing all the better!
For the price of one show shirt, go to a secondhand clothing store. Buy some pastel or earth-toned dress shirts for cub hunting and white ones for formal season. Use with either a colored stock tie or conservative neck tie for cub hunting and a white stock tie for formal.
Yes, you're overthinking it. Just be neat, tidy, and unobtrusive.
What do you do with the collar if you are wearing a stock tie?
We use fourfold stock ties, which covers up a shirt collar just fine. I guess I've never given it much thought: button up shirt, put on and tie stock tie. It's also not difficult to find banded-collar shirts. I have some of both.
I do tend to use the stock tie only with a vest or coat. I think the necktie+shirt looks tidiest in hot weather (and, I agree--looks good on ladies. I scored a tie for 25 cents that's covered in flowers and I love it). In re: turtlenecks (or under armour), IMO they're for cold weather. Worn under a coat and stock tie, they're nearly invisible.
I'll say it again: cheap is good. You're engaging in a sport where it's easy to shred, stain, and otherwise destroy $$$ fabric in a single ride. My one pair of "hey, I look skinny!" breeches don't go hunting. If people are judging how well your ensemble matches, you're riding with the wrong crowd.
It doesn't matter at all.
You can't see the shirt if you have on a stock tie.
If you believe your shirt will be 'seen' at a hunt tea afterwards, either slip on a tweed jacket or a cute sweater, or leave on your vest.
I've seen people wear wife-beaters with a stock tie under a light black jacket on a really hot formal day. I've seen people wear an underarmor plus a turtleneck plus an actual sweater plus a slim fitting puffy vest, plus a stock tie, under a generous fitting heavy wool jacket on a frigid day.