Speaking of clerical garb, I am, oddly enough, fairly often asked about my black clerical shirts.
I have adapted some 5.11 Tactical shirts, both ripstop and cotton, and both short and long sleeved, into 5.11 Tactical clerical shirts.
Here’s the deal.
Years ago I tired of paying ridiculous amounts of money for poorly made but expensive clerical shirts, the white ones with button hole in the back of the collar and with doubled cuffs. So, I go a place like TJ Max and get factory seconds, remove the collar from the collar band, put in my own button hole and, badda bing, a far better quality shirt for a fraction of the price.
If for the white shirt, why not for the black shirt?
Okay, but what about good black shirts? Shirts for law enforcement uniforms!
But, quoth I, what to do about the Roman collar?
Then it occurred to me that the detachable collar that many of the seminarians in Rome use would be ideal. Just swap out the nasty plastic white collar for a nice, comfortable linen collar and, badda bing, I’d be in business.
Thus, the 5.11 Tactical Clerical Shirt was born.
Remove the collar, put in the button hole, attach the Roman collar.
Mind you, these photos make the shirt look a little grey. It ain’t. I assure you, it is very black, blacker than most clerical shirts.
The trick to making this work is that the shirt’s top button, at the neck, must be sewn in such a way that it has a bit of extra “give”. That is, as I sow it on, I leave it a bit loose and then, as I pass the needle up through the cloth, before threading it through a button hole, wrap it around a couple times, if you get my drift. This is because the button must button not only the neck of the shirt, but must also button into the inside of the linen collar.
The shirt has some great features. Remember, it really is black. I lightened it so you could see details.
Behind the breast pockets there are deep pockets with vertical openings that close with hook and eye. The pockets extend down under your arm.
Across the back there is a vent, which helps when it is warm.
There is reinforcement under the arms and grommets to allow for some air movement.
Just above the elbow there is a loop. Inside the sleeve there is a strip with a button and hole, so you can roll your sleeves up and strap them into position above the elbow. Handy.
The shirts are also treated so that they are stain/liquid resistant. Very handy.
Team up your tactical clerical shirt with some 5.11 pants (I keep a stole and oil stock in the mag pocket when I don’t have an extra… you know… in the mag pocket), and you are ready to hit that long To Do List.
BTW… thanks again to the reader who made a leather stole “envelope” for me. It’s great.
So, there you have it: the 5.11 Tactical Clerical.
I just found – I am not making this up – a black tactical Christmas stocking! $7.50