E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The Tabard, in Southwark, is where Chaucer supposes his pilgrims to have assembled. The tabard was a jacket without sleeves, whole before, open on both sides, with a square collar, winged at the shoulder like a cape, and worn by military nobles over their armour. It was generally emblazoned with heraldic devices. Heralds still wear a tabard.