For anyone who likes bespoke or made-to-measure clothing, knitwear can be frustrating – particularly for wearing with that bespoke clothing, where you want the fit and finish to be as precise as the pieces it is worn with.


John Smedley knitwear, for me, has always been the best for this type of formal knitwear. Its fine-gauge merino wool is smart and smooth, with a harder finish than cashmere (and therefore more reasonably priced). The turn-back cuffs on pieces like the Dorset long-sleeved polo shirt add a dressy touch while also allowing the wearer to adjust the sleevelength slightly. And – most importantly – the collars are higher and longer.


The length of the collar is a nice, traditional style point. But the height is fundamental. It allows the knitwear to be worn with tailoring without its collar disappearing beneath the collar of the jacket. This is why so many polo shirts don’t work with tailoring, and why T-shirts don’t either.

The problem with Smedley knitwear has always been that the body shape is also traditional. I always found it too long and too large and, given the comment and feedback I received here in a recent Smedley post, others clearly felt the same way.

That changed recently, with new manager Ian McLean introducing a slim line including a long-sleeved polo shirt, the Tyburn. Unfortunately, the Tyburn lost two of its best features in the switch to a slim cut. The collar has been cut back to a more ‘modern’ shape and the cuff has lost its turnback style.
The changes were perfectly understandable. These days precious few men in the world are searching for the perfect long-sleeved polo shirt to wear under a suit. But I am. And following my post on Smedley knitwearback in March, Ian and I got to talking about this missed opportunity. He made a prototype for me: a new long-sleeved polo, the Dartmoor, which retained the traditional elements of the Dorset but with a slim cut. 
During my visit to the factory in May, we decided to launch it as a Permanent Style collaboration. And so we have it: the perfect long-sleeved polo shirt. 


I know I would say this, but I think the Dartmoor should be a modern wardrobe staple. 
It works well with tailoring, giving a casual edge to a suit in any cloth, and it is great to wear with tailored trousers around the office. For a lawyer, it is perfect for dress-down Friday; for a media-type, it is the piece that sets you above the guys that dress like they are 12. It is the perfect pitch point between formal and casual. 
I hope you like it.

The Dartmoor costs £145 and will be available for the next two weeks. Given the response to the La Portegna slippers, I have decided to limit the edition by time rather than volume. Hopefully not so many people will miss out this way.
Orders should be made in the usual way, to me at [email protected]. Please state your desired size. It is only available in navy (known as midnight in the Smedley colours). John Smedley will then be in touch to confirm the order and arrange payment. Manufacture will take six weeks from the end of the order period. Worldwide shipping with DHL costs just £5.

Smedley’s normal returns policy applies – so while we won’t be able to replace an incorrect size, we can refund for it. 

The fit of the Dartmoor is the same as other pieces in the new Smedley slim line, which is much slimmer and a little shorter than classic pieces. The chest of the medium, for example, is 43 inches in the classic fit but 40 inches in the slim. 
I always used to size down on Smedley, so I bought a small in the Dorset, but buy true-to-size in the new slim fit, so medium in the Dartmoor. I am wearing a medium in the pictures here.
It is available in small, medium, large, extra large and extra-extra large. The full measurements are, in centimetres, for those five sizes in order: 

Chest width: 48, 51, 54.5, 58.5, 61
Body length: 64, 66, 66, 68, 70
Sleeve length: 54, 54, 55.5, 55.5, 55.5
Armhole: 21, 22, 23, 24, 25
Cuff width: 9, 9, 10, 10, 11

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Slightly confused about this sizing. How is a 48 small?!?!? I’m a 38 inch chest, that must be a childs!



This might seem an odd question but nonetheless:

I’ve noticed you’re wearing and undergarment. Does this mean you wear the polo shirt more than one time between washing it?



I’m a bit confused now, sorry. ”Sweater” isn’t mentioned in the entire post. What’s the difference between a long-sleeved polo shirt vs. a polo-collared sweater. The fabric? Thanks again.


Beautiful item, but would you consider offering it in other colours as well? I wouldn’t mind some youthful pastels, but how about a charcoal and a british racing green to appeal to a wider audience?



I love the combination. Looks utterly effortless….


Hey Simon, that looks great. I have a slim cut merino wool v-lined pullover of John Smedley and I am very happy with it. I have rather small shoulders and therefore its very hard for me to find a wool pullover where the shoulder seems fit my actual shoulders and where the pullover itself isn’t to tight around the body. I was very happy to discover that a John Smedley Medium sized pullover fitted perfectly.

If I could be sure that this polo fits in the same way on the shoulders I’d order one without hesitation. However, £145 is not cheap and without the possibility to try it on I’ll think I will play safe and pass for this opportunity. Shame though, nice work from you and John Smedley,I love the end result!

Kind regards


Ah, interesting. I’ve just mailed to John Smedley to ask if there is way to find out of which exact line my pullover is because I can’t find the exact line on any of the labels on the inside of the pullover. I’ll await their answer and maybe – somewhere soon – I’ll sent an e-mail to you as well 🙂

Thanks for your help



In my opinion this is a very well-judged project Simon. Thank you. A couple of points…

Firstly, from your reply to Arthur’s comment “Smedley’s standard returns policy will apply”. That’s pretty important information that can currently only be found buried in the comments section unless I missed it in the article. Assuming I didn’t miss it then I suggest that you edit your original blog post to include this information in the main article.

Secondly, I’d like to endorse Alexander’s comment about extra colours. I’m not as young (or maybe young at heart) as he appears to be so youthful pastels aren’t of much interest to me but his “wider audience” suggestions of charcoal and british racing green are spot on and would be my top two choices for next colours. A burgundy would also be on my wish list.

– Julian


I always find that fine knitwear like this suffers from the ravages of the washing machine. What kind of lifespan would you expect from such a garment?

Bruce Xu

I was wondering were there any plans to produce more stock for the Dartmour? I missed out on purchasing it back during the summer and am really disappointed.


Hello Simon

Just a little question about the slim fit line of JS. You say that it is a lot slimmer and shorter than the ‘easy fit’ line. But you also size up one size in the slim fit line. Don’t you lose the slimmer and shorter cut when sizing up? Or is a Medium in the slim fit line still a lot slimmer and shorter than a Small in the ‘Easy fit’ line?

Just like you, I also buy Small in the ‘easy fit’ line. But I’m looking for something slimmer and shorter than that. Unfortanetely there is no JS-dealer in the area where I live. I’d like to try the ‘Slim fit’ line but I’m not sure if I should stay in size Small or also size up to Medium.

Thank you so much for your help

Kind regards


Jon Omer

Would prefer the grey.

ken kleiman

vote for grey jumper

jon di blasi

Hi Simon,
You mentioned in this post that the Dartmoor will be available in Smedley’s A/W range. Is this still the case?


Dear Simon,

Any chance that there will be made more of these in the future?

Anyhow, thank you for a great website and have a nice day.

Best regards,

Espen, Norway.


Hi Simon. Any chance of another batch of these?


Hi Simon – I recently asked your advice regarding a Luca Faloni V-Neck. I had mentioned that the sleeve length meant I had to turn back the cuff and wondered if this meant the piece was simply too long. You had advised that it was in your opinion. Curious to have stumbled across this older article where you mention the Smedley polo featured turn-back cuffs which made it dressier. I’ve now sent back the Faloni following your advice but perhaps I’ve misunderstood. What constitutes a turn-back cuff vs. a knitwear sleeve which requires one to turn back the cuff due to length? Does turning back ones knitwear always make it dressier?

Charles Oxford

Dear Simon,

I know you are busy with the wonderful PS awards, but I wonder if you might comment on what the best merino or cashmere long sleeve polo shirt is nowadays? I am looking for one in camel that will work with soft grey suit jackets, but the Parwish version I bought from John Smedley doesn’t work at all. The collar is small and doesn’t stand up under a jacket. What is the best wool one on the market? Many thanks, Charles

Charles Oxford

Thanks Simon. Very happy to button a polo all the way up under a jacket. I guess what i am asking is, with the Dartmoor Smedley that you designed not available, is the Smedley Dorset a reasonable alternative, or is there a better maker (for example, Luca Faloni’s cashmere version)?

Many thanks, Charles


Simon, when wearing a Smedley, or other, wool polo under a jacket or suit would you recommend buttoning all the buttons?


Hi Simon

I founder the shoulder width and sleeve length that mentioned on their website is quite unusual,

which it state 33cm for shoulder width in Size S,

Im not sure how to measure the shoulder in that case

Unlike luca avitabile, it take the measurement as same as the shirt…


Hi Simon,

Where is the undershirt from?