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