This past weekend I wrote a piece for the FT on polo shirts, which you can see here. Mentioning John Smedley, Orlebar Brown, Lacoste and others, it is hopefully an interesting update for anyone interested in the menswear staple.
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Nice article, but I think your FT editor has fumbled a couple of times.

7th graf: Some brands have gone further, exploring a knitted alternative to the polo’s traditional woven cotton fabric. ” Traditional polo fabric is knit pique, of course, as you note in the 2nd graf.

Also 7th graf: “The advantage of a knitted, fine-gauge polo, as opposed to cotton, is that it can hold its shape and incorporate formal tailoring elements, such as backward-sloping shoulder seams.” Should this be about fine gauge cotton knit vs cotton knit pique, or is the new fabric a silk, linen or wool?


Yes, I have all the kinds. And Smedley itself has made all kinds. Most of my Smedley cotton polos are of fully-fashioned jersey, but a few old ones made for the Richetti store in Parma are of pique, cut-and-sewn.