The Finest Polo back in stock, with grey, with notes

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The Finest Polo - the elegant, knitted summer polo shirt - goes on sale again today, with a new mid-grey colour alongside the navy and cream.

And I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about the wear and care of it, as there were a few questions back and forth with readers last year.

The first thing to remember is, this isn’t a rough-and-ready shirt like a more standard, pique polo. It’s not designed for sport in the park, or chucking in the tumble dryer. 

But it’s also not a delicate piece of cashmere. It’s knitwear, but you can wash it in most washing machines on a gentle/wool setting, at a cool temperature, and hang dry. Just like the dress shirts you might buy with the same overall idea of elegance. 

Like quite a lot of knitwear, when it dries the knit may have compacted a little (though not felted) making it look wrinkled and perhaps seeming to have shrunk a bit. 

This all drops out when you wear it. The fibres stretch out again, and the wrinkles pretty much all disappear. It’s a similar ‘reshaping’ that I mentioned when talking about the Tapered T-shirt last month. 

I sometimes iron mine - particularly the collar - if I’m dressing more smartly. But often I simply put it on again when dry, and let it reshape on me. 

I wanted to talk about this because I love my Finest Polos, and feel the genuinely offer something different for smart menswear. (You can read other reasons, such as the make and collar, on the original launch post here.)

And of course the nice thing about PS is that, unlike a bigger brand, these are clothes I actually wear every day, and can talk about from personal experience. I try them, tweak them and then live in them, whether it’s robust PS oxfords or refined Dartmoors.

Right, so with that out of the way, here’s the new grey. 

It’s deliberately a mid- to light shade, which looks nice and summery but also sits well with a range of colours. It’s the grey you can wear with everything from sugary pink-linen trousers to washed-out mint-green shorts. 

Of course, me being me, I’m wearing it here with more neutral colours: cream cotton trousers and brown-suede loafers. Swappable to white canvas shoes for something (a little) sportier.

The trousers are the ones from Dalcuore in Drapers cotton first shown here. The loafers are a classic Baudoin & Lange Sagan, and the canvas shoes are my 45R pair covered here

A few readers also asked last time whether I’d wear the Finest Polo with jeans, and the answer is no, not really. 

It’s designed to be the finest, smartest version of a short-sleeved polo. So it doesn’t go with everything, even if I’d wear it with tailored trousers, smarter chinos, and some shorts too

Although a lot of the PS products are pretty versatile, they’re designed to fill niches of clothes I want to wear, and there are lots and lots of more standard pique polos. (There’s a round-up piece coming up on those, actually.)

So not with jeans. But yes with anything vaguely smart, from a bespoke blazer to a linen overshirt. 

Also, while we’re on the subject, wearing a smart polo like this with jeans is not an example of ‘high/low’ dressing, as another reader suggested. 

High/low is about greater contrast, to the point of being unexpected and even startling in its combination. It often works best with things like shoes and outerwear.

If I was going to wear a polo shirt with jeans, personally, it would be something still knitted but not as fine and so not as formal, like the Colhay’s tennis polo

That is a regular-weight sweater, so it’s not really a high-summer piece. But then most people wouldn’t be wearing jeans in high summer either. 

I also want to talk about price, as we’re having to put up prices slightly on a few things this year. 

This purely reflects the costs we’re getting from manufacturers, and often comes straight from their raw materials. 

There have been many interruptions to trade recently, most obviously Covid, and everyone has been struggling to get back to speed. Even now you’ll see delays on when Spring/Summer stock is coming into stores. But the simple costs of leather, cotton and wool at the top end of the market have also increased substantially - in some cases by 30%. 

We’ve always aimed to be fair and direct with our prices, openly explaining when they have to change. The Finest Polo has gone up in price by £10, purely to reflect these factors, and there will be a small number of other increases as well. 

I have to say, the Finest Polo is one of the things I’m most excited about wearing again this summer. 

Given I like a collar, and something that looks smart but subtly so, it fits perfectly into my wardrobe. I can chuck it on with a good pair of trousers, and then think about whether I’ll be wearing a jacket, an overshirt or a bomber, in a classic navy or something more adventurous. 

I’ve added all the product descriptions and sizing below again, from the launch article. But please shout if you have any questions at all. 

The Finest Polo is available here, in navy, grey or cream. 

Details

  • The Finest Polo is available on the PS Shop, priced £195 (plus VAT). Remember, it’s fine knitwear, just with shorter arms - not a pique cotton polo. 
  • It’s available in navy, grey and cream. The cream is cool, more ecru not yellow. 
  • It is made in a fine high-twist merino wool, which means it can be knitted openly, to allow lots of breathability, is anti-bacterial, and keeps it shape better than cotton.
  • I find I can wear it, as a result, in very hot and humid conditions.
  • It is made by Umbria Verde in Italy, one of the finest makers in the world. Have a look at the seams and compare them to something more regular, like a Smedley. 
  • The polo fits relatively slim. The best way to tell which is right size for you is to compare the measurements to a polo you already own. If in doubt, though, I would take the larger size. Looser and relaxed is more elegant than skinny and tight. 
  • In the pictures I am wearing a Medium. 

Care

  • This is fine wool knitwear, and needs care as a result. But you should be able to wear and wash it as many times as you want.
  • Although, I find that being wool, it takes on odour much less than cotton, and I only have to wash it every two or three wears.
  • Wash by hand or on a wool setting in the washing machine. Really, a soak in warm water and soap is all it needs. 
  • Dry on a rack, either flat or draped over. You can also roll it in a towel after washing to remove most of the moisture.
  • After washing, the polo will be a little wrinkled (like most knitwear) and appear to have shrunk a little. This slight ‘compacting’ of the fibres comes out with wear. 
  • Iron, if you want to remove the wrinkles and have a sharp collar, on a wool setting or with a cloth/tea towel on top of the polo.
  • Store folded, like other knitwear. 

Measurements 

Size S M L XL
Length 65cm 67 69 71
Chest 48 50 52 54
Shoulders 38 39 40 41
Width above rib 43 45 47 49
Sleeve length 25.5 26.5 27.5 29
Bicep 16 17 18 19

Other pieces featured: Large working tote from Frank Clegg in chestnut, Cartier Chronoflex tank watch in yellow gold, and Californian model sunglass from EB Meyrowitz in dark-brown acetate.

Photography: Alex Natt @adnatt 

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Shem

Hi simon thanks i like the polo but wished it had slightly longer sleeves and a less fine make. On that topic im wondering going forward if you can wear and picture outfits that will not work well with what you are wearing. For eg you mentioned you won’t wear the polo with jeans. In my mind and to my eye it seems like the polo would fit right in with jeans! Perhaps takimg a picture witb the jeans and stating your points will help readers visualise better and learn.

Tamaki

Shem, May I recommend the polo’s from The Anthology? They seem a bit longer sleeves, and are cotton so it feels a bit less “fine”, though the collar is still extremely neat

Tamaki

Thanks Simon, I indeed didn’t check the measurements and I guessed only from the pictures. Maybe gave me the impression of the polo been longer even if they are actually shorter

shem

Hi Tamaki, yes i have the anthology polo and as you said the sleeves feel longer than the PS ones and the fabric is a cotton that is pretty cool wearing and not as fine. The only thing I’m not so fond of is the collar and placket (which only has 1 button). The perfect polo for me is finest polo collar and placket in a normal pique cotton with longer sleeves in black!

Aaron

I think it’s something many find helpful for numerous things – not everyone is necessarily good at visualising! I know I have trouble sometimes unless I’ve seen the cloth in person. But, like your article on outfits you thought you’d got wrong, sometimes purposeful with an explanation of why it doesn’t work (for non-obvious things) is interesting.

Robin

The photo with the polo and navy suit …. That’s ‘the Look ‘!

I think most men would happily wear suits more often if they could achieve that look .
It’s clean , casual but very smart and appears very comfortable .
It works in any and every environment.

More details on that particular look , please.

Tamaki

H Simon, a question about the seersucker suit. I imagine it is pure cotton? What is your opinion on the wool and silk seersucker from Loro Piana (Bunch Mare) and those from pure wool from Drapers? In terms of colour online, I imagine that they would be very similar, no?

David

Hi Simon, can I ask about the navy cotton seersucker suit you’re wearing in one photo. If you have ever worn it in hot / humid weather, did you find it wore warmer or cooler than an SB Irish linen suit c.380gsm?

David

A valuabe insight, thank you Simon.

David

I am also considering a seersucker suit. I looked at that Loro Piana Wool-Silk version only last week and I believe is lighter in colour shade than the normal navy 100% cotton versions such as the Caccioppoli one. In my opinion the Loro Piana seersucker will wear brighter than the suit Simon is wearing in the photo. The Drapers, thank you for sharing about it – I didn’t see but will check it out next time I visit the tailor.

m

Absolutely. That seersucker suit/navy polo combo is one of my all time favourite looks from Simon. Great example how tone on tone can work to prove naysayers wrong. Subtly sexy in the same manner as 80’s Armani looks are, as in it has is presence and radiates confidence but at the same time is also relaxed enough not to be intimidating.

Is there an article on the suit? I’ve tried to find it in the past but no luck.

David

Hi Simon, I don’t intend to labour the point too much more about that seersucker suit when it’s something of a side point to the article. But it does look great – would you mind sharing the mill / merchant you used for the cotton seersucker? And did you opt for canvassed or unstructured?

David

Seems like a good option for a summer suit: cool, relaxed casual look but sufficiently understated to remain elegant.

Stephen S

Hi Simon,
Sunny and warm in London today and that’s the outlook for the week. Your timing is impeccable!

Kenneth

Good morning..the polos look fabulous….they will surely be big sellers..good luck

Akis

Thanks Simon, one thing i’m constantly wondering when it comes to polo shirts..from pique to fine wool; tucked-in or not. I can’t tell from the pics clearly and i always have this debate with myself 🙂

Akis

Makes sense, thanks!

Harvey Willis

If you tuck in your polo shirt, you will look like a bit of a plonker. They are designed to be worn untucked, which is why they are longer at the back than the front.
Unless you are trying to mimic Alan Patrdige.

Harvey Willis

The origins of the polo shirt are to be found in tennis Simon, not Polo.
Shirts worn in Polo vary according to the team wearing them, and are invariably very close fitting, often with a round neck. The button down collar also has its origins in the game. And yes, they are worn tucked in.
As a player of both tennis and Polo, the difference to me at least is clear.
Regards
Harvey

Harvey Willis

Well yes, except that you were advocating the tucking in of a polo short, not the tucking in of shirts worn by Polo players……….so perhaps not right?

Teo

What a nice surprise, and just in time for the warmer weather! I’ve just ordered all three colours, I feel this will be a real staple for me this summer. I’ve been wearing Smedley polos for a while but the design here is just a few steps above, especially that collar.

Simon, have you found you can wear Large with equal success? I think you and I are typically the same size but in this case I sized up to Large, having tried it once before last year. Bit more of a ‘pouch’ look above the ribbing but I quite like that with knitwear, to be honest.

P.S. I am really disappointed I won’t be able to make the PS Pop-up party this time round, but wanted to say good luck!

Jan

I quite like to wear my navy one with denim. White, cream or a very light faded blue denim in a slim fit. With nice brown, snuff or tobacco suede loafers, monks or derbies with a relatively elegant / sleek last. Perfect for a Friday or Sunday afternoon or evening. I do exactly the same with the Dartmoore in the colder months.

Dan James

Bought a cream one last year and loved it every time I wore it.
Would agree with everything above-not with jeans (go cotton polo in that case), wash with care and iron if necessary and the collar is what sets it apart from the rest-beautiful.
Did find it too warm for Japanese summers of 40C & 70%+ humidity but then again everything is.

MBB355

I really like these. I own both the PS Finest Polo and the Colhays Tennis Polo and strongly prefer this. These are cooler-wearing and have a firmer, smarter collar that looks better under a jacket. The Colhays Tennis Polo is too heavy for summer and, as Simon says, is more casual. At that point, might as well stick with pique cotton.

Simon, forgive me if this is the wrong post to ask this question, but will you be restocking the cream Dartmoor? Or was that a one-off offering? Thanks.

Henry

Is the cream color of the Finest Polo the same as the Dartmoor?

Nathan

Hello, Simon. Do I infer correctly that after hand washing and rack drying, any initial shrinkage should more or less automatically relax after wearing, with the shirt reverting to its original factory dimensions? Or should we gently stretch the shirt a bit while still wet?

shem

hey simon, I recall you took order for a perro polo. I’m wondering if you have taken it for a spin, and if so how different it is from say a john smedley isis especially in the collar and fit

shem

hi simon can I ask how the length of the polo is though? Does it work tucked out with shorts?

shem

Thanks simon, last question – is the fabric scratchy/itchy to the touch? I notice it’s quite cheap (in sartorial luxury brand terms) so wondering about that.

Michael

Hi, Simon
I have a white pair of trousers from Casatlantic in linen/cotton and would like to wear them with snuff suede loafers. Do you think that the grey PS polo is more suited than navy? Or navy could also work?
Thank you!

Joe P

Like you, Simon, this polo was one of the things I was most looking forward to wearing this summer, after getting the navy first time around. It gives me huge pleasure each time I do: a perfect garment.

I agree that it’s probably not for normal jeans but I wondered what you thought about wearing it with white/ecru ones? They strike me as a touch more elegant than blue indigo jeans, or are they still too casual in your eyes?

On the subject of white/ecru jeans, I recently bought my first-ever pair – from Drake’s – after years of thinking they were the antithesis to style (I think I once said to my wife that she should divorce me if I ever bought some…). I absolutely love them and feel I’ve opened up a whole new sartorial universe for myself. Would never have done so without your articles on and images of them, convincing me they could work – so thank you!

Yash

Hi Simon. Just some feedback on these.
I bought the grey and navy versions when they were restocked. Wore one of them (the navy) for the first time last week in circa 24c weather here in London. Not sure how warm it can be with these but I was absolutely cool and unstressed in the heat (and I run hot very quickly).
The two best things about it though are that collar, which took a second for me to visually adjust to when it stayed visible under my sport coat and that same crispiness to the fabric that made it look sharp and uncreased (benefit of merino) over a more standard cotton polo, even after 12 hours of wear.
Really enjoying these. Another foundational piece from PS and will certainly add the cream when it is restocked.
Many thanks.

Chris

I picked up this light grey earlier in the year and have worn it several times. I Initially thought it might not be as useful as the navy and cream but am happy to be proven wrong. These are wonderful polos, probably the best I’ve owned, certainly for wearing in hot weather. I saw the charcoal trial version of this in the Dege and Skinner jacket post (beautiful jacket BTW). That color would be a fantastic addition in my opinion, and hope to see you move forward with it. I have a black polo from Saman Amel, which I love. But charcoal grey in your Finest Polo would coexist quite nicely. Would this color be something for next year, or might it show up in time for this season?