Finest Polos back in stock, with charcoal and black

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The Finest Polo - our superfine, high-twist merino knit - is back in stock, with black and charcoal new for this season, alongside navy. 

The colour choice this summer was partly driven by last summer. I wore a sample of a charcoal at Pitti last year with my Dege & Skinner jacket, and a lot of readers said they’d like to see that added to the collection. 

Later the same week, an all-black outfit with a black polo and black linen trousers was equally popular, and so I thought it made sense to add black too. It was also logical given the Dartmoor had just been released in black, and black knitwear is something we’ve written about on PS during the past year. 

Grey and cream will be back, but not this year. 

Now there’s one thing I wanted to talk about with these polos early on, and that’s shrinkage. 

We had four or five readers report last year that they had issues after they washed the polos. That’s not a lot out of the 150 that bought them, but enough to make me want to investigate and prevent it happening. 

Readers will know that these polos are basically knitwear, and should be treated accordingly. That’s a pain with a polo shirt, but being merino, I find I only have to wash them every second or third wear. 

Just like other knitwear, I usually wash the Finest Polos by hand, simply putting them in warm water with a squirt of detergent, and giving them a couple of squeezes. There’s a video showing a sample washing process here

Wool is so much better than cotton in this regard, and I find odours disappear almost instantly. Steam has a very similar effect, and I know one reader that just steams his knits for a couple of minutes to good effect.

However, I have washed my polos in a machine - cold or 30 degrees, knitwear/wool setting, no spin, hang dry - and had no issues. All of those things are important, and I only do it because I know my machine: I’ve washed plenty of other fine knits that way. 

What you do get when you wash a high-twist merino is wrinkling, which compresses the material and can make it feel like it’s shrunk. 

If the knit is quite roomy on you, you can wear it and much of the wrinkling will drop out. But, you can also get rid of it completely by ironing - you can actually see the material reshaping out as you do so. 

I asked the makers, Umbria Verde in Italy, to make a little video showing this pressing process, and that’s what I’ve included above. As you can see, it's mostly steam and shaping, not that much pressure, and pretty quick. They're professionals of course, but it's pretty easy to do at home. 

The important thing is that it won’t damage the knit at all - one reader was surprised when we told him that; he’d assumed ironing would shrink it further, given heat and moisture are generally seen as bad for wool. 

Use a low temperature, certainly (there’s often a wool temperature indicated on the iron) but otherwise you can press most knits - the steam does the same great job it does when you steam a jacket, or this polo when hanging up, as noted.

I also looked at the fit of the polos this year - comparing sizes on a few friends - and decided they’d been a little too slim. We’d come to the same conclusion with the Dartmoors, and like them added a centimetre to the waist on each side. 

There may be a little bit of trend to this, with everyone preferring things more comfortable. It feels like there’s such elegance in the drape of a fine material like this. 

But they were also pretty slim to start with, and I had found that I sometimes wore a medium, sometimes a large. I’m now solidly a medium, as pictured here. 

I’m very pleased the polos are back. Few things give me more pleasure in clothing than something that’s easy to slip on, but creates an instantly elegant effect. That might be a linen overshirt or a pair of Belgian-style loafers, but it’s always the same sense of easy refinement.

The Finest Polo is in that category. You pull on rather than button in, and are perfectly framed by the drape of the body, the roll of the collar. 

The sunglasses, by the way, are from Clan in Milan. Connolly stocks them in London, though they’re not on the website. It’s good quality for the price, just over £200. Nicely finished, well-made hinges, understated designs. 

I know I have a tendency to go for slightly more striking models, like the Meyrowitz I was wearing with that Dege jacket last year, and these have become a useful everyday style for me.

The Finest Polo in navy, charcoal and black is available on the shop site here. As with many things this past year, we’ve had to put prices up slightly, but only to reflect costs from the suppliers.

All the details about fit and make of the Polo can be found on the original launch article here. That’s always more comprehensive than the product page. 

The other clothes shown above are:

  • Bespoke trousers in two-ply Draper’s Ascot high-twist wool, from this suit
  • Piccadilly unlined loafers from Edward Green
  • Dark-grey socks from Anderson & Sheppard
  • Rolex GMT Master 1675
  • Dege & Skinner jacket outfit details here
  • Details on outfits below, here

Photography: Jamie Ferguson

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Hi Simon, could you briefly explain which colour jacket could go well with black and charcoal polos? I assume charcoal could probably work with almost everything but what about with black other than cold colours such as dark brown or green?

Many thanks,


In the comment above, you only mention the black polo.
Do the remarks above also pertain to the charcoal polo? I’m specifically curious about which other color of trousers you would pair it with.


I have a question regarding the size of the polo.
I recently purchased the tapered t-shirt on size S which has a extended shoulder comes out to fit my aesthetic body right exactly where my shoulder is and leave quite a good amount of room on the body part.

So it would be much appreciated if you could help suggest what size i should go for this polo.

Thank you


No,i m just beginning to build a Ps wardrobe and yours polo would be my very first piece of decent one.
I will take on S then

Thank you very much


isn’t the polo A LOT. slimmer? XXL polo has smaller chest than L t shirt according to sizing tables.


Looks nice. I’m very happy with my cream finest polo so it’ll be great to get darker colour. One question Simon, are all of the images here of the charcoal one? Do you have any photos of the black one ?


Could you please comment to formality level of number of buttons left open or closed?


The charcoal and black XXL are already shown as sold out 🙁

James G

Perhaps you should consider a pre-order in the future as it allows you predict demand, not worry about excess stock and make sure people get what they’d like 🙂


Been looking forward to these 🙂

Simon, I recall you suggesting you wouldn’t wear the original ones with jeans because of the different levels of formality – what about the charcoal/black with, say, Anglo-Italian’s ecru jeans or perhaps Rubato’s off-white officers chinos?

Just curious really and wondering if these newer colours could perhaps be a little more versatile?


In my understanding and experience with wool, what you want to avoid is agitation with moisture and heat (all at the same time). This is because wool is a protein fiber that has a scale structure, so a combination of agitation, moisture, and heat makes the scales expand and catch on each other, binding the fibers closer together. If you have moisture + heat alone (with nil agitation), I don’t think significant shrinkage should occur.


Hi Simon, any update on the grey tee? Thanks


Are there anymore xl or xxl in black or charcoal? I’m pretty sure I put myself on the waitlist before but didn’t see an email. Kinda bummed…


Will they be restocked for summer again?


I appreciate that this post is about the polo shirts (which look fantastic in both of these outfits), but can I ask how well the VBC / Drapers 2 ply high twist trousers wear? I want to get a pair of smart grey summer trousers that I can wear even on the hottest days (remembering our 40*C heat wave last summer in the UK). I would normally be unsure about such a lightweight fabric but in these pictures they look like they hold a crease really well and don’t look like they are wrinkling much.


Thanks Simon. That was another concern of mine, as my trousers get quite heavy wear, often worn for 16 hours at a time. The rest of the year I tend to wear dense twill weaves for the durability, drape and wrinkle resistance, so I’m looking for a summer counterpart. Is there much difference in breathability between the VBC 2 and 4 ply?


Hi Simon
I’m slightly confused on changes in measurement on merino wool Crew Neck, Dartmoor and Polo. I’m interested in buying the Dartmoor and Polo if chest size has increased to 54 for medium, but its not quite clear if the body/waist/chest has increased on these. Can you confirm if chest has increased on all (crew neck, Dartmoor, polo) and is now 54 cm or whether it varies by style. According to the shop website, its 54cm for the crew neck and 52 for Polo and Dartmoor,


I’m also confused. I just received a size small Dartmoor, and it measures 52cm across the chest (pit to pit). But the measurements table on the product page says size small should have a 50cm chest. The table also lists size XS, which doesn’t appear to be a size that can be ordered


I recall the Polo having a narrower chest, which is why I opted for size L in the Polo and M in the Dartmoor. With the recent changes made to the Polo, would it be safe to assume that I should now go for a smaller size and choose M instead?


Hello Simon,
I received my polo today, and I really like it a lot.
I noticed that it arrived with a fragrance of some kind on it (not an unpleasant one, smells quite nice actually). Is this a fragrancee or eau de toilette that is being added before shipment? If so, I was wondering if you’d consider eliminating this for future orders. I have a rather unfortunate allergy to a lot of fragrances/perfumes!


Hi Simon, I indeed noticed shrinkage on my navy polo (after a cool hand wash and ironing). Not much but enough to be slightly uncomfortable. As it was the previous iteration it was quite slim to begin with. Do you think it will stretch back when worn?

ML Santorsola

Thanks for the video on ironing the polo. I iron my polo knits inside out with my steamer fearing that there would be a shiny finish if I ironed them directly.


If you’re washing wool by hand or machine use the No 3 formula for cashmere and wool by The Clothes Doctor. On a woollen or delicates setting even in a machine it will revive the wool and make it soft again. I use this when doing my socks now too.


If you’re a large in the Dartmoor, are you a large in this too? Thanks


Are the sleeves long enough to wear with an undershirt? Your short sleeve dress shirt’s sleeves are by comparison. Thanks.


Hi Simon,

Knitted poles like these by bryceland (Bryceland’s Cotton Short Sleeve ‘Skipper’ Polo Blue – Bryceland’s & Co. ( and the anthology are pretty nice with tailored trousers as they are both ‘slimmer’.

I’m often in wider fitting trousers (e.g. army chinos, rubato chinos etc.) and given that the temperature in asia (where I am) is very very hot now with heat waves, I’m afraid I have to ditch my long sleebed shirts for polos. However, I find my knit polos are quite incongruent with my bottoms (e.g. the knits huge my bicep and are relatively slimmer in the body) giving a very small top and wide bottom effect. Do you think once should just embrace the look or am i better off with more pique polos like lacoste ones which are looser so to speak?


Thanks simon on that note am axtually planing to try the bryceland polo. Do you think it works well with shorts? The short placket makes it look quite smart in my opinion and not sure if it works with shorts


Thanks simon bryceland has a charcoal and a black. Can i say charcoal will be easier to wear?


Hey Simon,

Unfortunately, seems like the Charcoal is already sold out in M. Are there any plans for a restock this year?


Hi Simon,

No problem at all. Just signed up for the waiting list. Will also sign-up and hopefully grab a cream and grey if they come in stock again next year!


What exactly is the benefit of a particularly fine gauge such as the one you went for?


I assume a corollary is that it’s less robust over time? Does it also have an impact on how see-through the fabric is?


Hi Simon,
Would you consider the navy more versatile than the black? I am trying to choose.
I have a feeling you will say it comes down to my personal style, but I live in a hot and humid climate and am not sure what shorts/trousers I could pair a black polo with.
The navy I could always at list count on white trousers as an easy, elegant outfit.
Thank you!

Joe P

On the issue of shrinkage, I thought I’d post this here in case it’s useful for prospective buyers or current owners of this wonderful item.

I have the original (ie, quite slim) navy in medium and it definitely was shrunk. The emphasis there is on the active element; it didn’t ‘just shrink’ after a careful wash: it was put through the ringer. It was washed (not by me but on my watch, so have to hold my hands up) in an unfamiliar machine, at a normal 30 degree (possibly even 40… *shudders*) wash, then spun, then hung to dry quickly over a single thin rail in very hot summer sun (Simon, I feel like I owe you an apology). The difference was immediately noticeable. It looked small and bunched up; it felt stiff, even crunchy to the hand. And it clung – stuck, would be more accurate – to me in ways that were not flattering. The steam ironing method wasn’t enough, presumably because it had gone too far.

I was pretty gutted, not just down to what felt like money wasted but because it’s pretty much my favourite warm weather item. So after some moping I looked online and found this method of ‘unshrinking’ merino items:,near%20a%20vent%20or%20radiator.

Short version: it worked.

I’ve no idea the science of it but presumably the fibres had tightened up in the previous washing process and this gently relaxed them. It now feels and fits as it did; I’m wearing it right now, in fact, which is why I thought to post this. There are other (probably similar) methods online, obviously, but this one seemed thorough, sensible and relatively simple. It took a while but only because of the time taken to allow thorough drying between stages.

Any future washes will be by hand, very brief, in at most lukewarm water, with no spinning.

(I think my wife thought I was a bit crazy, devoting what no doubt looked to her like three days of my life to washing a shirt. But I can’t be the only PS reader who has to endure gentle mockery from their partner)


I noticed recently that the Navy size S has sold out pretty fast,
Is there gonna be re-stocked any time soon?

Thank you

Ben R

Is it possible to alter these knits? For instance bring in that new increase in roominess?


Hi Simon,
Do you find it best to pair the finest polo with a tailored trouser, due to the fineness of the knit?
I have the navy, and think it looks great with white cotton trousers, and I *think* it works with a pair of tailored linen/cotton tailored trousers I’ve got. I’m not quite sure what else suits it best.


Thank you! I was asking about colors as well, yes.


Thank you, as always!


Any advice on line drying shirts and pullovers? How can I line dry them without damaging the shape and structure?


Hi. Are you re-stocking this in 2024? Kind regards Theodor


Great – looking forward to it. And thank you for the quick reply!


Hello Simon,

Are there any plans to restock the Charcoal or Grey versions?


Do you have the problem of puffed up sleeve with short sleeve knitted polos and if so does it look weird?