The Style Staple: John Smedlley Knitted Polo Shirt

The almost fancifully picturesque Lea Mills, in the Peak District, has been home to John Smedley since 1784. Although, as Smedley purists will attest, the polo shirt pictured here is a rather more recent invention, part of the new "sportswear" collection.

Specifically, devotees of the knitwear brand’s Sea Island Cotton staples – and they are legion – will point to the logo on the chest, some with approval at a new direction for a much-loved design, others in horror at this tampering with a classic of the stylish British man’s wardrobe.

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It is, for the record, a jay in flight, and, actually, it is not new: the jay is a native of Matlock, Derbyshire, and was used as a logo by Smedley as far back as 1934. Esquire very much approves. 

Long-sleeved Hendon polo, £145, johnsmedley.com