Polo shirt in three-ply geelong lambswool in charcoal

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Buying

£290.00

Polo shirt, hand-framed with geelong lambswool in the south-west of the British Isles, and with horn buttons from the West Midlands.

Sizing

The polo shirt fits true to size. The wooden lad here, for instance, has the most standard 38 chest in the country, and is wearing a size S.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Back length 23 23¼ 23½ 23¾ 24
Sleeve from   centre-back 32       32½       33       33½       34      
The polo shirt here is three-ply, mostly, which means it is light enough to be worn underneath a jacket, but of sufficient substance to be worn with nowt else. It is hand-framed — i.e. made by a single skilled knitter on a hand-operated contraption, which is how things should be but very seldom are.
The polo has in-set sleeves, but with the shoulder seam pushed forward for a smoother line. This is a tell-tale sign of fully-fashioned knitwear, which is an approach to knitting wherein each piece of the garment is individually shaped and engineered — tailored, almost — for the best shape and fit.
The sleeves of the polo shirt are noticeably thinner than the body. They are two-ply vs. three. This frees up space for layering the polo with, say, a smart jacket the top. With the very same rationale, the sleeves are also a flat plain-stitch, as opposed to the more textured and chunky tuck-stitch employed elsewhere.
The polo is entirely hand-linked — meaning that, where the neck joins the body, or the sleeve joins the neck, there is no discernible seam or bump. Just a flat, smooth, every-tiny loop-of-yarn-looped-by-hand-and-knitting-needle-onto-the-next-one link (as time-consuming and skilful as it sounds).
It is made from luxury geelong lambswool — merino's even softer brother — and is thus incomparably cosy and comfortable. If one were prone to superlatives, it could be called sumptuous.
Three yarns at play here — all of them greys of the dark and middling order. They intermingle both in the plain-stitch sleeves of the polo, and the tuck-stitch of the body. The latter is the main event. It is a dense stitch, but springy and breathable. And just look: wonderfully textured is the tuck.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1", more or less 12 stone, and is as standard a 38 chest as you could hope to meet. Fairly broad of shoulder, though, so he's wearing a size M. And yes — this polo is slightly different to look at, with its single-button, laid-on placket, but is identical otherwise to the one on this page.

Makers of

The garment is hand-framed by a knitwear maker founded 100 years ago. They work with small, hand-operated machines overseen by one person, rather than automated machines, making them one of the last makers still to do so in Britain. It is slow going, but the results always bear out the work put in.
The horn buttons were cut, shaped, and polished by the last such factory in Britain (now defunct). It was part of a tradition in the Midlands first linked to the meat industry of the 18th century. "It is no easy task," said William Hutton in 1780, "to enumerate the infinite diversity of buttons made in Birmingham."