John Smedley --- what's your opinion?
They're excellent. I asume you're referring to the sea isle but their merinois excellent too. I've been wearing these about 40 years and they were sold under the Smedley name or a dept. store name plus the Smedley. Smedley for Saks or Bergdorffs etc Byford and Allen Solly used to make the west indian sea isle too in England. The problem with these luxury goods is that the price has become high. If a high quality cotton polo was x years ago then a sea isle may have been 50% higher but today it's like 300% higher. All these goods in the ne plus ultra category have become a lot more expensive compared to the goods in the next lower tier. I used to use Dunhill wallets,Burberry shirts and coats etc when I was in college and it's only looking back that I realise that these were top items. A lotof people wore cordovan shoes etc All of these items were expensive of course but these days they're relatively much more expensive.
If the sea isle Smedley's are too expensive due to demand then try the other long staple cottons like pima or egyptian. I bought some of the Lacoste pima T shirts recently and they're very good. They're now made in Peru where the best pima is grown. Get the regular lisle because it's smoother than the pique.
+1 Their merino and low micron wools are excellent. I like their Sea Island cottons for warm weather.
I'm a fairly new customer, so I can't comment on whether their quality has changed over a number of years. But I have purchased four sweater vests in a very fine Merino wool from them over the last year or so and I'm very pleased. The wool is very fine and a perfect weight for adding just a touch of warmth to a shirt and jacket in what passes for winter in Northern California.