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John Smedley

yachtie

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Sooo. In the continuous search for a decent merino turtleneck, I ran across John Smedley. Anyone have some and could you comment on the quality.

Pound's pretty cheap now so I may even go (ugh) retail if they're worth it.
 

MrGimpy

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I used to work for them and have loads of their sweaters in merino and sea island cotton.

The raw wool is all sourced in New Zealand and is said to be some of the best out there. Smedley does everything in-house from the raw wool stage onward, including creating dyes and dyeing the raw wool, spinning the yarn from the wool, then knitting the final product. There's a fair bit of handwork done on them, though this is decreasing as machines become more reliable. And the quality testing is pretty obsessive.

Their stuff is easy to care for (washable) and doesn't shrink. It's less susceptible to pilling than any other merino I've ever had, and lasts for years. The fit also works well for me (it's quite slim) but this is obviously a personal thing.
 

HHD

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I've had a JS sweater for years and it is still in good nick. I've tried more recent collections and I find the sizing has changed, the pullovers feel tighter across the shoulders than before (no I haven't been working out). Check the fit if possible before you buy, but if you hit on the right fit it will last you for ever. Plus they can be chucked into the machine for washing.

Smedley Sea Island cotton is very comfortable for summer, though again sizing can be variable.
 

Will

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I've a couple merino jumpers and a number of cotton polos. Good quality but delicate compared for example to Scottish cashmere.

Alex Kabbaz told me he dropped the line because of quality problems but I haven't seen any except for the delicacy.
 

Film Noir Buff

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Originally Posted by Will
I've a couple merino jumpers and a number of cotton polos. Good quality but delicate compared for example to Scottish cashmere. Alex Kabbaz told me he dropped the line because of quality problems but I haven't seen any except for the delicacy.
Maybe he dropped the line for a different reason because Smedley makes excellent quality and I have worn and continue to buy and wear their sweaters. I have many different styles and colors. One caveat, the sweaters have a conservative look to them, they aren't edgy or even up to date like some other makers. Thus, if you want a traditional look at a very good quality, go for it.
 

RJmanbearpig

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Originally Posted by Film Noir Buff
Maybe he dropped the line for a different reason because Smedley makes excellent quality and I have worn and continue to buy and wear their sweaters. I have many different styles and colors. One caveat, the sweaters have a conservative look to them, they aren't edgy or even up to date like some other makers. Thus, if you want a traditional look at a very good quality, go for it.

Well, Smedley has a pretty broad range of designs and patterns from conservative solids to bizarro hoodies, tanks, what have you.

Very good quality. Very expensive. The fine gauge cotton is a pure luxury -- their only real competitor was Geeson, which appears to have mutated a la rjmanbearpig into another animal (a Panda). There are a few other companies dealing in fine gauge knits but they're not easy to find -- Montagut was one of them, and there are some Italians who do I guess.
 

Bishop of Briggs

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I have several Smedley garments (sea island cotton and merino wool) and they are excellent. I am wearing a merino sweater with a collar over a sea island roll neck as I type this post.
 

Tangfastic

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My local TK Maxx had a few pieces of John Smedley Knitwear in for £29.99 (marked down from £90- £120) the other week. If I was less lazy I should have bought to put on e-bay. It was all very traditional plain black and navy v necks, very light weight merino wool and quite slim fitting. I tried a couple on and quite liked them, but didn't need anything in the styles they had.
 

Agnacious

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In case you are not on the mail list:
**************************************************************
As a privileged customer of John Smedley, we'd like to offer you an exclusive 20% discount on the new Autumn Winter 2008 Collection for Men, Women and Children, when you buy online from www.johnsmedley.com before 15th December 2008.

Freshen up your wardrobe with our Autumn Winter 2008 Collection. With invigorating colours and the widest selection of the finest knitwear, you'll find your perfect piece on our online store.

To Claim your Exclusive 20% Discount use the code

JSEM8

Why not send the code to a friend and let them enjoy a discount on their next order at www.johnsmedley.com too?

We offer Free UK postage and Free Personalised Gift Messages, which make giving John Smedley the perfect gift.
 

yachtie

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Originally Posted by Agnacious
In case you are not on the mail list:
**************************************************************
As a privileged customer of John Smedley, we'd like to offer you an exclusive 20% discount on the new Autumn Winter 2008 Collection for Men, Women and Children, when you buy online from www.johnsmedley.com before 15th December 2008.

Freshen up your wardrobe with our Autumn Winter 2008 Collection. With invigorating colours and the widest selection of the finest knitwear, you'll find your perfect piece on our online store.

To Claim your Exclusive 20% Discount use the code

JSEM8

Why not send the code to a friend and let them enjoy a discount on their next order at www.johnsmedley.com too?

We offer Free UK postage and Free Personalised Gift Messages, which make giving John Smedley the perfect gift.


Thank You!
 

Film Noir Buff

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Originally Posted by RJmanbearpig
Well, Smedley has a pretty broad range of designs and patterns from conservative solids to bizarro hoodies, tanks, what have you. Very good quality. Very expensive. The fine gauge cotton is a pure luxury -- their only real competitor was Geeson, which appears to have mutated a la rjmanbearpig into another animal (a Panda). There are a few other companies dealing in fine gauge knits but they're not easy to find -- Montagut was one of them, and there are some Italians who do I guess.
Theyve gotten more hip in recent years but still they can be conservative in cut and styling even if their color and pattern choices have grown bolder. It was just a heads up for people who dont always notice the differences.
 

MrGimpy

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Originally Posted by Film Noir Buff
Theyve gotten more hip in recent years but still they can be conservative in cut and styling even if their color and pattern choices have grown bolder. It was just a heads up for people who dont always notice the differences.

Three or four years ago, they brought in a new head designer. (More correctly, they brought back a designer who'd previously worked at the company.) She updated some of the classic styles and/or replaced them with new styles. For example, the classic 30-gauge merino crew neck--Saunders--was replaced by Spyder. The silhouette was narrowed and the armholes were tightened, among other changes, resulting in a more contemporary look.

But you're right that they still do lots of conservative cuts and styles, particularly in the 24-gauge wool.
 

HHD

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Originally Posted by MrGimpy
Three or four years ago, they brought in a new head designer. (More correctly, they brought back a designer who'd previously worked at the company.) She updated some of the classic styles and/or replaced them with new styles. For example, the classic 30-gauge merino crew neck--Saunders--was replaced by Spyder. The silhouette was narrowed and the armholes were tightened, among other changes, resulting in a more contemporary look.

But you're right that they still do lots of conservative cuts and styles, particularly in the 24-gauge wool.


Aha I knew it!

Can you remember which styles are still relatively close to the original, pre-new head designer cuts?
 

Happenstance

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I generally buy Smedley sea island cotton polos in the summer rather than their merino ranges for winter. Even though they have updated their cut recently I still find the merino ranges aren't slim fitting enough for me (36" chest, 28" waist). I wish they did an XS as I'd buy a lot more knitwear from them. Some of the colours in their Autumn/Winter 08 collection (particularly the royal purple and electric blue) are lovely.
 

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