Buy me: John Smedley jumper, pounds 73.

Gone are the days when men wore ghastly patterned jumpers or knitted tank tops over a shirt and tie to work. Instead, modern men are being encouraged to forgo the shirt and tie look altogether and wear fine-knit jumpers under their suits. John Smedley call this "Slouchy but Smart" dressing and have dedicated their autumn/winter catalogue to it.

Smedley's credentials are perfect: Mickey Rourke, Paul Weller and the guys from The Verve look slouchy but smart (and rather moody) in their jumpers. So does Sharon Stone, Brad Pitt and Sean Connery.

But there's more to Smedley than a few celebrity clients - their factories at Lea Mills near Matlock, Derbyshire, make 2,500 sweaters a day that are sold all over the world. Each jumper goes through a hand-finishing process which takes over 12 hours, the garment is fitted over wooden formers to ensure the correct fit and shape, and it is made from top-quality wool milled exclusively in Britain.

The jumper featured here, the Toledo, is a more fitted version of their loose polo top and has two buttons rather than three. It's the ideal alternative to a shirt and tie, if office dress codes permit.

The Toledo, shown here in mocha, is also available in black, midnight, charcoal, olive and camel from Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London SW1 and 107-111 Briggate, Leeds LS1; Sam Walker 41 Neal Street, London WC2; Cruise, 39-45 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2. For further stockist information call 0171-734 1519.

Melanie Rickey

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