What makes a good turtleneck? Is it the frequency with which you are compelled to wear it? Stylistic versatility? Ability to layer? The cozy factor? Price conscientiousness? How warm it will keep you? There are so many variables to consider and no single turtleneck can appease them all. What’s coziest and perhaps most likely to keep you warm, for example, will vary greatly from what makes a turtleneck stylistically versatile or poised to layer well.
At the end of 2015, The New York Times asked if turtlenecks could ever be cool again. *By the end of 2018, the expansive rubric of garments unified by the objective of covering the area between your clavicle bones and your cheek bones speak with resounding conviction when they say: duh.
Now supposing that “cool” is a metaphor for good, what’s cool for you will inevitably be different from what’s cool for me. But that’s what I like about us so much! You might find yourself nestled into a cowling, chunky varietal that may as well have “Hygge” sewn into it, but I am certain that a tight grasp over my neck whether by structure or compression, coupled with a lightweight knit blend that is soft enough to feel like a hug, will do it for me. More than certain, I am sold. On the extra fine merino ribbed turtleneck at Uniqlo, to be exact. It is $29.90, layers well under multiple garments, will accompany you at a cocktail party if you ask kindly and stands finely on its own like an independent woman. Here are five ways I plan to wear it:
Exhibit A: With Two Layers of Fun
A purple satin blouse says I came here for the party but a green tweed jacket says I have to leave by 9 p.m. I’d recommend adding semi-sheer tights, a high-waist medium-wash denim mini skirt and for the sake of the shelf life of your short heel, backless mules, give them a whirl with this guy.
Exhibit A2: With Two Different Layers of Fun
I basically recreated the same equation here, but netted out embroiled in a completely different energy; one commanded by a different persona, less likely to be seen with pearls in her ears but curious about how sequins and suede can co-mingle. I’d recommend this pairing with black skinny pants (consider it a bonus if they have slit hems), grey socks and flimsy ballet flats. Or shiny black riding boots. You have nothing to lose!
Exhibit B: Your Cocktail Party Companion
Because sometimes it’s hard to make a case for the acquisition of a fancy top (or dress), but adding a turtleneck maintains two benefits: on the one hand, you feel warm in said top. On the other, you get to wear your top more casually because turtlenecks are basically sneakers in that they temper down a dresscode. You know?
Exhibit B2: Fire-a-Blazing!
See exhibit B for explanation, but also enjoy the Repeller flagpole reimagined as a brooch. That it took me three weeks to come up with this alternate use is annoying.
Exhibit C: Your T-neck as an Independent Woman
You see what I meant in my intro now, right? It can totally carry its own! And if you want to pair it with a matching charcoal grey sweater, that option exists. Use it as a scarf, or a pageant sache, add some sunglasses and a beanie and some earrings — a couple of necklaces if you are inspired and then get going. Go! Operation perfect turtleneck complete.
Photos by Edith Young.