You’ve got fall on the brain. Admit it, as we enter into these last dog days of summer, you are secretly fantasizing about leather, boots, fur, scarves and wooly coats. Summer was fun while it lasted but let’s face it, it’s time to transition. One of the best transition pieces from summer to fall is the turtleneck. Depending on where you’re from you may call it a polo neck, a roll neck or a skivvy; but any way you slice it the style, comfort and flexibility of this piece doesn’t change. It gives you the options to cover a little (a sleeveless lightweight style) or cover a lot (a chunky long knit) when the nights start to get chilly. I think one of the most fascinating things about this piece of clothing is its rich history, versatility and the fact that it has never faded in light of other fashion trends that have come and gone.
Our modern turtlenecks have actually been around since the 19th century and were first known to be worn by sailors, naval officers (including the Royal Navy), athletes and laborers in Europe, providing extra coverage and warmth when working outside or at sea. Many of them were made of wool which has a natural ability to wick away moisture, thus keeping one cool in the summer but still warm in the cold weather months. The style was later adopted by more affluent figures such as philosophers, musicians, academics and film stars. Once the style came to America, it lost a bit of its flare and was adopted by the masses. It made its way through various social groups like the existentialists of the 1950s, the preppies of the 1960s, and the societal rebels of the 1970s. Also, let’s not forgot the turtleneck is synonymous with style and beauty icon Audrey Hepburn.
Today the turtleneck is more of personal preference and not associated with a particular social group, so wear it well! I love a sleek look with a lightweight stretch knit turtleneck styled with skinny jeans and boots, but feel free to mix it up! You can go boxy cut with a midi or full skirt (another great trend happening now), or a chunky knit with boyfriend or relaxed fit jeans and your favorite oxfords. Different knits, textures and colors allow for you to play around with looks that work for you and your body type. And my favorite thing about this trend – you don’t have to wait for the fall chill to set in to rock it!
1. Audrey Hepburn in a black turtleneck.
2. Vintage 60s Royal Navy Mod Turtleneck Sweater, $42
3. J.Crew Merino Wool Turtleneck Sweater, $100
4. Vintage 70s Ski Turtleneck Sweater, $39
5. 3.1 Phillip Lim Sleeveless High-Low Turtleneck Sweater, $495
6. Fuzzi Long Sleeve Printed Turtleneck Top, $395
7. Ulla Johnson Elska Turtleneck Poncho, $658
8. Chanel Turtleneck Fall 2014 RTW
– Carmen Turner
Image Layout: Second City Style