An Ode to the Turtleneck

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Ah, the turtleneck. Just the mere mention of the word brings forth images of middle school librarians and your mom in the 90’s. Yet despite all of the flack they get, turtlenecks have been steadily popping up on more and more runways and street style blogs over the past few years. As it turns out, this vastly under appreciated style is surprisingly easy to wear.

Now before you start shuddering, forget the shapeless and unflattering models of yesteryear. The key to wearing turtlenecks lies in pairing the right fit with the right styling, and transforming a tired outfit into something fresh. On top of that, turtlenecks are something fashion so rarely is: practical. With winter’s bitingly cold weather and sidewalks that closely resemble skating rinks, who couldn’t do with a little extra warmth?

Here’s how to wear it:

With Skinny Jeans or Leggings

Admit it, you’ve probably exhausted your legging/skinny jean and chunky sweater collection by now. Give your beloved grandma sweaters a break and try throwing an oversized turtleneck into the rotation. For particularly treacherous winter days, layer your sweaters, and let just a bit peek through the bottom.

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Pattern Play 

If you’re feeling exceptionally daring, patterned turtlenecks are the way to go. Combine them with basics you already have in your closet, and turtlenecks of the patterned variety will instantly add visual interest to you outfit. You can be as bold as you like, with prints ranging from simple stripes or colour blocking, to quirkier, baroque-inspired patterns. 

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With A Skirt 

It is a universal truth that sweaters and skirts were made for each other. Debunk the turtleneck’s frumpy reputation by pairing a chunky knit with a miniskirt for a subversively sexy look. On days where you want to feel more lady-like, try tucking a tissue-thin turtleneck into a full skirt for a beautiful silhouette.

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Borrowed from the Boys

Nothing says, “I woke up like this” quite like the effortlessly chic combination of boyfriend jeans and a polished turtleneck. Perhaps it is the combined man-repelling qualities of both pieces, but something about this mixture just clicks. Bonus points if you throw statement jewelry, like a colourful acetate necklace or knockout pair of chandelier earrings into the mix.

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Mixed Textiles and Prints 

Tired of your usual go-to tanks and plain white tees? Swap in a turtleneck for a base layer with a little more personality. Graphic print pants, leather jackets, fur waistcoats; it’s all fair game. Just try not to mix too many different textures at once. You don’t want to look like you got lost on your way to the set of Macklemore’s “Thriftshop” video.

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If you’re still not convinced, Audrey Hepburn, The Beatles, and Steve Jobs – debatably the turtleneck’s greatest champion – all famously wore turtlenecks. And really, who can argue with that kind of endorsement?

 

Stay hungry, stay stylish.

 

Yours creatively,

Sanam Yar, Online Contributor 

Images: Pinterest, Tumblr