Why I used to hate turtlenecks

When I was a little girl, I wore turtlenecks basically everyday and with everything – jeans, skirts, even with dresses, as it’s extremely popular right now. Then came a phase where I started hating them and surprised my mom by a firm statement that from now on, I say goodbye to this “horrible sweater” (it must have sounded very serious coming from a 14 year old): They seemed to be the most boring, faceless item one could have ever invented, a pure embodiment of sartorial ennui. I just couldn’t come up with any interesting ensembles incorporating turtlenecks, so I just abandoned them. This decision also coincided with my first modest efforts to create my own style. 7 years from that, I still don’t have a single turtleneck.

Street Style, Spring Summer 2017, Paris Fashion Week, France - 01 Oct 2016
Paris Fashion Week. Source: vidapress

During recent seasons, I started embracing some things, which I had been constantly rejecting for several years, starting from something as simple as sneakers or clothes with more complex cuts and silhouettes. Experimentation has not only turned my eyes to new things, but also renewed my interest in some completely forgotten items. And yes, turtleneck is one of them. Thanks to absolutely brilliant street style examples, turtleneck can be crowned the coolest item of now.

So, why should you have a turtleneck and how to pull it off?

1.Well, it’s obvious that dressing in winter is quite a sartorial challenge. “Warm” doesn’t usually equal “beautiful” and style gets lost somewhere between all the layers we put on ourselves in order to fight freezing cold. It’s not a surprise most of the people working in fashion are quietly and proudly suffering during fashion weeks in winter, because putting on warm tights with winter boots just doesn’t look very cool; so ephemeral see-through dresses and stilettos are still favored in this case. But lately, warm clothes have come out from the marges of style and turtleneck is definitely one of them. No, it didn’t go through an extreme makeover in order to become more desirable; it’s just that the designers acquired a new perspective on this extremely-boring-sweater. It matches jeans, tailor paints and skirts just equally as well and it is an ultimate feel-warm, feel-good champion. But it still doesn’t change the fact it can look boring, right? The secret lies in matching: choose colorful tones to brighten your mood (one of the best combinations I’ve ever seen was a bright yellow turtleneck with black leather skirt and leather jacket), spice up your ensemble with accessories (colorful bag or brooches), don’t be afraid of oversized versions (think pink with a large fuchsia turtleneck and jeans, for example!), opt for untraditional turtleneck versions (such as glitzy ones, as shown in the picture above).

2. From now on, you can wear your favorite summer dresses all year round. Just match them with a turtleneck. This is an absolutely trending idea right now (take cues from Valentino, for example). The idea sounds quite attractive, doesn’t it? I’d suggest paying attention to materials and colors: a long, thick turtleneck won’t be a great match for a breezy and light summer dress. For the best effect, choose complementing colors and materials that don’t contrast very much.

Street Style, Spring Summer 2016, Paris Fashion Week, France - 02 Oct 2015
Pernille Teisbaek. Source: vidapress

3. A turtleneck is a great option for reinventing your office look, especially for colder days. It just spells business and looks effortlessly cool, styled with a dark blazer and tailored pants. For a less formal look, match it with towering heels and statement earrings (or a pendant). Actually, any type of uniform (in other words, a quite formally looking ensamble) looks instantly more stylish when updated with a modest turtleneck: pay homage to your school years and match a cozy turtleneck with a plissed skirt.

EXCLUSIVE Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015 - Street styleFeaturing: Giorgia Tordini
Where: Milan, Italy
When: 20 Feb 2014
Credit: The Styleograph/WENN.com
Giorgia Tordini. Source: vidapress

4. Finally, your turtleneck doesn’t have to be a sweater… It can also be a dress! A cozy, body-hugging dress with a turtleneck is a very feminine and romantic solution to the demureness of a traditional turtleneck sweater. Just match it with eye-attiring accessories and let your dress be a comforting background to them. Your thigh-high boots/colorful clutch/other extravagant pieces you bought but don’t know what to match with will thank you.

So, how do you match your turtlenecks? And where do you shop for the most beautiful ones?


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