Monday, May 16, 2016

Le turtleneck

The humble turtleneck, otherwise known as the roll neck, polo neck or even skivvy is an item of clothing that has become increasingly popular despite its former ties with blatant intellectualism and children's television shows (ie. The Wiggles).

I remember one of the first times I dared to wear a turtleneck a few years ago. My inclusion of a turtleneck to my outfit was more a way of avoiding the cold than any kind of fashion statement but it was still met with consternation. 'Are you really wearing a turtleneck?' they said with scorn and I blushed, asking myself that same question. 

Attitudes to them have changed and now the turtleneck is almost anti-fashion. The clothing item is a neutral addition to an outfit rather than instantly conveying any particular type of style.

Turtlenecks often used to be associated with predominantly male figures such as labor workers and naval officers as well as male philosophers like Foucault whose frequent wearing of them became an iconic part of his persona. However the feminist movement of the 1960's and 1970's as well as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and other notable women converted the turtleneck into a unisex item.

The turtleneck also became a rebellion against the formal shirt and tie style, as it was was a way of upholding formality without the effort and discomfort of the latter.
Turtlenecks are the most comfortable garment you can wear. They move with the body, and they're flattering too, because they accentuate the face and elongate the figure. They make life so easy: you can wear a turtleneck to work and then afterwards throw on a jacket, and it becomes very dressy. You can go anywhere you like. 
- Roy Halston  (American Fashion Designer). Thanks Wikipedia.

Turtlenecks and their versatility make the perfect foundational or layering piece and have the added addition of keeping the wearer warm. There is even a Facebook page created by a friend devoted to men wearing turtlenecks, aptly titled Men in turtlenecks.

Where to buy turtlenecks:

Turtlenecks can be found in myriad locations, including vintage stores but one of my favourite places at the moment is Uniqlo. They sell turtlenecks in various colours for only $20 that are made with a soft and quite sheer fabric. 

If you're willing to pay an extra $5 Muji sells la creme de la creme of turtlenecks. They are made of beautiful sumptuous fabric and lovely colours including the nicest shade of grey I've ever seen. 

Another variation which has the addition of being Australian made and ethical is this striped turtleneck by Wolf and Mishka for $80 as shown below. 

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