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Turtlenecks Are Cool Again

Turtlenecks Are Cool Again: via youtube

via youtube

When some people think of turtlenecks (the sweater, not the uncircumcised penis), they immediately think of the mock turtleneck that was part of Steve Jobs’s uniform (and even less stylishly, NCAA hoops coach Bob Huggins’s). That’s about to change because the turtleneck sweater is making a big comeback this fall.

In some ways the return of the turtleneck makes perfect sense. It’s the perfect antidote to the awful deep-V trend of a couple years ago. Compared to the deep-V’s uncomfortable levels of sternum, the turtleneck seems downright prudish in its modesty. But that modesty also oozes style, particularly of the badass international secret agent variety. Think Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in The Avengers, Archer with his tactical turtleneck. Even the ultimate spy style icon, James Bond, sports one on the SPECTRE poster.

But since you probably won’t be wearing a turtleneck with a shoulder holster, we thought we’d give you some more practical tips on how to pull off the look and bask in throat coziness.

Yes, you want your neck to be warm, but you also want it to be comfortable. There’s nothing more annoying than a turtleneck that causes you to scratch your neck like a dog all day. That’s like having a second beard. Merino wool is the ideal fabric for a turtleneck sweater. It’s got all the warmth of wool combined with the smooth hand feel of cotton. Merino is also thinner, which will create a sleeker look that is only accentuated by the extra length in the turtleneck.

The only time it is acceptable to wear a mock turtleneck is when you’re playing hockey and it’s underneath your jersey. It didn’t look good on Steve Jobs and it won’t look good on you. A proper turtleneck should reach your chin. Once it gets there, it’s up to you whether you want to fold it over or scrunch it down.

A turtleneck is a statement piece, but you don’t want that statement to be too loud. Throw on a blazer, or better yet, a wool topcoat over your sweater for a more distinguished look. With the topcoat, you can even pair the turtleneck with some sweatpants (as long as they’re the right ones) and sneakers for an ideal fall weekend outfit.

There are all sorts of things designers do with sweaters, from patterns to cable knitting. You want absolutely none of those in your turtleneck sweater. Keep the color and texture basic. Navy and grey are great options. Camel is another good choice if you want something a bit bolder.


courtesy uniqlo

courtesy uniqlo

Good: Uniqlo
courtesy j.crew

courtesy j.crew

Better: J.Crew

courtesy tres-bien

courtesy tres-bien

Best: Acne Studios

Justin Tejada is a writer and editor based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter at @just_tejada.

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