Were You Traumatized By Turtlenecks?

I have a strong, vivid memory of a tunnel. I can see the light on the other side. Then an impossibly small ring of cloth is forced over my head, my hair is stuck to my face with static electricity, and the ring is now, by nothing short of a miracle, around my neck. I shudder thinking of it.

So now, decades later, am I really about to reacquaint myself with my foe, the turtleneck?

Turtlenecks make no physical sense, at least in my memories from childhood. They were (I guess) really in style when I was in elementary school, so my mom decked me out in them as often as possible. My head, it warrants mentioning, has always been unnecessarily huge. My body, in contrast, was bony and awkward like you might expect. In other words, turtlenecks were neither fun nor flattering to me as a kid, and I had no remorse when I left them for dead in my past.

One thing hasn’t changed: I’m still lanky with a big head. But thankfully, turtlenecks are different now. They’re not the holly-patterned eyesores your teachers wore during the holidays, layered under a sweatshirt with a (badass) light-up reindeer applique on it. They no longer signify complete disregard for what’s actually happening in fashion. Quite the contrary, actually.

pucci f/w 2015

The turtlenecks turning up lately, while still mostly instilled with the same head-crushing initiation ritual, are reminiscent of the 1970s in silhouette and texture, are a heck of a lot more flattering in most cases, and offer a lot more options to the wearer than the equivalent of a seasonal Dunkin’ Donut.

Here are a few options I’ve come across lately, coordinated in my budgetless dream world.

Fall Outfit
First of all, can we talk about these Tory Burch booties? I saw them IRL at Nordstrom and almost wept. At $450 they’re a splurge for sure, but I can’t promise they won’t be mine at some point in the future, pending comfort, of course. (I haven’t tried them on yet, because If I try something on at Nordstrom, somehow I always black out and then come to just as the cashier is swiping my card. Does this happen to anyone else?)
The turtleneck in question is from J.Crew. They’ve been releasing these every fall and winter for the last few years, and I’ve dipped a toe here or there, but never fully embraced the look. I think it’s really important, when you’re wearing something so covered-up, to make a statement elsewhere. This skirt is super chic (and inexpensive!). It kind of reminds me of a flannel tied around your waist.
More plaid? Yeah, more plaid. This dress is just…irresistible. And it’s for anyone, I think. The styling options are endless; you could treat it like it’s preppy tartan and pair it with riding boots, or wear it with tights and Dr. Martens for a more youthful look, or even go full ’60s with a pill-box hat and brogues. Asos nailed it on this one.
Turtleneck Cape

Here, here’s a look with no plaid for you guys. These are the kinds of outfits I dream about, starting with these See By Chloe loafers (*weeps some more*). Again, we’re living in my budgetless dream world so these cigarette leg trousers by Stella McCartney would be my first choice, too. But about the turtleneck! It’s a cape, and I’m in love. I really dig the versatility of a piece like this, and it looks super comfortable. When you’re trying, as I am, to re-embrace an old adversary – and mix up the silhouette a little – comfort is key.

And finally, I don’t want to deny you the original wave of turtleneck haute couture. After all, with very few exceptions, I’m a fan of all forms of sartorial expression – so if the christmas turtleneck combo is your thing, cheers! And please enjoy the following gallery of inspirational holiday ensembles.

Are you into the turtleneck making a comeback with a vengeance? Were you traumatized by turtlenecks as a child?

One thought on “Were You Traumatized By Turtlenecks?

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