Staple of art students and cold necks alike, all rise for the honourable turtleneck, making its annual return as a wardrobe staple this winter. It seems the buzz around these long necked loungers just won’t let up. Time travellers in their own right, the humble turtleneck has had it’s hayday in almost every era. They just didn’t want to miss the party. Don’t worry turtlenecks, I get FOMO too.
Gone are the days when turtlenecks were the staple of your grumpy Year 1 teacher who looked about 100 years old. Now you’re more likely to see them warming the neck of an Elam grad accompanied by a pair of well-worn Doc Martens and an ironic instagram name like pArtygurl19 . Enter the mustard yellows and millennial pinks like something out of an Osh Kosh catalogue, that we might’ve worn in the mid 90’s helping us to look just like the 5 year olds we act like.
There is another type of turtleneck floating around right now. For the ‘minimalist’ girl. Yea the one you see at your 8am lecture with an obscene heavenly glow around her. If you see that girl wearing a thin black turtleneck you know she likely has an artisanal candle that she burns on the reg and can be found drinking wine mid-week in low lit bistros. They are code for ‘I’ll peruse an art gallery with you or perhaps you’ll join me at this new boutique coffee shop’ while the autumn leaves fall in slow motion around them.
A casual flick through Instagram will reveal these turtleneck wearing goddesses in their natural habitat, posing for polaroids in front of white walls. While you sit at home getting spaghetti bolognese on your I Love Paris t-shirt from 2008. Don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of these girls, where would we be without the ever aspirational ‘achingly cool girl’ in our lives. To its credit (and thank goodness) the turtleneck of 2017 is understated, everything about it says STOP APPLYING THAT FOUNDATION AND JUST WALK OUT THE DOOR YOU FOOL, of course the actual achievability of that laid back look for mere mortals is up for debate but if all that’s required is a casual brow à la Audrey Hepburn then I’m happy to attempt.
Fair warning to those potential turtleneckers out there wanting to dip your feet into the promised land, stay well clear of the trap laid by the brilliant but fashionably lacking Steve Jobs. A turtleneck and baggy jeans does not a perfect couple make.
Other honourable turtleneck mentions go to Rick Astley in his Never Gonna Give You Up vid, a simple black turtleneck with a trench coat, looking only slightly like you might find him in a dark alley saying ‘hey, do ya wanna buy a watch?’. Iconic. Nor can we forget Ron Burgundy who famously brought us to the joys of rich mahogany so now you too can feel like a ‘big deal’ while repping your turtleneck this winter.
A rare gift from the fashion gods, an item that is both practical and stylish. With endless possibilities for actual warmth and the successful elimination of scarves from any outfit, which are the widely accepted nemesis of this weird Auckland humidity.
THANKS TURTLENECKS. We’ll try and do ya proud.