I love a classic turtleneck. Simple, unfussy, close-fitting around the neck so it doesn't bag or droop. Alone or under a jacket or coat, they're a wardrobe staple in any fashion icon's closet.
From the classic icons of the sixties and seventies like Audrey and Ali.
To current icons like Ines and Kate...
They all look chic and pulled together in their simple black or white turtlenecks. Yep.... I do love turtlenecks. Always have done.
Which is kind of odd, really. Since our relationship has been...well... rather fraught over the years.
Let me explain. As a child I had an enormous head. Seriously. That's me second from the left, at age two. See what I mean?
When I was a child, my grandmother bought me lovely outfits at a chi-chi children's store in Fredericton. I remember one grey, woolen jumper (that's tunic to you Brits) with red trim and a matching turtleneck sweater for wearing underneath. And after trying to shoe-horn my head into the neck of the sweater, having it stick somewhere halfway and almost smothering me, my mum had to cut the neck of the sweater up the back and sew in snaps. Only then would it fit over my head. Sigh. Fashion can be painful.
And even more painful in high school when, changing after gym class, I hurriedly jammed my head into my favourite chocolate brown turtleneck and pulled a muscle in my neck when it snapped sideways. Other people have athletic injuries. I have fashion injuries.
So I have always loved turtlenecks. It's just that they haven't always loved me.
And this fall they seem to be everywhere again. In the ads in fashion magazines. Like this one for Ralph Lauren. I love this classic black sweater, such a lovely high neck.
And in the fashion shoots. Like the white Tod's turtleneck on the left from the October issue of Vogue. Or the Max Azria one on the right from Vogue's September issue.
And just like last year, classic, slim, white and black turtlenecks, with lovely high necks, are everywhere in the magazines... but where the heck are they in the stores?
The heavier, longer sweaters are not hard to find. I've seen several on Net-a-porter.com, and I found this grey Vince sweater at Holts last fall. It's actually quite light weight. And the neck stays up nicely and doesn't scrunch down or look sloppy. (Can you tell that a shlumpy neck is something I obsess about in a turtleneck?) I wear this sweater a lot with skinny jeans or with my leather pants.
But what I've really been longing for, and searching for, is a slim, silky turtleneck sweater that has a high, stretchy neck that won't bag, and which will slip easily under a blazer or pullover and won't be too hot. And, hopefully, is a bit loose and falls away from the body, so I can wear it alone. Tight-fitting sweaters having gone the way of the dodo bird since the onset of middle age middle...aka slippage.
And, as I said before, where the heck have all the sweaters like this been hiding? See what I mean about a fraught relationship? I love turtlenecks, but clearly they don't feel the same about me. I'm sure they slip quietly out of sight when I hove into view at the mall.
Except for Vince. I Love Vince, and Vince loves me.
I bought this silky, slim, stretchy-neck, lovely long-sleeved, not-too-tight number at Holt Renfrew last winter. It fit the bill perfectly. Well almost. I was, in fact, looking for a white sweater when I bought it. But, almost perfect turtlenecks that tick all the boxes except colour are not to be scoffed at... so it came home with me.
And so the search continued for a similar sweater in white. I tried all my usual places... and some new ones... with no luck. Then I had an inspired thought. Vince.com carried my lovely, black turtleneck... and they also had it in grey and in white. Yeah.
Now, I don't do a lot of on-line clothes shopping, except at the Gap. That's because I'm too suspicious that the size and fabric and cut of the products will be nothing like the pictures on the website. I know what Gap products I like and how they fit; plus, I can return them at a local store if I've made a mistake. Easy. Foolproof, even. So since I already had the Vince sweater in black, and I'd received an e-mail about their 25% off sale, I ordered it on-line. Just as an experiment... to see if this was something I might do in future.
Well, let's just say that I was happy with the sweater when I received it. Lovely... all the attributes I wanted... and the right colour.
I was less impressed with the on-line shopping experience itself. Vince.com ship with Fedex which allows you to sign up for e-mail alerts when the product will be delivered. The only alert I received was the knock at the door when the delivery man was standing on my back step. It was just by chance that I was home. I had to pay the shipping, which I knew about, and taxes and duty, which I knew about too. But, I also had to pay a $10.00 "road fee"... whatever that is. So, I actually ended up paying quite a bit more for the sweater than if I had bought it in Ottawa at full price. Good thing it was 25% off!
Still, I console myself with the fact that I wasn't able to find the sweater (or one I liked as much) in Ottawa, which is why I ordered it on-line to begin with. And with the fact that it was an experiment... and I've learned my lesson.
And now I finally own a silky, slim, stretchy-neck, lovely long-sleeved, not-too-tight sweater... in white. And which slips easily over my still fairly large, although not as alarmingly huge as when I was a child, head.
And yes, turtleneck love can be tough love sometimes. You might even say, a pain in the neck at times... if you liked bad puns.
Do you suffer from turtleneck love? Painful or otherwise.
Linking up this week with Style Me Wednesday at Shopping My Closet, What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy, and Thursday Blog Hop at Over 50, Feeling 40