I was not a very good teenager: I couldn’t summon the angst that my friends seemed to dial up at the drop of a hat; not once did I try to sneak out. My only rebellion, really, was that I would not wear the turtlenecks that my mom, time and time again, heralded as “cute” and “classic,” “a wardrobe staple.”
At the time, they reminded me of the three-piece ensembles that she used to pick up for me at Kelly’s Kids trunk shows held in her friends' dining rooms. Surely you remember them: The turtleneck-leggings combos that you’d pair with a coordinating sweatshirt and, if my mama was dressing you, matching Keds, lacy socks, and a big old bow.
I was not going to be caught dead in a turtleneck.
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Then, sometime in college, I discovered the turtleneck that won me back – one that I’ve been wearing ever since: J.Crew's Everyday Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater.
Turns out my dear mother was right, after all (are you reading this, Mama?): The turtleneck is cute, classic, and now a staple of my fall and winter wardrobes.
While in recent years I’ve met few turtlenecks I don’t like (I’m wearing a short-sleeved one right now, which is a lifesaver for that awkward transition from summer to fall), J.Crew’s cashmere ones remain my favorites.
They’re lightweight, so you can tuck them into a skirt or jeans sans awkward bunching at the waist, or wear them under dresses and sweaters without looking like the Michelin Man. Plus, they’re super soft, so I feel like I’m getting away with something, like I’ve worn pajamas to work and nobody knows it. They come in a rainbow of colors, too: Purists can stick with très chic black (so French!), while the more adventurous can step out in shades like “burnished mustard” and “bright cerise” (so fun!). And should you subscribe to the Reese Witherspoon mantra of “If it’s not moving, monogram it,” you can even pay $10 to personalize it ... hello, Christmas gift!
So go ahead, embrace the turtleneck. Your fall wardrobe will thank you. I’m still thanking my mama.