I have always been envious of those who look sleek and sexy in black turtlenecks. Archival photos suggest that Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Marilyn Monroe all looked lovely in them -- as have the countless fashion editors, stylists and other industry folk who have been captured in them for street style blogs.
In my experience, black turtlenecks are anything but flattering. The one that stands out most in my mind is a lumpy, ribbed one from Gap that I was gifted before going off to college. It had a thick neck that, however I rolled it, always managed to make my neck look thicker and my chin rounder (which, to be clear, is the exact opposite of how I've wanted to those two body parts to appear).
So it was with some skepticism that I recently ordered a black turtleneck from Vince that, lo and behold, was all the things that a chic black turtleneck promised to be. It's made of a stretchy Pima cotton/spandex blend (like jersey), with long, fitted sleeves and a looser fit around the waist (vital, since the fabric's pretty thin). The most clever feature is the neck. Instead of being a long funnel of fabric you fold over, it has been gathered around the neck, which gives you all of the effects of a black turtleneck without any of the bulk.
I'll be wearing mine all spring with a white skirt or pants, and imagine it will transition beautifully into fall.
Vince Favorite Turtleneck, $95, available at Bloomingdales.
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Front page: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at the Federal Courthouse. Photo: Tom Wargacki/WireImage