Can Turtlenecks Look Nice?

Last year, Minnesota Monthly did a profile on local fashion and self-image blogger Sally McGraw. I liked her look, and loved what she had to say, so I started following her blog, Already Pretty. As this winter has dragged on, and on, I’ve found myself again and again reaching for cotton turtlenecks with the sneaking suspicion that neither Tim Gunn nor Sally McGraw would approve. I bit the bullet, and wrote to Sal:

I’m a stay-at-home mom and writer with 2 boys in NE Mpls. Right about now in winter is usually when I throw in the fashion towel. Boots, long underwear, turtlenecks under sweaters.

I struggle with winter mom fashion in MN in general, but am wondering, is there a way to wear cotton turtlenecks and look put together and not frumpy, or am I better off with non-turtles and scarves all winter long?

The response was what I had expected:

Now, turtlenecks. Honestly, they are tough to pull off. Very few people - myself included - actually look good in a close-fitting turtleneck. We wear them anyway when it’s freezing out and there are definitely times when warmth trumps fashion. If you love them lots, you can try doing a t-neck AND a scarf. Having something drapey and/or patterned to soften the harsh lines of the turtleneck helps a lot. You can also mitigate the high neck with a deep-v blazer. But going without turtlenecks and doing just scarves and cowls will look more chic and flattering. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

Her response, while disheartening, has not purged my turtlenecks from rotation, especially on days below 20F when I’ll be out and about. But it was a good reminder not to reach for the same old thing, and to give more attention to the scarves in my closet, of which there are more than a few.

One Response to “Can Turtlenecks Look Nice?”

  1. Kate Says:

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Not even ribbed cotton turtlenecks? Even if I think they are super cute? -sigh-

    I guess it’s lucky for me that mine have finally worn holes and no store is carrying them right now, since they are under the mistaken impression I live in a place where there isn’t still Snow. On. The. Ground.

    Sorry. That’s the end of the my winter won’t end, I’ve thrown in the fashion towel, please, please spring rant.