Turtlenecks: who can and who can’t

As fall arrives (well, sort of arrives I guess – anyone else baffled by this crazy humid weather at the end of SEPTEMBER?), I’m seeing a whole lot of turtlenecks. Especially in the windows of mega-retailers like H&M, Zara, and J. Crew. This was a fairly big trend on the fall 2011 runways, and recently noted by the hilarious–and always chic–blogger Leandra Medine on her site,¬†The Man Repeller.

But can anyone wear one? The answer is… sadly, no. Like almost every other trend in the world, it just doesn’t work on everyone.

Generally speaking, a lower neckline elongates the figure and opens up the face. This is a nifty magic trick for both petite women and those with larger busts. A scoop or V-neck succeeds in opening up the area and highlighting a woman’s decolletage. For petites, it creates a more vertical line from the top of the chest up to the face.

Turtlenecks do pretty much the opposite. If you have a chest, a turtleneck will accentuate it. And not in a good way. Turtlenecks can make a chest look bulky and shapeless. Plus, they can create the floating head scenario, which eliminates any sort of long, continuous line up the body.

So does this mean you can’t rock one if you’re bigger than a C cup or under 5’3″? Of course not! It all depends on the styling.

Instead of  wearing a turtleneck alone, opt for layering one under a sweater, blazer or lightweight jacket. And choose one that adds a pop of color, like red. This will turn the turtleneck into an accent piece (similar to a scarf) instead of the focal point of your entire top half.

Besides, layering is more fun anyway.

[tweetmeme] 3 Responses to Turtlenecks: who can and who can’t
  1. MerelyMarie
    October 4, 2011 | 5:04 pm

    Love this idea, going to try it with my turtlenecks & blazers!!!

  2. Suzy
    November 11, 2011 | 9:04 pm

    Love these, but not being a waif doesn’t help me. Love gwyneth paltrow on glee singing “forget you” in a black turtleneck. someday when I grow 4 inches and my chest deflates by 3 sizes…

  3. Cee
    February 11, 2013 | 1:37 am

    I find garments with a V neckline, such as blazers, cardigans and solid sweaters worn over a thin to medium weight ribbed turtleneck help on others with a fuller bust too.

    I’m lucky to have pretty much a perfect neck for them and am rarely without my t-necks in the cool to cold months.

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