The New “Little Black Dress”
Women from all walks of life and social strata are always on the lookout for truly versatile garments
to expand their wardrobes. For years, the quintessential garment has been the “little black dress”, that simple black garment that could
be dressed up for elegant occasions, or dressed down for more sombre events. Today, there’s another garment that is gaining popularity
and looks to become the “little black dress” of the new generation.
I’m talking about the turtleneck, or specifically the “crushneck turtleneck top”. The turtleneck has
been around for decades – a lightweight, comfortable knit garment featuring an elongated, tube-like collar that can be folded over to
create a traditional neat-and-tidy look, or fully extended and slid down along the neck to create gathers and folds which are both
casual and professional at the same time.
The turtleneck can be found in sleeveless designs for warmer weather wear, and traditional
long-sleeved versions for a more classic look. The turtleneck is also available from many manufacturers in a wide array of seasonal
colours, and fabric textures. The most popular fabric choice by far is the smooth, lightweight knit of silk, nylon, rayon, or cotton blends,
although other heavier-weight knits can be worn with dramatic effect.
For versatility, every woman should have at least three turtlenecks in her wardrobe: a white one, a
black one, and one in her favourite or most-flattering color. Here are some great ideas on how to wear your turtleneck for a variety of different looks:
With a Blazer or Suit: The turtleneck worn crushneck fashion gives a new spin to business attire. The look is clearly
professional, but the “crushing” at the neckline gives an air of relaxed confidence. It’s a style that says, “I’m all-business, but
flexible enough to handle anything you throw my way.” The suit or blazer can be whatever color is appropriate to the season and your
personal taste, but the turtleneck should be white (or black) for business functions. (If your suit or blazer is black or white, a
colored turtleneck would be acceptable.)
For an upscale twist, try a monochromatic look. It makes a professional and dramatic statement for
evening business parties. Wear all-white for summer evening and daytime events, and black for fall and winter events, especially at
night. Monochromatic colours are an excellent choice for daytime parties and lunchtime affairs when you want to look impressive. (Hint:
monochromatic looks are ideal for women who want to mask bodily flaws.)
With Skirts or Pants: The turtleneck can also be dressed down for more casual affairs. Pair them with long skirts or
dressy pants for a comfortable look that is both chic and elegant. Coordinate your colours to suit the season, or go monochromatic for
a classy look. A short-sleeved style is great for staying cool in warmer weather, and long sleeves can take the chill off in the
evenings and during cooler months.
Do keep in mind that the style of skirt will affect the overall look of your ensemble. A long,
tailored or tapered skirt is perfect for those casual cocktail parties where you want to be a little dressier, while fuller skirts are
great for times when you want a more comfortable, relaxed look.
You can even wear your turtleneck with jeans for the ultimate in relaxed and comfortable looks. You
can wear it tucked for a neat and tidy look, or un-tucked with a low-slung belt or scarf-tied-as-belt for a bit of fun and flair.
Best of all, it’s a style you can play with. Pick up a few turtlenecks and mix them with your current
wardrobe. You’ll love the results, I promise you.