Warning: if you are not a roll neck fan you might want to skip this blog.
If there were one item of clothing I could not do without it would probably be the roll neck. It’s my Desert Island top. Well, a winter top might not be the best advised outfit for a desert island but you know what I mean.
I am pretty happy in my skin. I could be thinner, younger and less tired but I am not. Being happy with how I look makes life a lot easier. There is one thing I do not like though. No, tis not my love handles nor my dodgy belly. It is my neck, the whole neck / top of bust area. I don’t know why but I just don’t like showing it. In summer I always wear a scarf and in winter I wear a roll neck.
With a roll neck on top you can get away with wearing more daring prints on your bottoms, tighter trousers, shorter skirts and higher heels. People always seem to say that those with big busts shouldn’t wear high necks but I have a big bust and am in breastfeeding bras and still find them one of the most flattering things to wear. (I never wear v necks on the other hand)
I am picky. I don’t like turtle necks. They lack the face framing and slimming qualities of the roll neck. The lack of roll, however thin the material, throws me off balance and makes me look like lamb dressed as mutton.
A turtleneck. Not getting my love.
Here we are talking about roll necks, also known as polo necks and sometimes turtlenecks even though the neck rolls down. Confused?
The best every day roll neck I have found was from Warehouse. They do them every year but this year’s doesn’t appear to be out yet (if you find one there is 25% off and free P&P with code Halloween) I have four black ones – three I wash normally and one I dry clean and save for best. They hit at the lower hip and the loose waistband means they skim any muffinage and look good with jeans, fitted trousers, skirts and anything that isn’t a skinny jean.
The Uniqlo cashmere roll necks are good. They have very good sporadic sales on their knitwear so it may be worth some investigation (i.e. googling) to see when the next one might be. A few years ago I tried Benetton, Pure Collection, Jaeger, Hobbs and M&S which were all recommended by friends but much preferred Uniqlo for quality and fit. I have just added this yellow one to my collection. I love bright yellow with grey and I am going to try it with navy too.
Uniqlo cashmere rollneck
These Zara roll neck capes are brilliant! They aren’t capes at all, they just have slightly batwinged sleeves. I stress slightly – I have easily worn mine under my Baukjen Gemma roll neck and had no lumpy / restricted arm movement issues. In colder weather a Uniqlo Heattech (or two) will fit easily underneath and still allow the top to drape. Zara describe them as turtlenecks but don’t been fooled, the necks roll down and are thus rollnecks. They are my number 1 winter basic recommendation.
Zara ROLL neck cape
Baukjen Gemma (again!)
I must mention Massimo Dutti. I do not like their roll necks on my size and shape but for someone with a smaller chest and flatter tum they are definitely worth a look. The material feels luxe and they do a lovely range of colours. Again, they call them turtlenecks but they are wrong. I have a few from years ago that I used to wear to work in the winter under suits, a look I still really like.
Massimo Dutti ROLL neck
I like All Saints knitwear and have the 100% cashmere Char Roll Neck Jumper in last year’s grey. They are doing a beautiful oxblood colour this winter.
All Saint Char roll neck
J Crew knitwear is excellent and is definitely worth checking out. They are doing free delivery and returns at the moment (automatically applied at checkout) and for 25% off try the code INSIDER. Let us know if you order anything (the WornOut crew love the cashmere tees)
J. Crew striped “turtleneck”
I have not been impressed with the offerings from H&M (bad quality) or Benetton (they bobble v quickly)
Last up the roll neck dress. I have two black ones from Warehouse which are basically longer versions of their roll neck jumpers. I wore them when I was pregnant with tights, boots (and red lipstick) and received more compliments than I think I ever have. I have recently bought this one in a navy/grey from Cos which I highly recommend.
Cos A-line roll neck dress
Finally I have a request. Have you seen a boiled wool heavy roll or funnel neck on your shopping travels? My mum bought this one from Stefanel a decade ago and I’ve been searching for one every since. It is like a boiled wool version of the Gemma (I won’t link to it again I promise!)