I admit it: a polo neck jumper is probably the unsexiest item in any wardrobe. Thanks to the high, turned-over collar, it keeps your neck nice and warm, but sadly you pay a price for the comfort: the extra fabric covers a lot of skin which can appear frumpy.
To be honest, I had written this style off long ago because it was the stuff of my childhood nightmares – my well-meaning mum put out a polo neck jumper for me every winter morning, and I used to detest the scratchy feel around the neck. I even attribute this unpleasant experience to my severe dislike of scarves!
You might wonder, then, why I dedicate a whole article to the humble turtleneck. Blame it on the current 80s revival, but when I recently spotted a girl wearing one out in London, I felt a whiff of desire – I suddenly saw the style in a new light and decided to give it another chance. Here are my five favourite ways to wear it:
1) As part of a layering look
Layering your polo neck jumper will make it look damn current (and is also a great way to wear your new summer dress prematurely on a breezy day in March). Choose a silky slip dress and style with heavy combat boots. A pretty alternative is your turtleneck tucked into a figure-hugging skirt and topped off with a plain or printed blouse. Roll up the blouse's sleeves to let the polo neck sleeves peak out underneath.
2) With denim
Is there ever a day in the fashion calendar when denim isn't on trend? I doubt it. To emulate my look in the picture above, grab a pair of denim shorts, a metallic polo neck and some vertiginously high boots for maximum impact. Another great choice is a cropped jacket in light denim, worn over a black turtleneck.
3) With exclusive fabrics and tailoring
For a smarter outing, choose a slim-fitting polo neck jumper made from luxurious fibres that hugs your body in all the right places. Combine with a pair of elegant tailored trousers in a slouchy fit and slick trainers or heels.
4) With leather
Giving a polo neck jumper cool edge sounds like mission impossible, but try wearing it with a black leather jacket to toughen it up and watch it transform. To complete the look, choose an A-line skirt and Chelsea or ankle boots.
A great way to make turtlenecks look modern is choosing a cropped style. For an elegant silhouette, you can pair it with a slim fitting, high waisted skirt and bright lipstick – and voilà, suddenly the humble polo neck jumper is party ready.