Protect Your Neck: Men’s Style Forecast
Staying Covered for a Cold Winter
A spooky storm hit the University of Delaware on Halloween, certainly ruining many trick-or-treaters’ nights and dropping the temperature for the following week by nearly twenty degrees. As a result, winter coats have come out in full force, and tedious layering must be applied to keep warm on the walk to class. Many jackets and parkas offer only torso and arm coverage, leaving the neck exposed to the elements (and vampires). It is no surprise that this smart style has been rocked by Steve McQueen, Andy Warhol, and Steve Jobs. There are some differences in styles with regards to the neckline, such as the common turtleneck having enough neck fabric to fold over itself and mock necks being one layer up to the chin. With the right outfit and confidence, anyone can look great either dressed up or dressed down with a turtleneck or mock neck.
The common turtleneck, also known as a roll-neck or polo neck, has existed since the 15th century but has only reached popularity in the early and mid-20th century. Most turtlenecks are made of sweater fabric, knitted, or crocheted fibers, and are often designed to warm the body. Just like crewneck sweaters, turtlenecks may have different gauges, meaning the fineness of the stitching. Fine gauges appear smoother and are often seen as more formal, able to fit under an oxford shirt or suit as an alternative to a necktie. Heavy gauges, like those seen under a fisherman’s overcoat, offer a great deal of insulation for the cold seas or winters. Medium gauges offer a nice middle ground and look great styled with a simple jacket.
Mock necks offer an alternative to the classic turtleneck, with about half as much fabric available at the neck. Because of their straight-standing nature, mock necks can have a sportier look with the addition of a zipper and can be slightly folded over for a lower-rise turtleneck look. Mock necks will tend to be lighter weight and more sweatshirt like but will also follow the same sweater gauge rules for different thicknesses. The signature look of Steve Jobs includes a black mock neck, effectively dressing up dad jeans and sneakers.
Either style will look great tucked into jeans or pants with a stylish jacket to round off the look. Due to the versatility of turtle and mock necks, suit jackets and dress shoes pair just as nicely as a biker jacket and Chelsea’s or a jean jacket and sneakers. A streetwear look can be achieved with a looser neck paired with striking pants and sneaks. Just remember to follow simple color-matching rules and you will be able to throw on the perfect outfit for this upcoming fall/winter season.