The Annual Autumn Turtleneck Dilemma

Every autumn, I have the exact same sartorial dilemma. As the weather starts to cool and skies revert to perma-gray, I find myself falling in love with a turtleneck or two. They look so cozy, I tell myself, and I won’t even need to wear a scarf! So I buy one, despite the five unworn turtlenecks of last year that are now wedged in the back of my closet. I wear the turtleneck to work the next day, feeling so warm and seasonally-appropriate, and then … it happens. I start feeling constricted. I spend all day futzing with the turtleneck, trying to adjust it so that it feels more like a wool hug and less like an itchy strangulation device. Nothing works. I go home at the end of the day, toss the turtleneck on the floor, and spend the rest of fall and winter in crewnecks.

Why do I do this to myself every year? Are turtlenecks a sign of maturity – as soon as I get a little older and chill out, I’ll become so Zen I won’t notice my clothes trying to cut off my breathing?

This year’s victim? A black and silver striped sweater I bought at the Corte Ingles department store on a recent trip to Madrid. So far, I’ve made it through one entire day without tugging frantically at my neckline. But now that I’m back home in the States, I’m terrified to try wearing the sweater again, as if whatever kind of odd Spanish magic it had will now have dissipated. But sooner or later – probably on a day when I’m well overdue for a load of laundry – I’m going to give that adorable turtleneck a try. And maybe this year will finally be the year I make it through.

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    • Beth

      Ahhh turtlenecks are the worst.. I even have issues with sleeves. I find them uncomfortable and constricting. I am always cold at work because I only wear short sleeves, and everyone tells me to wear long sleeves, but I don’t own many shirts with long sleeves. I need to move somewhere warmer I think…

    • Eileen

      I don’t think it’s age or maturity…I’ve been wearing turtlenecks regularly since I was about twelve (with a brief break during the period in which I developed cleavage that I wanted everyone to see). I hear you, Beth, on the sleeves, though, since I usually lean over and support myself on my elbows.

    • Lia

      Do cashmere! A couple of years back I bought a heinously expensive black cashmere cardigan. It is bar none the most incredible piece of clothing I own. It doesn’t lose its shape or start to bag during the day, it feels like you’re wrapped in a cloud of cinnamon-flavoured love, and the fabric offers major warmth with a fraction of the bulk of my other turtlenecks. It’s just the right level of snug- secure without being constricting. The fit is perfect. It just glides over my skin. And it’s so, so soft.

      I love this sweater a little too much. Seriously, shell out and go cashmere.

      • Lia

        **At three in the morning, cardigan=turtleneck.