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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Black and Lacy




Rollnecks or are they polo necks? I get a little confused because different people have different names for them but for the purpose of this post, I will call it a rollneck. You have to roll the neck down so a rollneck it is then. 

Anyway, I've had a hankering for a rollneck for some time now.  I had the perfect one years back but it's long gone. The fact that I've been thinking about them now is probably a sign that I'm getting on a bit as I've always thought rollnecks were worn by the older generation or the golfing fraternity but just recently those Landsend catalogues have been looking a whole lot more interesting and appealing ;o)  Anyway, I wanted a navy one and I didn't want it too tight round the neck and I didn't want it tight on the body either. It needed to be a "relaxed" fit. A lot like the one above actually. By the way, doesn't the blonde model look striking with the black jumper? Much more so than someone with darker hair. When I think of black dresses and black tops, I always think they go well on blondes - very Hitchcock heroine don't you think?


Tippi Hedren (one of Hitchcock's "heroines")


I digress. Anyway, my first port of call - Marks & Sparks. I took a cashmere one and a lambswool one in to the changing rooms. The tightwad in me said, get the lambswool as this will be a one week wonder when I realise I don't really like rollnecks and they make me look all kind of Moonface. And yep, true to form the lambswool was too itchy and tight round the neck and I did look all kind of Moonface. The cashmere one was fractionally better (less itchy) but still tight around the neck. I left them both.

Next stop - Woolovers. I've read good reviews about them for basic knitwear so I thought I'd try. I ordered their unisex navy lambswool rollneck. Perfect fit and the neck was much better but still itchy.  I knew the lambswool was going to be itchy so I don't know what possessed me to order it. For your information, I ordered the size small but I think anyone who is long of torso and long of arm might struggle with it. The M&S ones are fractionally longer in the body but I did size up to a 12 (I normally take a 10) to get the relaxed fit I wanted.

Anyway, during this half term, I managed to get to a John Lewis and I tried on their cashmere rollnecks. I took in a navy one and a grey one and bought a .... black one. Like you do. I suddenly decided I needed a black one because I have it in my head that I want to wear it like this on a night out ...





John Lewis Rollneck, Press & Bastyan Dress, H&M Shoes

Sorry - some of you are going to feel a bit cheated on the black and lacy bit I promised you but hey, I give you black rollneck here and some lacy trim on my skirt - I delivered! The skirt is actually an old Press & Bastyan dress circa 2001 with the rollneck worn over it. This is my nod to the lace trend floating around currently without the need to spend any money. The Grumps even got a little excited at seeing me in the dress and exclaimed "I bought you that!" which is true but what was even more amazing was the fact that he actually remembered it. Most of my clothes are by the by for him - this dress he remembers. In the old(!!!) days, I might have worn a wrap or put a little cardigan with it but I'm no longer comfortable wearing the dress like this - the less I have on show, the better I feel. The jumper also covers up the bagel belly a treat and does a good job of keeping me warm. I hate sitting in arctic air conned restaurants freezing my assets off.  Goose pimples and chattering teeth are overrated.

And the details schmetails? The lace actually has a touch of black in it which might not be evident from the above picture but can you see now? Hence the pairing with the black jumper and shoes.

See the black touches in the lace?


Actually if you look at the silhouette, I could imagine a modern day Tippi wearing this.

Or I might choose to keep it simple for a mum's night out like this.

Primark bracelet, Zara Jeans, M&S Leopard Courts


The leopard heels are M&S which were ordered during their 20% off shoes promotion. Trying to find a pair of leopard heels is a bit like trying to find rollnecks - there is a pair out there for you. You've just got to keep trying till you find the right pair and you have the added problem of finding pairs where the spots are not too dissimilar on both the left and right shoes. For your information - I actually ordered two pairs so I could match up the best pair together - a tip I picked up from a reader's comment (thank you Deadlysims). I'm not sure these are the right ones yet but they are being "assessed". I tried a pair on in Dune whilst out shopping with the Grumps and I was quite amused when he said "there's too much toe cleavage on them". Seriously, he's picking up and learning such a lot from reading my blog. Girls take note to start making your Christmas wishlists on your blogs now!

And for the daytime, we can go extra casjjjj ...

Maison Scotch Chinos, Next Pumps


... with chinos and cheetah pumps which I am actually getting quite a lot of wear out of. I guess this is a laid back as it gets. Any more laid back and I would be horizontal. Someone said to me recently I was the most chilled out person they know. Really? Funny how people perceive you. Hmm.

Basically there are so many ways to wear a black roll neck - or if you can't do a roll neck, stick with a classic crew. To be honest, I didn't think I  would find a roll neck that I would feel comfortable wearing but find one I did. But trust it to have to be cashmere to reduce the itch factor! I wonder if the Grumps will remember he bought me it whenever I wear it. Somehow, I don't think so.


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Last Note :

  • What do you think of rollnecks then? Stylish or fuddy duddy? 







50 comments :

  1. I've always called them turtlenecks, and I've always believed that every woman should have at least one black one in their closet. There are years when I don't wear mine, when it just doesn't quite feel right, but I hang on to it because I know it's such a classic that eventually I will want to wear it again. You're going to love yours!

    www.nomadicd.com

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    1. I always think of turtlenecks as the ones which go up your neck but don't need folding over. I originally called these polonecks but then in recent years I've heard them being called rollnecks. So easy to get confused between all of them. And yes, I'm hoping mine is going to earn it's keep - it's one downside is that it is black - fluff and dust magnet and I have to lint roll it all the time. Can't win them all.

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  2. I think they can be sexy as hell, think of Jean Seberg, Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot and all that lot from the 60's. It just depends on how you wear it. I love yours and how you styled it - really versatile and totally wearable. Bought 2 roll necks from Gap kids last year or earlier this year in black and ivory and so looking forward to wearing them with skirts, jeans and tailored pants. My neck always gets cold so I find them essential.

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    1. It is a very versatile piece but could work just as well with a black crew neck. The only reason I went for a black rollneck is purely for warmth as I don't suit high necks. Definitely an age thing for me!

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  3. You are rocking the roll neck Sue! How saucy are you in the bit of lace too?! Love this look on you!

    I am not good with roll necks......I love them on everyone else but hate them on me! I have a couple but I always disguise them with a scarf. Just can't put my finger on why they don't work for me :0(

    On another note.....you got the M&S shoes! They look amazing but I would be having exactly the same conversation with myself as you! I really want some but they would have to be exactly the right pair to ensure I would get the wear out of them. The height of the heel and the colour would be the main criteria for me! That said, these do look truly scrumptious on you x

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    1. Michelle, believe it or not - I am pretty much like you. In the past I wouldn't have entertained them on the grounds that I have a short neck and they are not that flattering but I find myself constantly flinging scarves on first thing in the morning and then taking them off again when I strangle myself when I trap it in the dishwasher. So no scarf = live another day.

      And the shoes - exactly. They have to be perfect to warrant keeping. The Dune Alfa kitten heel ones are a much more workable height for me and the fit was good. But because the offer was on at M&S, I thought it wouldn't hurt to have a look. They're not bad all things considering but the print was very off on one pair actually. I'd hate to have had to rule them out before I tried them out just because of the print mismatch.

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  4. Love the roll neck with your lace skirt Sue not to mention your boyfriend jeans & leopard print courts - just perfect. I'm also loving the idea of ordering two pairs of shoes to get the best match...genius! xx
    www.mymidlifefashion.com

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    1. Well you have to thank Deadly Sims for that tip. I can't take the credit for that one. It's not so much of a problem if you're in store and you can line up several pairs together to do a check but not so easy when you just get delivered one pair and find it's not right.

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  5. Hi there! Hurrah for the roll neck, like you I decided I needed one but struck lucky whilst thrifting and got a lambs wool M&S one which is slightly oversized and then I found a brand new George one which is fitted! I love them and always like having at least one in for winter. You look gorgeous in the dress and roll neck combo, that is a perfect restaurant outfit! Love the daytime looks too xx

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    1. Ooh you did well with your thrifting ... as usual. Honestly, I see nothing when I've chanced in a shop. And the dress is almost a perfect restaurant outfit - it's quite tight - can't breathe after starters.

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  6. I am living in my roll necks right now. I must admit, Sue, that they are pretty much my Winter uniform and have been for YEARS. They suit me, probably, less and less as they just have my chins folding over them now. I am such a fan of the Gap easy care ones. They really do copy a much more lux fabric and wash really well plus they are about £20 quid!! I also love how they are not too clingy and you can bung on a stripe or some such underneath ( I have a cream one with a stripe on underneath today and I have posted on A57 ) I think you rock the look and I love the pics. H xx

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    1. Thank you Helen and the tip on the Gap ones. I think I'm not ready for a full wardrobe of them yet but will see how I get on with this one. I think I could do with a grey one - the colour is much easier to wear on a day to day and doesn't show up fluff. It's the fluff that's doing my head in on the black cashmere. But I'm going to have to get used to it - it is lovely to wear. Will go and check you out on Avenue 57.

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  7. Love the sweater! I live in roll necks in the winter, I bung them under everything. I feel the cold really badly. For layering I can highly recommend the j crew tissue turtleneck tees, I tried cheaper uniqlo ones but they bunch up all the time. And for knitted I always buy them from gap.

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    1. Have you tried the Uniqlo heat tech ones or are those the ones you mean which bunch up? I'm just thinking of those days when I'm holed up indoors and not setting out of the door and it's mega cold, I could do with one to stick under the odd jumper instead of messing with a scarf. I am however a little afraid that I will look like I'm ready for the piste. Apart from golfers, I always think of skiers wearing rollnecks. I'm sure you look like neither :o)

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  8. Ha ha - glad my shoe buying tip was useful! You look great in the roll neck. I can only do loose roll necks as I hate feeling restricted!

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    1. I do find myself playing with the neck as I'm not used to something hugging my neck which is why I was looking for one which was not too tight. The M&S one was definitely no go and that was all because of the neck. And yes, thanks for the shoe tip - very useful for these patterned kind of shoes.

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  9. I call them polo necks, love them but not on me personally. Tried..... Invested in a pure collection cashmere one a couple of years ago....sold it on ebay I feel they are suffocating me plus being busty they don't suit me. Love the shoes, haven't seen them in M&S till the other day, great idea with the shoes but don't they have pair codes on the price label? Love the jumper with the lace skirt, planning on doing that with my lace skirt.

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    1. I don't like them on me particularly but I am going with substance over style for once - I need warmth. I'm going to persevere with this one as I do like it but you know what's the one thing which will spell it's death knell (apart from pilling)? Is the dust/lint factor. I'm going round with a lint roller all the time.

      And the codes on the shoes - not sure. I think the codes tend to be for left and for right - so should work out. Your lace skirt is lovely on you and such a fab price for a lovely quality piece.

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  10. I love the roll neck on you! Especially like it with the jeans and chinos. Lynne x

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    1. Those are my favourite looks too :o) Just wish the weather was a bit warmer so I could wear it like that without boots.

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  11. I call them polo necks too but someone looked at me in a very confused manner when I said that in a conversation. I love them, recently purchased one of the Gap eversoft ones which is a little looser on the body and has side slits at the hem - good worn with jeans. I think they give an air of sophistication :) x

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    1. I'm not sure if it's an age thing and that we remember them from when they were known as polo necks but the thing seems to be for calling the rollnecks now. Even John Lewis are marketing them as that. And then Gap go and call them turtlenecks. No wonder we are all confused. I'll have to take a look at the Gap ones - there seems to be a lot of love for the Gap ones.

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  12. Yes, they do have a air of Marilyn Monroe or the Andy Warhol set about them. Kind of being supremely "cool" a la beatnik style. But more to the point you have made yours look fab with your lace dress........And you never know it might evoke wonderful memories for The Grumps!! p.s. Have you ever seen the film Somethings gotta give? Jack Nicholson asks Diane Keaton......."Hey what's with the roll necks"?, so I reckon that's the US name, and polo neck is the very English name! xx

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    1. Aaah - no I've not seen the film but what you've said makes sense - different countries, different terms.

      And rollnecks/polonecks/turtlenecks do have a bit of a beatnik vibe about them don't they? Not a bad thing - it's a good look.

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  13. Love it all! Yes, i don't know why but I think sometimes blondes do look striking in those dark sweaters. Maybe it's just the grass is greener on the other side, me having dark Asian locks.

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    1. I think it's because dark hair disappears into a dark jumper - the contrast is required for effect. Having said that, loose blonde hairs are more noticeable on dark jumpers so the grass is not always greener.

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  14. Oh I think you look sexy!! Gorgeous outfit. Haha and I'm kind of the same - I try and branch out with a bit of colour but often end up going back to black

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    1. I see lace (nice lace that is) and I think Jamie Lee and your Lover pieces. I'd love to raid your wardrobe for the lacy pieces you have but couldn't fit in to a single piece if I tried. Well my left toe might :o)

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  15. I TOTALLY love turtle necks and have been wanting to wear them loads lately. Although I think I like the idea of them more than I actually like wearing them. I always feel like they are strangling me a bit.

    p.s. I think they're called turtle necks in America and roll necks in Britain. xx

    http://thestylecrusader.com

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    1. I have to admit, I fiddle with the neck a bit - it's just that bit different from wearing a scarf. I will persevere however. It would be a shame not to.

      And I always thought turtlenecks were the ones which were high necked but didn't need folding over!

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  16. I know I have a black Zara one somewhere in the house but just can't find it at the moment! I love them so will be replacing it if it does not turn up soon:)
    ~Anne

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    1. I bet your daughter has snaffled it!

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  17. I adore your Press and Bastyan dress. The hemline is beautiful. As for rollnecks. I love them but they don't love me back! my face is too round!! Love Liz x

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    1. I actually have the same problem - I have a round face too. I think most people can wear them providing the neck isn't actually too tight and it stands off the neck a fraction which is why I didn't want one which was too tight. The M&S ones were Boa.

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  18. I love roll necks or whatever they are - just not always on me! I had a ribbed one from Next that was just 'right', but it's gone somewhere. I can't cope with wool around my neck - I get all hot and then just have to rip it off. Maybe it's an age thing? Getting off the point now.

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    1. I know what you mean - this is the first time in years I've decided to take one on. I certainly hope I don't regret it as I didn't go for the cheapest on the block for a first attempt.

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  19. rollnecks/turtlenecks/polonecks (I never know what to call them either!) have to be one of my favourite clothing items ever. I wear one almost every day in winter and they make me feel like a secret agent. I have one of the lambswool rollnecks from Woolovers in charcoal and it's great (nice and boxy and loose) but does itch a bit and the sleeves are a little short. I have three of the alpaca ones from Uniqlo's current collection which are much softer but have pilled a little and I'm not sure how long they'll last.

    I love the black cashmere one you've settled on and the different combinations you've put together - the purpley dress is so so lovely! so elegant and very A/W Louis Vuitton with the lace hem! :) x

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    1. I love that you feel like a secret agent in yours and I can imagine you padding around in your flat ever so quietly and peeping around corners. I've not given up on the Woolovers one yet - I think the navy was not for me as it was so solid the colour and it attracted fluff like I don't know. The grey charcoal and the flannel grey one might get a look in though. And thanks about the heads up on the alpaca ones. I had been thinking about trying one but I think the pilling might just push me over the edge. Ooh and get me - channelling LV. Who would have thought?

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  20. actually really like rollnecks or whatever they're known as. throwing it over a dress is such a good idea! i've had one from G2000 for as long as i can remember, and still have it actually. they're surprisingly hardy so i've never found the need for a new one. love the styling with the chinos, those pants are really nice sue!

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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    1. G2000!!!!! OMG! I remember them! I had a suit from them in 1996/7 when I went back to Hong Kong and they had a tiny store in the local KCR station. It was the most flattering and best fitting suit I ever had until I grew out of it .... literally.

      And I like the chinos styling too. Was a bit Phoebe Philo inspired that one.

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  21. I've always called them polo necks and have a few (all from H&M and all in dark colours - black, dark purple and dark brown - I am 'Mrs Dark'). Great idea to wear it over the dress but not sure I'd wear on a night out as I think I'd get all hot and bothered in the collar region! Definitely with jeans in the day now the weather is colder. I once read an article that said men hate women in polo necks as it covers up everything and for some reason I always remember this whenever I dig mine out but then I also remember that the hubby doesn't notice anything I wear anyway! :)

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    1. I never go by what men think about clothes - they just like to see the goods. Fact of life. But I will be wearing it again very soon with jeans as part of my day to day stuff - the only problem is I look like a lint roller at the end of the day after I lint rolled something. That's the problem with black knitwear and why I tend to go with charcoal grey instead if I want to do dark.

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  22. Loved the sweater with the dress, it looks beautiful. Really liked it with the chinos too.

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    1. Thank you :o)

      I have to say, the chinos were 100 times more comfortable.

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  23. I love it! Looks amazing with that skirt. I would love to hop on the turtleneck train but my boobs ruin it.

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    1. I think the general rule is that anything high necked is a no go for more booby ladies isn't it? That's a shame but I think it depends on the individual and possibly how the jumper is cut. I could swear I've seen Marilyn Monroe rocking a black rollneck in some photos. Don't rule it out just yet.

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  24. I love roll necks and buy a couple every year, I am looking for a slightly chunky long black cashmere polo neck I can wear with leather leggings/ over a spangly floral skirt but I am not sure if they exist? Yours looks great on, I love it with the boyfs and animal print pumps.

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    1. Both ideas would make a great look especially with your blonde hair. Your description of your rollneck sounds almost like the original one I had but mine was a tape yarn which made it hang really nicely. Shame it's no more.

      And I

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  25. I absolutely love roll necks! But the itchiness of the wool ones kills me. Cashmere it has to be! Although I might try a wool Woolovers crew neck, if they are good. I can't find my perfect black wool crew neck and I actually need one. And in navy and silvery grey, as I've gone off my cardis. They are just too Nanna for my liking right now.

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  26. And lace? You can almost never have too much lace. Love love love.

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