Turtle neck plus shirt is the formula for a chic new look

Emma McCarthy

Trends are out of fashion. Ironic, don’t you think?

Nowadays, keeping abreast of the new season is not as straightforward as investing in the must-have skirt or flinging out your flats for a kitten heel. It’s not what you’re wearing but precisely how you’re wearing it that counts.

Take, for example, the roll neck. As good a barometer of the change in season as the arrival of the M&S Christmas sandwich (yes, actually), the humble knit is poised to become a ubiquitous sight on the capital’s streets once again. But, much like the food aisles’ haste to throw themselves into the festive season, a collective retreat into the safety of a giant funnel neck is a tad premature. After all, we have the next two months — at least — to hibernate and eat leftover turkey.

But, never ones to be left behind, the capital’s savviest style plates have come up with a canny styling hack to autumnify (technical term) your wardrobe without risk of overheating — simply take one roll neck and layer it underneath your shirt.

(& Other Stories)

Now, there are some rules to bear in mind here. First, the roll neck in question must be fine-knit — for less bulk and breathability — so seek out light merino wool or ribbed jersey styles. Colour, too, is key. As purveyor of chic French style Sandro demonstrates, a pale pink roll neck works wonders to brighten up a crisp white cotton shirt — particularly teamed with a fuchsia blazer. Or make like & Other Stories and go tonal, with a colour matched roll neck and shirt combo. It’s favoured chartreuse, though if you’re in any doubt, stick with the basics — a white roll neck will look good under anything.

Once you’ve sourced a solid foundation, the rest is easy. Because the real beauty of this look is that you can make it work with any shirt that is already hanging in your wardrobe. Try, for example, just a slither of roll neck peeking out from beneath a stiff corduroy shirt, buttoned all the way to the top. Or plunge for a deeper V with a silk pyjama shirt. Don’t be shy experimenting with print either. A patterned roll neck looks ace under a plain shirt, or mix and match clashing prints, like leopard print and stripe or polka dot and floral. Or if you want to go to town, seek out a roll neck and shirt in the same print and team with matching trousers, as showcased in & Other Stories’s collaboration with Parisian stylist Camille Bidault-Waddington which is a “a love letter to the art of layering”.

Roll on autumn.