The mock turtleneck is a favorite for its casual appeal and comfort. It's easy to wear–you can throw it on with a pair of women's jeans, wear it with corduroy pants or layer it beneath a blazer if you're feeling chilly and need the additional warmth.
This offshoot of the traditional turtleneck is a little more understated, but it's still pulled-together enough that it could work well in a more formal environment too. For example, you could wear it with your tailored pants to the office, especially if you add a belt and a pair of low-profile pumps for a polished, refined look. It's also great to wear on a casual date and a brunch.
There are ways to make your mock neck top work in especially upscale settings, provided you style it properly. You probably can't get away with it at something that calls for true formal attire–cocktail dresses and floor-length gowns only!–but in less strict environments, you can certainly make it work. Here's what to do if you want to maximize your mock turtleneck's place in your wardrobe.
A sky blue or orange mock turtleneck is unlikely to fit in very well at a formal event. It's best to stick with neutral hues that you can easily accent with jewelry and other accessories to create an overall more dressy look. Shades like black, gray, and navy set a distinguished tone. You'll want to convey some sense of simplicity and poise at formal events, and this is best achieved with colors that are not too bright or jarring. But if you do want to shake things up a little, you can always pair your outfit with a standout accessory–a pair of statement earrings, for example, or a bold necklace to elevate the drama.
The key to making a mock turtleneck look appropriate in a formal setting is to pair it with other pieces that convey a sense of glamour or elegance. You want to look polished, which means turning to garments that set the tone for the occasion. Black and gray are both neutral enough to wear well with any other color of the rainbow, which means you have many great options. A soft gray mock neck cashmere sweater looks ultra-chic when tucked into a dressy A-line or mini skirt.
You can also take your cue from Audrey Hepburn and keep it sleek and simple. Pair your black mock neck top with a pair of flowing black tuxedo pants. Add a single accessory, like an oversized clutch or a chunky bangle, to create an instantly chic outfit.
Another option is to use your mock top as the balancing piece for something more eye-catching. It is both practical and stylish to wear with a sleeveless dress, for example. You can even create the effect of a single piece by choosing a top in the same color family as the dress. Victoria Beckham has been seen out and about boasting a similar monochromatic look–she wears her high-neck top with a slinky below the knee skirt featuring a slight slit. The effect is effortlessly dressy.
It's often said that accessories make the outfit, and you can easily make anything look a little more sophisticated by adding a few game-changing extras to the equation. For example, with your hair pulled back into a glam chignon, you can use the opportunity to show off a pair of dazzling earrings. The effect–with your mock neck top included–is sure to be eye-catching and dressier than you might expect.
If you're going the monochromatic route and wearing your mock top with a classic pair of women's black jeans, use this as an opportunity to wear one contrasting item that really pops. A pair of sizzling red pumps or strappy heels will instantly elevate the dressy factor of the look. A metallic clutch drenched in sequins is another option that will not only stand out but also look phenomenal with your outfit. Even an understated animal print, either on your shoes or your bag, absolutely stands out when you wear it with a mock neck top and a pair of your favorite tailored trousers.
The beauty of the mock neck top is that it makes such a seamless transition from one season to the next. It's just as easy to wear during the coldest months of the year as it is during spring–and you may even find yourself reaching for it on those unexpectedly cool summer evenings, too. It makes sense not to limit the piece to casual occasions only. Thanks to its versatility and the myriad ways it pairs well with so many other pieces in the closet, it's easy to make a style statement every time!