Photo: Ray Tang/REX USA.
At face value, the mock neckline is a great idea: It's got all the neck-lengthening properties of a turtleneck without any of the uncomfortable wattle wrinkle that typically comes with it. However, in reality, there are few instances where a mock neck doesn't look incredibly dowdy. Smoothe, an inch long, and just high enough to make it obvious it's not just an aggressive crew neck, a mock-neck tee looks like the love child of Steve Jobs' shirts and the latest Mennonite fashions.
Leave it up to Alexa Chung to turn it all around. At her recent Nails inc 'Alexa Manicure' launch in London, she managed to do the impossible. Wearing a pale pink Emilia Wickstead dress, Alexa took the world's most challenging neckline and made it into a bona fide fashion moment. On her, it looks a bit '60s mod, a bit '40s starlet, and not at all that '90s first-day-of-eighth-grade outfit with which we tried to impress the French horn kid who sat behind us in band. Needless to say, she accessorized with lace-up heels instead of elastic-waist jeans (smart choice).
For us non-Alexas, it might be best to leave this cut to the master, but if you're going to try it, look for tops that are slightly cropped, made with a thicker fabric, and in colors that you'd never see a jazz musician performing in (think: pastels and brights instead of jewel tones). On the bottom, make sure you're balancing it out with something ladylike and voluminous; though we sure thought JNCOs and jellies were the perfect complements back then, we're liking this feminine direction a whole lot more.