The Nonconformist's Guide To Summer Turtlenecks

We don't think of turtlenecks as cold-weather items. If that thought gave you a momentary heat stroke, we get it — it's hot right now, and a covered-up neckline isn't going to help matters. But, as important as seasonality is to a wardrobe, there are certain silhouettes we just can't quit. In this particular case, think of all the chilly fall, winter, and spring days the added coverage and hug-like comfort of a high neck have gotten us through. Do they really deserve to be shunned for the remaining three months of the year?

There's something about the shape that feels sophisticated: a grown-up alternative to the flimsy scoop-neck on our T-shirt lineup. Of course, we're not talking about long-sleeved, heavy-knit sweaters here — the summertime version of our layering go-to comes in the form of a lightweight mock-neck. It can take on the shape of a lightweight blouse, breezy dress, or on-trend bodysuit. Same look, different feel.

With that in mind, we dreamed up five ways to wear turtlenecks all summer.

For A Farmers'-Market Rendezvous
Most of our weekends follow the same format: Wake up, hit up the local breakfast spot, and swing by the farmers' market on the way home. We call upon summer's unlikely superhero, the bodysuit, to transform our lazy-day wear into something a little more special. Crisp, light, and with the slightest mock-neck, this one-piece layers superbly under all your bottoms. In this case, a breezy, wrap midi-skirt lends a sophisticated, bohème vibe. To up the dressy factor, a textured bag adds another visual element to the ensemble, while a single-ear jacket sparkles in a not-trying-too-hard way.
For A Day Of Urban Exploring
What are the extra hours of sunlight for if not to explore the place you call home? Visit a new park. Check out a small art exhibit. Try that buzzed-about coffee shop that's a little farther out. A ribbed-knit top has that reassuring feel of your favorite fall sweater — in a much more breathable, heatwave-friendly form. A denim A-line and wooden-sole flatforms are not only summery, but also an on-trend nod to the '70s. A trusty backpack gets a high-fashion upgrade in smooth red leather. And, finally, colorblocked cat-eyes give this look the ultimate cool-kid stamp of approval.
For An After-Hours Networking Event
The working-girl hustle doesn't take summers off. So, if you find yourself at a post-work networking event, don't be afraid of blending your weekday and weekend styles. A sleeveless, high-neck blouse in an unexpected print pops, but the muted colors (especially when paired with black, fitted culottes) won't clash with the business-casual attire around you. Keep accessories eye-catching, but minimal — and, no, that's not an oxymoron. Buckled mules pair with a simple, pearl-studded wrist cuff, while a mint bucket bag feels refreshing among a sea of black totes.
For An Uptown Brunch
Throwing yourself a Treat Yo' Self 2015? Then, a trip uptown for some museum wandering and an extra-fancy order of Eggs Benedict are certainly in order. A ruffled-hem sheath dress is a step up from our normal weekend fare — but, hey, that's what today's all about. A collarless cotton jacket takes the look down a notch, while an arty pair of sandals (a flat sole will be necessary to meander through all the wings of the museum, after all) give it a playful feel. Dusty pink rounds out a frilly, but not overly so, ensemble.
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For An Outdoor Cocktail Party
If you're not drinking on rooftops or patios, surrounded by twinkly lights, is it even summer? Most get-togethers these days are all about taking to the outdoors to sip rosé. So it's a matter of striking that balance between playful and put-together. And what item epitomizes this sartorial equilibrium better than the culottes? These flowy skirt-pants are almost as breezy as the turtleneck halter up top. The sheer knit is open in the upper back, exposing the shoulders, which is ideal for spending an afternoon out in the elements. A pair of sleek sunglasses are just as crucial. For a seasonal pop of color, these bright accessories amp up the saturation and will definitely stand out in the obligatory group picture.

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