Turtlenecks for life

One of my first memories of wearing a turtleneck was in the winter of 1986. I carefully selected a white turtleneck stamped with tiny red hearts to wear under the coveted red esprit sweatshirt I had put on the top of my Christmas list. I paired it with stone washed jeans (pegged and rolled, of course) a jeans jacket and tretorns. It was my power outfit of third grade.

Turtlenecks were not a statement for me in 1986, but a necessity and uniform staple for my strict catholic school. I wore a turtleneck five days a week with my plaid jumper and then gray uniform skirt for thirteen years. Always white (sans the bold heart stamped one reserved for weekends), always long sleeve, rarely a mock, never a cowl and forever a hiding place of comfort. I had a drawer chock full of them through high school that got me through everything from those tough algebra tests to embarrassing biology lessons to hiding my smile from that cute boy during recess. I lost my armor in college when the mid 1990s emerged with the horror that is low waist jeans and too many tank tops.

A good decade or more must have passed before I received my first black turtleneck one Christmas in my early 30s. Before I knew it, I was tucking that turtleneck into pencil skirts and wide leg pant alike. Still playing it safe with just the one color -- black this time and forever long sleeve. But still, it was a staple. I was warm, comfortable and could still hide a bit if I needed to not participate in a meeting.

As I am embracing this new decade (hi, 40, hi), I am also fully embracing the turtleneck. for life. I have expanded my repertoire to colors beyond black and white; I have short sleeve, long sleeve and wait for it, sleeveless. And I've even been known to double up and don a turtleneck under a slip dresses. Before you even ask, yes, I've seen turtleneck bathing suits and I could not be more excited. But I have also expanded my usage of the turtleneck, it's purpose if you will.

It's not just for hiding anymore!

Now the turtleneck evokes that same comfort and ease but also pushes confidence, strength and no bullshit. Somehow the uniform of my childhood had become the armor of 40. Bring it.

Oh and if you've read this far, yes, I'm writing some randomness again. Hi.