Sometimes, simple items of clothing are the best – white T-shirts, a cracking pair of jeans, a decent pair of black tights. We might not be writing home about them, but chances are, we’re reaching for them most days. One of winter’s sartorial savers has to be a roll neck. It doesn't sound the most glamorous, but I reckon a roll neck could see us through any occasion that this season has to throw at us.
For starters, there’s classic black (like this strokably soft cashmere jumper), which goes with everything – midi skirts, tailored trousers, boots, trainers – but looks particularly fabulous paired with an all-black outfit (think Celine’s former creative director and purveyor of all things chic, Phoebe Philo). There’s lightweight cotton numbers in neutral grey, white or black, which are ideal for layering. It means you can get more life out of your summer wardrobe, by slipping them under dresses, jumpsuits and shirts to add a bit of warmth when it’s chilly.
Then, there’s my personal favourite – the thick, slouchy, snuggly jumpers that go up to your ears (very Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally). And they’re surprisingly versatile, as it happens, since they look just as good paired over jeans at the weekend as they do layered over the top of a fancy skirt for work. As for special occasions, you need a party knit, which has all the insulation of a regular roll neck but with a bit of added sparkle. No more freezing your way home on the night bus? That’s the sort of thing I can get behind.
5 ways to wear them
The classic roll neck
This soft cashmere knit from M&S is an investment piece that will prop up your wardrobe for years to come. And because it works with everything, you can’t go wrong. For an all-black outfit, pair it with these heeled boots and these raw-hem jeans.
The colourful roll neck
Winter may be dull, but your outfit doesn’t have to be, which is why this cheery, red-trimmed lilac jumper from Mint Velvet is an excellent antidote. Wear it over a delicate silky midi skirt and toughen it up with flat buckle boots.
The snuggly roll neck
This is perhaps the perfect roll neck: feels like pyjamas, looks smart enough to wear to the office. It would work just as well over jeans and a smart pair of boots as it would layered over a pretty midi dress with trainers.
The lightweight roll neck
The most versatile of the bunch, you can make a lightweight roll neck work with almost any winter outfit. Chuck it under a blazer, slip it beneath a slip dress or layer up a shirt or jumper over the top.
The party roll neck
If you don’t fancy wearing something bejewelled and highly flammable to the Christmas do, I’d heartily recommend a jazzy roll neck like this one from Whistles. It’s still simple and easy-to-wear, but flecked with a bit of sparkle for added glitz. You can dress it down with jeans or, if you really want to commit, razz it up with a sequin skirt like this lovely one from M&S or this glorious gold midi from & Other Stories.