Roll up! Roll up! We know what you’re thinking – roll necks are for middle-aged English professors who would rather read Milton to MFM. Well we have news for you! Ever since the roll neck appeared on runways from YSL to Topman, this item has been seen as a must-have trend. And while some of us have always opted for this timeless item, others are beginning to realise just how stylish, and functional, roll necks are. The classic roll neck will keep you warm, but is also adaptable as it can work for the office, pub or any outdoor ventures you have planned this season. But here’s the tricky part, roll necks are not the easiest things to wear, but they are easy to transport around as most (chunky) knits will not crease in your bag. So let us take you through a few steps to get you roll neck-ready this season.
Roll necks can be used as a base layer, which is great for a slimline insulator. If you choose a light fabric such as cashmere or merino wool, a roll neck can fit under anything from a shirt to a winter jacket, or yet more knitwear such as a cardigan.
The knit should be fine-gauge rather than made of chunky wool so it lies comfortably under your top layer. And while you’re at it, why not add a splash of colour into your life. Otherwise, keep it simple with one of these darker John Smedley roll necks if you prefer to keep the item as a base layer rather than a statement piece.
Thicker knits are great for a casual look. Anything from cotton to wool will work, and can be put with a pair of chinos or jeans. As for the top, it might be an idea to pair your chunky knitwear with a gilet (think about getting one size bigger to account for the wool weight) as blazers and pea coats might not lie properly with a thicker roll neck underneath.
For this look, cable knit is perfect as it adds texture to your look while keeping you as snug as a bug in a rug. What is more, casual knitwear can be less fitting, hence the chunky wool usually used to create this look.
For our final look, we decided to pair some of our favourite roll necks with blazers (you could also try a waistcoat), rather than relying on shirts and jumpers to complete the look. Keep it simple on the bottom with some formal dress pants (black, grey, whatever takes your fancy), but have fun on top.
While listening to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I got inspired and decided to pair this chocolate espresso roll neck with this Ted Baker blazer. Just make sure that you don’t compromise the look as knitwear can make a blazer look bulky and ill-fitting. So for a formal setting, you’re probably going to go for a more fitted and thin-knitted roll neck.
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Whether you’ve worn roll necks for years, or want to start, there is a huge choice out there from cashmere base layers to chunky statement pieces. This flexible item can be adopted into any look, whether it’s casual or formal. Just make sure that you match up the knit with the rest of your outfit. For us, this is a timeless piece which is slowly making its way back onto the fashion spectrum, and is most certainly an item that no wardrobe should be without.