By Rai Musk, 8 Jan 2020
The roll neck, aka polo neck or turtle neck has been keeping necks (and bods) warm since the twenties. Noel Coward transformed it into a fashion item and the roll neck began it's surreptitious climb to almighty status through the decades on the necks of many a famous being. Creatives donned the roll neck cementing it’s fashion status - check out the Beatles and Andy Warhol! Roll neck appreciation continued with intellectuals like Steven Hawking and influencers like Steve Jobs oft’ spotted in their classic roll neck tops.
It never disappeared! Through the tumultuous swings and flings of fashion the roll neck quietly stuck it out. When flares were hot the roll-neck was there, when skinny jeans were in the roll neck was there. The annuls of modern history you’ll spot the roll neck - unassuming but ever present.
It has clearly demonstrated that it is an essential bit of garb to pop on your bod whatever else is kicking about on the fashion scene. Thus it’s a great investment for every sustainable wardrobe. I have a couple of roll necks which I bought twenty-odd years ago and are still going strong - there has not been a year when I have not worn them! One is a ribbed cotton affair and perfect for chillier summer eves on the beach and the other is my snug-as-a-bug woollen winter chunky black roll neck. I love them both as much as when I bought them in 1997 and 1999 respectively!
The roll neck is not just a stalwart of the years, it’s also über versatile. You can dress it up or down, its great for cool and cas’ out and about, snug and cosy at home, but it also rocks as a smart classic black a la Audrey Hepburn. Ever fashion-conscious Victoria Beckham is oft’ spotted sporting the classic role neck as is the recent addition to the royal family Meghan Markle - if either of those modern fashion icons float your boat - be inspired.
Through all the seasons the roll neck has a role to play, I wear them throughout the year - thin ones are great in spring and summer or as a lower layer in cooler climes, whilst chunky thick roll necks are delicious to snuggle up in on dark grey icy days.
We’ve gathered four fab roll necks for you - they are all from excellent ethical and sustainable brands so will give you that extra special feel great factor knowing that the environment and people were looked after in their creation. You’ll be able to strut your stuff in confidence in these wonderful sustainable tops. The roll neck has stood the test of time through the tumultuous fashion trends of the last century - they are a proven sound investment for the sustainable wardrobe.
Ari Merino Wool Roll Neck in Black
This gorgeous ribbed black roll neck is perfect for layering and is a top notch classic design super thin, über warm and luxuriously soft. This merino wool delight was knitted in a solar-powered knit factory in Kathmandu, Nepal for Komodo.
Ribbed Roll Neck in White
This extra-skinny ribbed roll neck is 100% organic cotton. Superfine with a spray-on fit making it ideal as a base layer or wearing solo. It’s made by the sustainable womenswear label Ninety Percent - who share 90% of their profits with charities. It's also available in navy, grey and black.
Roll Neck Bodysuit in Magenta
Forever useful, forever cool, every wardrobe needs a skinny fit body roll neck. This versatile Roll neck bodysuit in Magenta is by Ninety Percent (also available in black). 100% vegan its crafted from Tencel – a sustainable fabric that’s entirely biodegradable and super soft. Wear with and under literally anything!
Remia Organic Cotton Jumper Burnt Red
Cool cotton; this colourful creation from Komodo is 100% GOTS certified Organic Cotton. Perfect to wear over other layers and have a splash of colour on cold grey days or to don on the beach when summer hits. This gorgeous comfy roll neck was knitted in a solar-powered knit factory in Kathmandu, Nepal
If you want to learn how to layer like a pro, check out this video by Jenny Mustard, minimalist and über stylist. She has great tips for conquering even the coldest weather.