It’s jumper weather right now and as there are only a couple of weeks of the year when a woman of my age can wear a roll neck, (without descending into a hot menopausal mess) I’m making the most of it. Michelle Williams looks the business in jeans and a jumper in the latest issue of WSJ magazine. I love catching all the big films before awards season kicks off and though I’m not really a fan of musicals, I made an exception for La La Land. Next up Manchester by the Sea.

37 thoughts on “What to wear right now: a cashmere roll neck

  1. I loved La La Land. Such a treat on a wet Scottish January afternoon. But not everybody with me felt the same. I think I may have the cinema bug too; there are quite a few films I’d like to see at the moment.

    I love the look on polonecks on other people and when I was young I wore them a lot. But now even the softest cashmere makes my neck itch. I keep looking at the jersey versions and wondering… And then I find something else to spend on. The v-neck is my friend. Especially an oversized longline version as I am tall. I’ve just invested in an Eric Bompard extrafine longline version in the sale. Nowadays I often add a scarf – the older woman’s best friend lol!

    However I find increasingly it’s all about the shirt for me. I love Winser London’s silk shirts and wear them everywhere. They just suit any occasion and they wash so well. I also like MIH jeans cotton shirts. They are both fairly expensive but I find they provide excellent value per wear for me.

    Roll on Spring!

  2. This is a look I aspire to. SImple, elegant and flattering. Been there done that with the hot flushes – nightmare! You have my extreme sympathy Alyson. Continue to love the blog and so grateful for it.

    1. Yes, my default look, too. What I find odd is how much I hated cropped jeans, especially cropped flares, when they first appeared, and thought they were a trend I’d bypass but now I’ve got a pair in my wardrobe and considering a second. There’s nothing that makes you look on-trend, or not, like jeans. Everything else can be classic but if your jeans are not ‘in the moment’ you just look like you’re a teensy bit frumpy. I hesitated over that but it applies to men as well – think Clarkson. Actually don’t think Clarkson; I don’t want to do that to you on a gloomy day in January. 😉

  3. Love that photo., absolutely timeless. A word of warning. When I was menopausal I got rid of all my cashmere roll and polo necks, (couldn’t bear the onslaught of sudden heat.). This was because at the time I felt so desperate I never considered it would end! Silly me, I wish I’d had wise older women around me to tell me it all goes away!

  4. I looked at the Jigsaw cashmere wafer polo neck jumper yesterday as I mooched around John Lewis. It is very fine and a perfect way to wear this neckline without breaking out into a hot flush. I’m also making the most of the cold snap!

  5. Oh, I soooo miss my roll neck! I used to wear them all the time – especially black cashmere – but can’t now, sadly, because of turkey neck.

  6. Love my cashmere, the only sweater that really keeps me warm. Loved La la Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea and Hidden Figures………….and of course popcorn is “a must”.

  7. I love cashmere. I have never seen a cashmere cardigan on TNMA which is strange as they are cooler and need not look frumpy.
    Please can we have a feature on cardigans.

  8. This is pretty much my uniform in the winter (and fall, and spring), and has been since puberty. I must be the only middle aged person on the planet who wears turtlenecks and scarves because when my neck is cold, I shiver uncontrollably. Cashmere, merino, even regular wool (with a tee or button-down and scarf under to block the itch) – love them, and they layer well. Most of mine are stretched out from pulling them up over my chin to stay warm!

  9. I can’t wear polo necks, not because of menopausal symptoms but because of having ample boobage. They make me look like my boobs start directly under my chin!

  10. Hi, as your comments illustrate- it’s pretty much horses for courses re the polo neck. As for me, I am petite & no longer flushin’ (thank goodness). I wear a thin under layer with cashmere – more hygienic. I itch with any wool, but not cashmere, and I love the light softness of cashmere. I also have some thin polos, made of various fabrics, which are great for under layers.

  11. Ah, I soooooo miss my roll necks! I used to wear them all them all the time and they looked and felt so good – especially black cashmere. But now? Sadly not – they make my turkey neck and sagging jawline look even worse.

  12. Love the look, but like Danish Pastry can’t wear them – they make me look so matronly. Love the cropped jeans too – will definitely have to buy.
    No, definitely NO Clarkson, whatever the weather.

  13. This look would have to be my most worn through every age & decade. It never dates – see Audrey Hepburn .
    Even sans polo it’s fabulous – Crew neck or V for big time flushers or those with D+ cups 😉
    The style can be as cheap as chips or add up to thousands – Anyone of any age or budget can pull it together.
    Simple, Chic, Classic – Love it!

  14. Exactly where you are, Alyson! I used to love my roll necks but now have to avoid unless I’m going out in the cold for a walk. But as one reader suggests – I hope it will pass. So for the moment I’ve got a drawer of roll-necks just for looking at!

  15. Love this look and also so agree with the earlier comment about jeans needing to be “right”. But can anybody give me some help with good brand names for jeans which will point me in that RIGHT direction please?

  16. I love a roll neck but often look for a silk/cashmere blend – as light and warm as cashmere but not so prone to pilling and usually a little bit cheaper.

  17. With my ‘neck’ I can’t do roll necks that grip anymore but I’m still fine with chunky wider roll necks – we used to call them polo necks but that’s something different now . Have to strap on a minimiser bra though to avoid the cushion up the jumper look . Life’s a minefield sometimes 🙂

  18. Short STRAIGHTS yes, but I just can’t get my head round short FLARED jeans, although I admit the model here has got it right with help from the right shoes to give balance. But (sorry, Alyson, ) short, flared AND frayed jeans? Shudder – although boots do help but does no one else think they look as if the wearer has merely grown out of them? No disrespect intended but this is a fashion trend I just don’t get. Now, cashmere sweaters…..
    (Sorry about the capitals, I wasn’t shouting! I have no italics thingy on my mini iPad when replying like this. Or rather, I’ve never found it. Perhaps I should sign in as UselessTechy instead of Boadicea, a decent enough Ancient Briton, except when she got a bee in her bonnet!)

  19. How I worship at the temple of cashmere! Very sensitive skin prevents me from wearing wool, lambswool, merino etc. and now that cashmere is more affordable (ish) and can often be scooped up in charity shops (sorry, squeamish readers) I can be warm all year round. I take beta-blockers which make me freezing all the time and I have Raynaud’s Syndrome (white/blue extremities except in a heatwave), chilblains are I are on first name terms. Now that I am older I wear my cashmere babies longer and looser or just buy from the men’s department. Cashmere scarf, gloves and bedsocks and I am good to go. Uniqlo is a cashmere force to be reckoned with and they have reduced loads of them atm. TK Maxx cashmere isn’t so great. Exposed ankles – look great but too cold for me – lined granny boots in the winter. Roll on summer……………………….

  20. I avoided roll necks for years believing they just exacerbated my turkey neck fears. This winter, I have barely been out of roll necks!! I no longer care what anyone else thinks ( actually they don’t think) about my neck or jawline. I have worn them because I liked the jumper and also, I got tired of the effort of layering. What I avoid though is the skinny polo. Muffin top hell!

  21. Nice simple classic look Alyson! Now that I am in my 50s I am trying to add some edge to my usual simple classic self. Here is my post about just that written ironically exactly one year ago. Instead of loafers (and cold exposed ankles) I swap in ankle covering biker boots (and roll up my long straight leg mom jeans to show them off). It took me time to get used to this switch. Biker boots were out of my classic preppy comfort zone. But now I love and live in them! I also appreciate lightweight cashmere. Ageing + global warming = 0 need for the 3 ply wool alpaca chunky knit!

  22. We call them turtlenecks here in North America and I used to love wearing them. Unfortunately, since neck surgery to remove a cancerous tumour, I don’t find them comfortable anymore. I still love the look though.

  23. Love this blog post Alison. I’m fortunate not to be at the hot flush stage but I can tell it’s on way 😉

    In the meantime, I’m loving wearing cashmere crew neck sweaters and now might be the time to invest in a couple of cashmere polo neck jumpers.

    Also considering Black Cohosh (Thanks Ann!)

    LBB x

  24. Got a merino wool teal jumper (sweater to us in the U.S., ugh! uglier word for it) like this from uniqlo last month, lovely, especially with grey jeans, so easy to wear.

  25. All fine and dandy if you don’t have any kind of chest, last time I tried a roll neck on, my boobs looked like a bolster………….deep v neck is much more flattering for me

  26. I’m past menopause and back to wearing polo necks and cowl necks this winter. If too hot roll them over. I’ve got uniqlo black cashmere as well as crew necks. Bosom bigger than hitherto but I still have a reasonable jawline and neck so I wear them. Swimming and yoga help. The era of Trinny and Suzanne etc prohibiting them for the larger chested and only allowing v-necks long over thankfully. Wear what you want if it is in style and keeps you warm as polo necks do. The only thing that doesn’t look too good is ribbed polo necks, need to give them away. I’m in favour of rolled and cropped jeans and trousers, which are very fashionable now. See most pictures on this site and others like Jigsaw, Cos. I wear mine with sheer or opaque pop socks, black or natural, or boots when the weather isn’t warm. In spring or summer with sheer socks or bare legs with sandals. This style very much here to stay unless one wears long, wide trousers instead.

  27. I’m all for wearing what you want, but I do look and feel lumpy and bumpy in a roll neck……….it’s all about confidence, I don’t have any in a roll neck, I have lots of it in a deep v neck.

  28. Good point Sharon. More than anything one should wear clothing one feels good and confident in. Whatever that may be in any category. I don’t like my knees on show nor wearing too tight tops. I’ve given many away for that reason. Others can enjoy wearing them.

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