Turtleneck Vs. Mock Turtleneck

Actress Mia Wasikowska wears a mock turtleneck frock.

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

When it comes to choosing the right neckline, a gal definitely has options. Two styles that look similar but definitely aren't the same are the turtleneck and the mock turtleneck. One sports a simple band around the neck, while the other flaunts a high collar that folds over. When worn the right way, either of these necklines can look oh-so-fashionable. But when paired with the wrong item, they can leave you feeling more geek than chic.

Turtleneck

One look at a turtleneck and it's obvious how it got its name. Just like a turtle's shell, this close-fitting, high neck shirt that folds over is perfect for hiding your neck inside -- especially on cold days. The turtleneck has a long history, having first been worn as an undergarment by athletes in the late 1800s and then co-opted by the Beat movement in the 1960s. It went through an unfashionable period when it was lambasted for being claustrophobic and looking sexless. Today though, the turtleneck is back. Women not only love it for its warmth but for its chic, simple, fitted silhouette. Don't feel limited to only wearing long sleeved turtlenecks. This style of neckline also comes short-sleeved and even sleeveless.

Mock Turtleneck

A mock turtleneck doesn't have a full neck that folds over. Instead it's identifiable by the thin, loose band of fabric around the neckline that hits mid-throat, rather than grazing your chin. Ladies who love the look of a high neck but don't like the constriction of a full turtleneck opt for this style. A mock neck can be worn in warmer months and comes in sleeveless or short-sleeved versions. The most famous mock turtleneck wearer by far is Steve Jobs. He made the simple, black mock turtleneck almost iconic. The version he loved to sport is a little conservative and a whole lot nerdy, but it's possible to find super stylish mock neck dresses and funky cropped-neck pullovers.

Pairing Pleasure

When it comes to wearing a mock turtleneck or even a turtleneck top, it's easy to go geek. Instead, be chic and wear your mock neck or turtleneck top under a jumper, as the perfect pairing to a shimmery skirt or under a long, structured leather vest. In warmer months, try pairing a short sleeved or sleeveless mock neck top with a pair of shorts and a cardigan. Bust out the high neckline at night by wearing a turtleneck sweater dress with boldly colored tights and a suede bootie. Or go glamorous with printed, silk, mock neck dress and a pair of killer stilettos.

Accessorize

There are few different ways to accessorize these necklines. A turtleneck is a great backdrop for a bold necklace -- no chokers allowed, they'll only constrict this high neck. Try wearing a long pendant or a big statement piece with a solid colored turtleneck. Skip the dangly earrings, they'll only get caught in the turtle's high neck. Instead opt for shorter danglies or studs. A mock turtleneck's subtler neckline can handle a dangle or chandelier earring. Chokers and pendants that fall just at the collar bone are also a no-no for this neckline. Wear a long set of beads instead.

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