What is a Mock Turtleneck?

What is a Mock Turtleneck?
What is a Mock Turtleneck? (Image: 2007 NickStarr / Creative Commons)

The mock turtleneck has one layer of fabric around the neck, rather than the traditional turtleneck's folded double layer. For a change, try a mock turtleneck under a jacket or sweater. Or, for warmer weather, wear a sleeveless mock turtleneck shell. The mock turtleneck is favored by some for its lack of fabric -- the bunching at the neck of a normal turtleneck sweater is too much for many to handle, and the mock turtleneck offers a fashionable alternative.


Mock turtleneck tops and sweaters are popular layering pieces. Manufactured for both men and women, mock turtleneck shirts are designed to be worn year-round, depending on the textile and sleeve length. A mock turtleneck may be useful for those who don't like the bulk of a normal, folded turtleneck collar; however, the thinner single layer may fall and become annoying if not structured enough.


Designers manufacture mock turtleneck tops in all sorts of fabrics and colors. Normally, mock turtlenecks are snug in the body and neck area; this prevents slippage and gaps. Thinner mock turtlenecks may be constructed from jersey, rib knit, silk or polyester; cold-weather versions may be made of cotton, wool or cashmere.


A mock turtleneck is a fitted top with a snug, closed collar measuring about an inch and a half high. Unlike a mandarin or tab collar, the mock turtle is a solid, soft band all the way around. There is usually no stiffener on the inside of the collar, although some designs may call for a thin layer of interfacing to impart a small amount of body. The mock turtle collar shouldn't be folded over, but left as is.


When wearing a mock turtleneck, one must remember that the neck is often more snug, and that it might hit the throat at an odd point that feels a bit unusual. The snugness of the mock turtle may relax after a bit, but it will be less forgiving of a fit than the conventional turtleneck top. Mock turtleneck tops can also be harder to find than conventional turtlenecks, so don't forget to look at online retailers for more mock turtle options.


Mock turtleneck tops are better in warm to cold climates. In hot weather, it can be uncomfortable to wear anything around the neck, even if it is a thin layer of fabric. They're great layering pieces under a crew neck or V-neck sweater, or beneath a jacket. All in all, a person will have increased luck finding and wearing a mock turtleneck in areas that have a marked autumn and spring, rather than beach climes.

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