fashion friend

Hey Fashion Friend: Who Makes the Best Black Turtleneck?

Animation: The Cut

When temperatures drop below 60 degrees, my Pavlovian response is to run to the nearest Uniqlo. I salivate at the thought of swaddling myself in Heattech and affordable black cashmere turtlenecks. But this fall, something is off. Maybe it’s me, I don’t know. Saturn or whatever is probably up to something sinister in my chart. But I’m just not attracted to Uniqlo turtlenecks in the way that I once was! After striking out online, I visited to the Soho store this week but the results were the same: They’re just not doing it for me anymore. The $50 lambswool version felt like, well, something that costs $50. And the $129 version suddenly seems like too much for something that’s just meh. I know! I’m sorry! I realize this is the hottest of takes. Highly controversial. Trust me, it pains me as much to write this as I’m sure it does the Uniqlommunity to read it. But I must speak my truth. And good news! After walking a few blocks south to Muji’s Soho store, I’ve found an alternative — one that costs even less.

For those of you who are new here, yes, Muji sells clothes in addition to gel pens and diffusers. I wore these linen “balloon” pants all summer long and writer Hua Hsu also approves. I’ve never tried their turtlenecks before, though, and was thrilled when I saw that they made a simple black one that costs just $40. Here’s what I like about it: The neck is taut but not super-ribbed so it doesn’t sag (I hate a saggy neck). And it’s made of a thin, washable, “non-itchy” wool, so you won’t overheat when your building turns the radiators on. The washable element is key for me — I’ve ruined one too many Uniqlo cashmere turts by throwing them in the wash. And if it gets really, really cold, I can always wear my trusty Heattech underneath. (Heattech remains undefeated.)

It’s possible that I’m going to change my mind and return to my roots. Cashmere is definitely cozier and looks a bit more elevated. But in the meantime, I’m very happy with my $40 Muji turt and haven’t taken it off since buying it on Tuesday. (It’s Thursday.)

There’s also the below version if you prefer a higher neck.

Fashion Friend is a nonjudgmental, politely honest shopping-advice column. Send us your hyperspecific questions on Instagram and we’ll crowdsource answers from people with great taste.

For more from the Cut Shop team, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share our best new finds, favorite styling tricks, and more.

Hey Fashion Friend: Who Makes the Best Black Turtleneck?