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.
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