In what will be the debate of the year, Fashion Director Marie Kelly battles it out with Junior Social Editor & Content Creator Niamh on the topic that’s on everybody’s mind (and neck) this spring: V-necks or round-necks?
I have something that needs to get off my chest – my neck rather. I went shopping last weekend and I was on the lookout for casual shirts/tops that I can wear to the office and to events in the evening. I went to all my staple “safe zone” shops first: Zara, COS, H&M and Topshop. After trawling through the busy shop floors and no purchases in sight, I came to one conclusion: 2017 has an obsession with round-necked everything, and I’m not okay with it.
It might seem remedial to complain about, but, like most things in life, I believe there is a psychological reasoning why some things look good (V-necks) and some things just don’t (round necks). But because IMAGE is a fair and unbiased website, I’ve consulted with fashion director Marie Kelly to ask for her two cents on the matter; you know, because fairness and all (…even if I don’t wholeheartedly agree with her). Read our analysis below and see for yourself: you never know, you might come out with a whole new understanding of the meaning ’round neck’.
The V-Neck (Niamh)
I believe round necks to be what Monday morning is to the world: slightly nauseating and uncomfortable. They remind me of bygone times of the noughties when it was still considered cool – the word “cool” used loosely of course – to wear co-ord velour tracksuits. Similarly to Marie below, I believe dressing for my shape is as necessary as breathing, i.e. if you don’t get that right, you’re already off on the wrong foot.
My body shape is petite and not at all curvaceous, but V-necks offer me a silhouette I wouldn’t otherwise be able to achieve by lengthening my chest and pinching in my waistline. The result is accentuated curves and an elevated level of confidence. And after all, isn’t confidence the best thing a woman can wear? There’s a level of suave and sophistication that comes with a plunging neckline – when worn correctly and conservatively, obviously – even if Marie says otherwise. What’s more, it gives me a larger canvas to play with when it comes to accessorising and it’s easier to layer necklaces and play with shape, texture and form.
Some of my favourite V’s of the season: Left; frilly blouse details, €29.99, Zara, Middle; ruffled blouse, €45.99, H&M, Right; striped top and star embroidery, €220, Sandro
Round-necked tops make me feel claustrophobic – especially if they’re too tight. Or, juxtaposing that, there are the round-necks that are misshaped and loose and just hang in a uniform manner on your neck and collar bones; which looks far from chic or put-together.
Given the current trend cycle, it looks like I may have to conform for fashions’ sake and bite the bullet and invest in some round-necks. Who knows, maybe my mind will change? Considering Juicy Couture made a comeback this year, I suppose anything is possible. Now; V-necks for men? That’s a whole other ball game…
The Round Neck (Marie)
To me, dressing for your personality is just as important as dressing for your shape, and round-neck tops, or crew necks as J.Crew would say (I always think “crew neck” sounds far more like a committed style choice than the generic round neck) work for both my disposition and my body.
By nature, I’m quite reserved, shy even, so the subtlety and understatement of a round neck feels just right. Plus, I have quite a boyish aesthetic (I’ve always favoured trousers over skirts) so choosing a cut as flagrantly feminine as a V-neck makes me feel a little like I’m trying to look like someone else. From a practical perspective, I have small boobs so a well fitted round neck creates a better shape (ironically more feminine) than a V-neck, which would merely emphasise what I lack in that area.
Some of my favourite V’s of the season: Left; Uterque, Middle; Finery, Right; Massimo Dutti
The laid-back cool of a round neck also allows for more playful detailing. For instance, a lace trim on a round neck creates a stylish juxtaposition between the austerity of a high neck and the frivolity of girlish lace, whereas, on a V-neck, a lace trim looks fussy and a little trashy. Because of course a V-neck draws the eye directly to a woman’s breasts, so any overtly feminine trimmings or detailing begin to look a little boudoir-like, and not in a fashionable Sharon Wauchob or Burberry Prorsum sort of way.
But ever the sartorial pragmatist, I’ve found a way to work V-necks into my wardrobe (because there are some beautiful V-neck pieces even I can’t resist). I simply wear them over round necks. Genius.