Everlane Review: The Luxe Wool Square Turtleneck

I have a nice little collection of Everlane sweatshirts, t-shirts and bottoms happening, but one thing I didn’t have for awhile was an Everlane sweater. I’ve been coveting one for some time, though — their sweaters get high marks from other bloggers and reviewers for top-notch fabrics and workmanship. I wanted in on the Everlane sweater action, too!

So when Everlane offered a nice credit around Christmas last year to its mailing list, I used that and my existing store credit to pick up the Luxe Wool Square Turtleneck. It’s been awhile since I wore a turtleneck, but they used to be a big mainstay in my daily wardrobe, particularly when I first lived in NYC. Back then form-fitted ribbed ones ruled the day — I liked wearing a grey heather one with Adidas track pants and Nike Airs to my jobs on film sets, and I was also fond of a black turtleneck worn with just about anything and everything else.

But these days I like a cropped boxy style — it feels both forgiving and jaunty. But cropped and boxy can be really tricky, especially on an athletic-curvy yet petite build like myself. Too short and it’s stocky, but too long makes it look shapeless and sloppy — all things to avoid for me personally.

Still, I had high hopes. And I’m pleased to say…this sweater delivers! It was part of my little capsule wardrobe experiment earlier this month, so I got a lot of use out of it — and therefore a lot of opportunity to wear and test it out. Unlike my other sweater in the capsule, it held up to multiple wearings in a short period of time — and proved to be such an easygoing yet versatile piece that I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing this for years to come.

First off, the material: it’s more on the thin side, despite the fact that it’s wool. And though the yarn isn’t bulky — the threads look pretty thin in terms of gauge — it has a dense heft to it that helps the sweater hang really nicely. (I find light materials like cotton and linen, when cut to be boxy, can be pretty unflattering — boxy cuts work best with a stiffer, heavier fabric.) There’s a heavier ribbed “hem” at the bottom that adds just a touch of weight as well, helping to hang particularly nicely. (It’s not really a hem, but it’s a band that’s knit slightly more densely.)

I was a little worried about scratchiness — I have super-sensitive skin and sometimes wools (especially lambswool) can be very scratchy for me — but this didn’t irritate my skin at all. I’ve also worn the sweater a few times and — yay! — it hasn’t pilled yet.

The cut is really what works in this sweater. It’s boxy but not tentlike, and it’s not sloppy or overly wide around the armholes — another potential problem area that can make boxy cuts go awry. It also works because the back is slightly raised and just a bit higher than the front, which adds a visual lift as well. The sleeves are just a tad longer than usual, and narrow in the lower arm, but those serve to balance the wideness quite elegantly. (You might want to be warned if you have super-cut or muscular arms, though.) These little things — paying attention to sleeve length, balancing hems, neatening armholes — are the type of tailoring that often makes a simple basic garment into something genuinely elegant. It’s all a great demonstration of what Everlane does best: thoughtful design rendered in quality materials — and transparency about its labor practices to boot!

The turtleneck, of course, is a versatile basic that lends itself to lots of styling options. Pairing it with skinny jeans and some kind of boot or flat is a no-brainer on those busy “momming around” days. I’ve also worn it with fleece joggers, a black pencil skirt, mini-skirts, even Everlane wide-legged pants — it goes with almost anything, which is great when I’m looking for a break from my sweatshirts. And did I mention it’s warm? Which is of course a major plus, now that we’re headed into the wilds of winter. I have a feeling, though, that the relative thinness of the material will make this a nice layer for early spring days, too — so if you’re apprehensive about buying this sweater because of a shortened season, don’t be!

A general word about sizing: I’m generally an Everlane medium — I tend to like my clothes with a bit of give and looseness, though not too much. Everlane tends to play around with volume, though, which has made sizing tricky at times. (Sometimes, for example, I wish I had trusted my instinct and gotten their Street Fleece sweatshirts in small.) Because it looked fairly wide, I went down and got a size small, and I’m really glad I did — I think a medium would’ve been too boxy on me. The fit overall is very relaxed in this sweater, so bear that in mind.

I’m super-pleased with this, and I would love to pick this up in another color (because I am insane that way, and the navy color looks really beautiful.) It’s just a beautifully rendered basic whose attention to cut and detail elevate it into something special — something Everlane often excels at. Not every item the company does hits it out of the park for me — I still haven’t found an Everlane dress that works for my body — but when it does, it just adds that elusive touch of grace to the everyday, making it just a bit more elegant and lovely.

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