Welcome, friends, to the Year of the Mock Neck. To be clear: we’ve been banging this particular drum since at least 2016—extolling the virtues of the turtleneck’s lower-slung cousin over and over again without ever gaining much traction—but it feels like the culture has finally, finally caught up to our advanced taste level.
What’s made the difference this time around? A couple of grade-A sports docs helped, for one thing: MJ looked like an absolute king in an array of slouchy Nike mock necks and berets throughout The Last Dance; and Tiger Woods fist-pumped his way back to glory at the 2019 Masters in a short-sleeved version in Tiger. A great cotton mock neck also just feels particularly well-suited to this specific moment—when you’re spending most of your social time outdoors in the winter, it helps to be wearing a base layer that will both keep you warm and peek out conspicuously from beneath the assembly of large sweaters and puffy jackets you’ve piled on top. All of that—along with a handful of unimpeachable ‘90s red carpet photos that have been making the rounds lately—was enough to lead the ascendant style newsletter Blackbird Spyplane to recently deem mock necks the “POPPINGEST-NECKLINED garments of 2021.” We humbly agree.
If you’re ready to join the mock neck movement, there’s really one place to begin: your aunt’s favorite mail-order basics brand, Lands’ End. Their signature Super-T mock necks are cut from a breathable cotton jersey that’s equal parts weighty and soft. The collar is precisely the right height and shape to avoid that light choking sensation you get with bad turtlenecks, and it’s also monogrammable for a few extra bucks in case you’re looking to go full prep. And while they normally clock in at a mere $28 a pop, Lands’ End almost always has a solid sale running—right now, in fact, the Super-T mocks are all marked down to just $16-20 apiece.
Sure, we’ve been begging you to try a mock neck for half a decade at this point. But if you get in right now, it remains early enough in the trend life cycle that you’ll still seem like a risk-taking visionary to your less-plugged-in friends. Nab some Super-Ts in a handful of colors, wear ‘em with damn near everything you own, and let the compliments roll in.