How to su­per­charge a suit

Reach for fifth gear with a roll­neck sweater.

Esquire (Singapore) - - Style -

There’s much de­bate in the Esquire of­fices over what to call that sweater with the long neck. Amer­i­cans say turtle­neck (meh). Brits pre­fer roll­neck (cor­rect). Aus­tralians call it a skivvy (don’t ask). There is, how­ever, no ar­gu­ment here about its gen­eral right­ness. Many oth­er­wise en­light­ened Amer­i­can men tend to see some­thing un­trust­wor­thy, louche, even “Euro­pean” about the roll­neck. Does this stem from its past pop­u­lar­ity with lefty beat­niks? Maybe. Is the roll­neck the mark of the free­thinker and the out­sider? Cer­tainly. That’s why I like it.

But the roll­neck’s great­est at­tribute is how it ut­terly trans­forms a suit. Sub one in for a shirt and tie and the look is cleaner (who needs but­tons?) and more ath­letic. It’s got that whiff of icon­o­clasm. And it keeps your neck warm. Which is not noth­ing.

To pull off the look, you need a roll­neck made of merino wool, a finely spun yarn that is light, breath­able, and supremely com­fort­able. I buy mine in bulk on­line ev­ery year from Uniqlo for SGD53 each—usu­ally in navy, some­times in other col­ors, never in black. I’m not a jazz mu­si­cian.

Left: Suit (SGD3,622*), turtle­neck (SGD464*), and shoes (SGD1,075*) by Cor­neliani. Above: Turtle­necks by Uniqlo (SGD53*); by Richard James (SGD524*); by Uniqlo (SGD53*); by John Smed­ley (SGD261*); by Richard James (SGD524*) WIN­NER BY A NECK If...

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