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Morticia Addams from black comedy The Addams Family, Veronica Sawyer from 80s cult classic Heathers, and Amy Dunne from psychological thriller Gone Girl may not have much in common, besides a penchant for darkness and a healthy disregard for rules. But what if they have access to the same black fitted turtleneck − a wardrobe essential that meshes equally well with neo-goth ensembles as it does with preppy outfits? The possibilities are endless. Depending on whether it’s worn with chunky cardis, bomber jackets or oversized blazers, a black turtleneck can radiate anything from French New Wave glamor to in-your-face street-style energy. In short, it’s the perfect counterpoint to your statement piece of the day.
This time, we explore how these three cinematic personas would style the same humble black top. While undisputed goth queen Morticia would go for a dark, glammed-up ensemble, regular-girl-turned-alternative-teen-queen Veronica would embrace a dementedly preppy chic look. As for Amy, whose “cool girl” persona hides killer instincts, the turtleneck is a natural match for her quietly luxurious wardrobe, which already brims with cool, clean, classic pieces.
Read on for all the looks!
1. The Glamorous Goth Queen – Morticia Addams
Famous for her staple black gown and dark sense of humor, Morticia would appreciate the simplicity and versatility of a black turtleneck. However, she would glam things up a notch according to her quirky and ultra-feminine aesthetic. Instead of medieval sleekness and old-school goth touches – for instance, opera gloves and black lippy − she’d indulge in exquisite layering, all in black, of course.
First, Morticia would slip a silken, loose-flowing cami over the turtleneck for textural contrast, before tucking into a figure-hugging mermaid skirt that mimics the flared silhouette of her most iconic gown. She’d throw on a faux leather blazer – soft, slouchy and 2021’s answer to the classic biker jacket – and complete the outfit with block-heel, pointed toe boots that radiate hauteur but also practicality. The goth icon wouldn’t forget the bling, although she’d keep it simple if unexpected. These dangly, gold-toned earrings featuring cutesy, faux pearl cloud embellishment would earn Morticia’s seal of approval as they align with her sense of humor.
2. The Nice Girl with a Dark Side – Veronica Sawyer
At the start of the movie, Veronica is a teen queen wannabe with a conscience, but she gradually grows into a rebel. Her wardrobe remains pitch-perfect throughout that journey, with off-kilter blazers, fitted jumpsuits and dreamily-colored tights. Her looks are unmistakably 80s, yet very 2021. It’s as if someone put a preppy schoolgirl uniform and a power suit in a blender, along with heavy doses of grandma chic, hints of Flashdance energy, and a helping or two of vintage luxe. The result? High school fashion that’s as far removed from the girl world of Mean Girls as possible.
Given a standard black turtleneck, Veronica would offset its sleek simplicity against looser silhouettes, one-of-a-kind patterns and intricate embellishments. With its bold, black-and-white palette and vintage vibes, this knit vest in a mish-mash of geometric patterns is her natural choice, especially when styled with a double-breasted fleece coat in dusky purple for sharp contrast. Despite a weakness for deconstructed shapes and midi cuts, Veronica knows a good mini when she sees one − her ruffled blue version is an instant classic. This pleated, slate-gray specimen is right up her alley − the cut is iconic and the color is understated. Against this moody palette, Veronica would introduce subversive pops of color to pull the outfit together. There’s nothing like sky-blue tights and a golden brooch to give an ensemble extra edge!
3. “The Cool Girl” with a Lethal Edge – Amy Dunne
Whoever says Amy’s wardrobe is boring is looking at it from the wrong angle. Her unobtrusive uptown chic hides darker undercurrents. For every crisp white shirt, nautical top and demure LBD she wears, there’s a silken slip dress underneath signaling her inner femme fatale. The understated nature of her more conservative ensembles serves as a fitting contrast to the dark complexity of her character, and the extent of her rage.
A black turtleneck fits right into her mix of sleek, sophisticated but also practical pieces. In fact, I’m sure she already owns this top! Instead of plentiful layering and heavy embellishment, Amy would aim for simplicity by pairing the turtleneck with a billowy satin shirt and figure-flattering dress pants. She’d add these easy breezy slides playfully embellished with pom poms, and minimalistic accessories – a gold-toned necklace featuring a single disc pendant and a croc-effect card holder perfect for her on-the-run lifestyle. She’ll let the pale palette dominate, because sometimes it’s the absence of color that’s the most chilling of all.
Modest yet striking, the black turtleneck is like that other wardrobe staple, the white shirt – it can blend in seamlessly with any look, while also possessing the power to imbue outfits with gravitas. When styled with dressier pieces, the black turtleneck is the perfect winter base layer – chic, smart and low-key. When teamed with alternative elements like chunky bling, mesh corsets and kimono jackets, it complements and contrasts in equal measure. And on its own, it’s pure classiness with a dash of vintage movie heroine thrown in. Just don’t call it basic!