Polo necks are currently on trend. They are in Vogue, on Angela Scanlon in next month’s Image Magazine, and in your nearest Topshop. If polo necks were fruit, they would be avocado. Even my most fashion averse friend has invested in one, and she adheres to a strict uniform of grey on grey. Usually this would repel me. But, I love polo necks. I have since last winter (yes they have been around a while). A polo neck underneath a graphic crop top or a vintage shirt is my everyday uniform.
Last week I purchased a vibrant red, ribbed polo neck from Marks & Spener. It fits seamlessly into my winter wardrobe. It is seductively soft, and loud enough that it creates a statement. I feel both intellectual and stylish. Like 70s style mavens Francois Hardy, or Gloria Steinem. Initially worn by English polo players in the 1860s, they became a middle-class trend in the 1920s and evolved into a uniform for radical academics, philosophers, artists and intellectuals like Steve Jobs. The polo neck represented a desire to stand out from society – the anti-tie. Funny Face saw Audrey Hepburn flit through the streets of Paris in a Beatnik black polo neck, the epitome of Left Bank bohemia. Marcia Brady ‘the grooviest’ of the Brady Bunch, showcased a wide selection of retro polo necks in contrasting primary colours. Nostalgic images of Jane Birkin, Twiggy, Jackie Onassis, and Lauren Bacall in polo necks regularly flood my Instagram feed. Diane Keaton dedicated an entire chapter of her autobiography Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty to her love of the statement piece.
The key is to create your look around the iconic staple. Layer statement tops over it, pair with sixties mini-skirts, throw on a jumpsuit over it, add shoulder-grazing earrings and finish it all off with an over-sized trench coat. Mirror your favourite 70s style icon and indulge in a trend that is both groovy and accessible.
Photography: Christina Higgins
Red ribbed polo neck, Marks & Spencer, graphic print crop top, Om Diva, striped clown pants and navy mohair loafers,Topshop, box clutch shoulder bag, & Other Stories.