I do wonder sometimes if my obsession with black polo necks does stem from the 80's Milk Tray adverts where your James Bond style man, head to foot in black, would jet in from anywhere "all because the lady loves Milk Tray". Oh the glamour. I honestly used to think that those chocolates were the epitome of style.
However clearly the association of elegance and the Milk Tray man has never left me as I'm still obsessed with a black polo neck. They have been a classic part of my wardrobe for years, even though I have struggled to find ones that fit properly. Hence I've obviously bought a gazillion of the flaming things that fit me badly.....
Now I know what everyone who is vaguely amply sized in the breast department is going to say they can't wear these and to be honest, I'm a firm believer if you're not comfortable in something then there are loads of other options out there. However I do know lots of people who are more generously proportioned who do wear them and do look fantastic - I think it depends on the shape of the jumper and what you put on the bottom! But I appreciate that some are not for turning.
For the pancake boobed amongst us though, they can be a no brainer. And I live in them in the Winter.
Starting with some oversized versions. Clearly this wasn't remotely what I was looking for but whilst I was there trying them on, it seemed foolish not to try every version I could find.
Black Oversize polo knit from Mint Velvet £69
This over pleather leggings would be amazing. A fabulous, hide the sins, cover up which has to be perfect for the holidays. And yes, it has pockets.
Oversized again at Kin by John Lewis - for every day throw on over skinny jeans I love this one. It's on my sales agenda. I also love it in the paler grey. (which doesn't really fit the brief but it's still perfect)
Kin by John Lewis Merino Roll Neck jumper £69
And in the light grey marl
However for fitted ones, which is really what I was looking for to go with my leather skirt and pleather trousers, ditto boyfriend jeans, I tried on a fair few with some very specific musts. Firstly, it had to have extra long sleeves. Nothing worse than half mast things on your arms if you're tall (or any height for that matter). It had to be long enough (to cover my expanding Christmas muffin. No-one needs to get an eye full of that. Ever.)
If you are more petite then this one has the perfect proportions for you. It's fitted but not vacuum packed on you. I've bought this and sent it back as it was too short on every level for a tallie but if you're shorter, it would be perfect.
Favourite Roll Neck Jumper £49 from Boden.
This pic gives an indication of how fitted it is. This looks great over a skirt - and we all know that skirts (or culottes for that matter) are notoriously difficult to team a top with. It also does come in a host of colours if black isn't your thing (I also ordered it to try in the navy which is a gorgeously proper navy shade but yet again, it's too skimpy on my Gulliver sized frame)
Bargain of the day had to be this that I tried on. Excellent generous proportions for a more reasonably priced brand but not quite big enough for giraffe arms me.
Phase Eight Rhea Roll neck jumper was £49 now £35
However having bought so many cheaper ones over the years and thinking of how much wear I'm going to get out of it, I blew the budget. I also am planning on wearing it for dinners and evenings out. I am of a certain age.... where I do tend to start overheating after a sniff of wine so the fact this Jigsaw one is mostly silk means that it feels far less oppressive than a wool mix one. Plus it does have that luxurious edge for a smart outfit as opposed to just wearing a jumper.
Jigsaw Silk Cotton Polo Neck £79 (oh and I have the Large)
They also do it in a charcoal which I adore.
I am also ridiculously tempted to get the charcoal one from Jaeger - sleeveless and therefore perfect to be able to wear both the trousers and the skirt into the Spring... I tried this on at the beginning of the season and it was perfect but just too much at the original price.
Jaeger Gostwyck Sleeveless Rollneck was £80 now £49
And here it is - in one of my fave outfits for ages for my Christmas Date lunch with The Husband in London last Thursday. It goes to show how it just takes one jumper to fall back in love with something that you own. In this case, it was my Whistles leather skirt which I just couldn't quite get to grips with, in finding a top that was perfect. Call off the dogs.