Talking Turkey This Thanksgiving (Necks That Is...)
While wrapping up my time at Sandpiper, I thought it might be time to address another body part you chicquitas complain about: necklines. This past weekend, while many Marco Island snowbirds and permanent residents alike searched for the perfect Thanksgiving outfit, you lovelies sent my head spinning with necklines you abhor, complaining about funky tan lines manifesting like rings around the neck, sunspots and the occasional teensy-tiny scar you want to hide.
I kept thinking, “what would Susan suggest?” Susan is Susan Sommers, my former across-the-street neighbor and NYC fashion and style expert who recently passed away. FBP readers over 40 know her work: Susan was a frequent fashion pundit for the Wall Street Journal, O the Oprah Magazine, and the late Charla Krupp’s genius guidebook “How Not to Look Old," a directory of fashion and makeup brands piled with judicious advice that was my bible for years. (It's still available on Amazon, or search your local library; it's a worthy read.) Susan also authored French Chic and Italian Chic, two tomes for stylishly budget-conscious gals.
I always admired Susan’s style as she was trés chic no matter the weather or season, whether walking her beloved doxy Romeo around the block or running a nearby errand. One of my earliest Susan recollections focused on how she always framed her face via impactful details that flatter, from a sassy ageless haircut, a Moncler puffer (though if she lived in Florida, Lilly Pulitzer’s zip puffers would be her choice) to a pop of color with a posh Hermès scarf no matter the season. It made quite le formidable (en Français s'il vous plâit) impression.
Two years back, WSJ fashion columnist Teri Agins's spot-on suggestions re necklines delved into portrait-styles, the most fashionable and neck-friendly option for women over a certain age. I would add the more casually Florida-friendly colorful split-neck and ruffle-neck dresses by Gretchen Scott to that, as seen above. Sold statewide at numerous chic boutiques including her own eponymous shops in Jupiter and Naples, these colorful frocks with playful prints and juicy-jewel tones feel good against the skin on hot days and cover the side and nape of the neck, looking even better on women with short or pulled-back hair (my frequent look given ongoing tress-taming issues), no matter your age.
Like the “Color Me Beautiful” books of yore, neckline suggestions are just that - suggestions. Other myths: common wisdom recos that top-heavy women avoid boatnecks which happen to be my favorite (like an effortlessly chic French gal) in spite of my rather big girls. V-necks can be gorgeous as long as they hit the clavicle or above; unless your décolletage is flawless, skip deep cleavage (more than an inch) to avoid ooh-la-la stares as the French might say.
Since it’s way too hot to don a turtleneck most of the year here, all I’m really asking is that if the garment’s color suits you but the neck style is something you don’t care for, please be open-minded and give it a try. I turned a few “no ways” into sales this weekend because other factors, like a complexion-flattering hue, or driving attention to beautiful décolletage, go beyond the silhouette. Especially if you have great skin.
And speaking of skin...Nora Ephron may have hated her neck, but there are oodles of great new products to try for battling your issues. Products I’m loving right now:
Vie Glycol 10: Two nights a week, after toweling off from my nightly shower, I let this gel that feels like a serum work its powerful antioxidants noticeably radiant skin.
If you haven’t yet read Dana’s FBP profile on the Savannah-based founders of the cult-fave Sapelo Skin Care brand, you might want to check it out for their unique stance on the inflammation our skin receives from harsh products.
Bearing this in mind, I balance the inflammation I'm guessing I'm getting from the Vie product with Sapelo's the gentle yet oh-so -effective Anti-Aging Enzyme Mask followed by its Spring Tide Serum. FYI, a little mask goes a long way, as I accidentally discovered during my first use. The next time I tried it, I spread it over my neck and décolletage then rinsed in the shower, loving the results.
Ongoing care of your below-the-chin skin deserves as much love as your gorgeous face. Clear skies abound in my (pardon the pun) neck of Florida’s woods, and the sun has been strong: daily care and repair is mandatory.