Winter Gems: The Mockneck Sweatshirt I Knew I Needed

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The POPFLEX Uptown Mockneck Sweatshirt reviewed in this article is from a Blogilates sister brand, but all opinions are honest and my own. Scout’s honor!

I am a through-and-through California girl, so every time winter comes around, I’m doing the math for how many layers of crop tops will equal a warm outfit. (The answer has yet to be found.) My initial plan this season was to be in a tropical location by the time December reared its frosty head, but since I’m still stateside, I needed a go-to sweater that met the following qualifications.

1. I’m at the point in my fashion journey where I value quality over quantity, so the item had to be durably made with comfortable materials.

2. I travel often, so I needed something versatile enough to easily slip into any version of my wardrobe.

3. To help me stick to a minimalist closet, I only buy items that I really, really want. If I can walk away from it at a store without looking back romantically, I don’t get it.

This was the mission, and the POPFLEX Uptown Mockneck Sweatshirt chose to accept it.

First Impressions

I’ve had my eyes on this sweater ever since it dropped a few weeks ago. It’s athleisure but still looks more elevated than the gym. It’s a minimalist design but has subtle details that give it character. This is what I saw from the photos, but before I could judge it in person, POPFLEX packaging stole my eye. The product bags are sustainably made and biodegrade in 180 days (which we love), but the best touch was the tags.

Many brands provide eco-friendly packaging nowadays, but I’ve never seen clothing tags that replaced the usual sizes (small, medium, etc.) with compliments. S stands for stunning, and the large leggings I also ordered were L for limitless. It’s such a cute, Cassey touch that I loved experiencing.

Once I moved onto the actual sweater, the sand color was exactly what I wanted (there’s also black), and the material felt nice and thick in my hands. It was also heavier than I expected, which I took as a sign that POPFLEX splurged on some lux-level material.

The Test Drive

I had a girls’ trip to Joshua Tree where the temperature drops to the 40s, so I decided our Saturday night bar crawl was the perfect opportunity to take the sweater for a spin. Typically when I get ready, I do my hair first and then get dressed. The second step in that process was when I learned the mock neck has very little stretch. I’m assuming that’s how they get the neck detail to keep its structure over time, but it made it difficult to pull the sweater over my thick, curly hair. I made it work, but I definitely made a note that I’d need to put on the sweater first to avoid any frizz.

Once it was on, the cropped length/oversized combo struck the perfect silhouette. The sweater was also much warmer than I thought it was going to be thanks to the fabric’s cozy finish. At a certain point in the night, I even got a bit sweaty while in a semi-crowded restaurant, which is when I was happy the mock neck’s slit let me air out a bit. I also tend to feel a bit suffocated in turtlenecks, so the slit gave me a similar look without making me feel too restricted.

One caveat

A caveat to the sweater’s insulation though is that the slit in the mock neck lets cool air in, so my neck and upper chest got pretty chilly while I was outside. I feel like adding a scarf would ruin the point of the neckline, so if I wanted to wear this for a long period of time in the cold, I’d have to wear a thin turtleneck underneath to get better coverage. (Note: I didn’t wear a bra or undershirt with this, so that could’ve also helped.)

Another tidbit on the mock neck (I have so many!) is that since it’s not totally structured, I felt it folding forward or shifting out of place throughout the night. I’d fix it when I caught it, but I think adding a button closure could be a nice touch for those who want to make sure it stays in place throughout the night. I didn’t have access to an iron during this trip, but ironing it with starch might also give it more support.

Things to Love

– Oversized design, including the perfectly puffed sleeves
– Neutral sand color matches everything
– Cropped length falls beautifully
– Mock neck slit prevents overheating
– Mock neck slit detail is just cute
– Fabric is thick and cozy
– Insulates heat to keep you warm

Things to Improve On

– Lack of stretch in the neckline: If you have thick hair or just did your makeup, you’ll have to carefully put the sweater on.
– Mock neck integrity: The neck will fold/shift, possibly ending up in awkward positions.
– Mock neck slit: This can’t be your only line of defense in really cold weather because of the open neck.

Final Thoughts: The Uptown Mockneck Sweatshirt

POPFLEX’s Uptown Mockneck Sweatshirt isn’t perfect, but for my needs, it understood the assignment and then some. It’s thick enough to keep me warm; the neutral color fits into any version of my wardrobe, and its streetwear aesthetic suits my understated yet elevated style. I don’t plan on going anywhere so cold that I need to layer up with this, but I’m going to keep playing with the mock neck so I can keep it exactly where I want it. Unfortunately, just yelling “stay!” isn’t cutting it.

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