Time for a recap, post-party frock and novelty sweater season, of where we are vis-a-vis normal clothes. The shortcut to looking chic in an unfussy way was, for a long time, a white shirt. Then it was a dark polo neck, worn on its own or layered under anything and everything. The second half of last year was a blue-and-white-striped shirt moment.

The new look is the high-rise white collar. This can be a pie-crust blouse, or a white polo neck knit such as the one I’m wearing here. Its references include Alexa Chung, possibly photographed en route to a Chanel catwalk show, probably in a loafer; Jude Law in The Young Pope, drinking Cherry Coke Zero for breakfast in the Vatican; there is a dash of ironic 70s skiwear. In other words, for all its simplicity, it’s a lot more luxe, more high-rolling, than the standard flat-white shirt collar.

The first excellent thing about making your neckline the focal point is that it is unmissable. The rest of what you are wearing can be quiet, even a bit blah. You’ve made your point, sartorially speaking, which is why shirt-collar-based looks are proven to work for work, because you can get dressed with minimum fuss. The second advantage is that if, like me, you are self-conscious about looking short and stumpy in outfits that draw attention to your legs, something that draws the arrow to collar level means you don’t feel the need to stilt up on mega heels. This makes your entire day so much more relaxing.

If you choose a white polo neck knit, the challenge is to avoid the orange-casserole-dish retro associations. So keep the silhouette loose, because we are thinking hygge, not Milk Tray man. With a white piecrust, on the other hand, the challenge is to keep it the right side of prissy. Add big earrings, maybe. The aforementioned flat shoes. And think about your hair: straight and shiny is a bit choir-stall here, so go with a textured wave or a messy up-do. Romantic is good; ethereal and/or pious less so. It’s January, remember? Back to reality, folks.