Turtlenecks are versatile, comfortable, and classic pieces that are easy to wear in countless ways. They’re the childhood staples that may have made appearances in your school pictures or that you wore with jeans throughout the coolest months of the year. Fast forward many years, and they’re still just as vital to any well-rounded wardrobe.
What is it that sets the turtleneck apart? Part of it is its old-world appeal. Some of the world’s most fashionable women have worn turtlenecks as part of their signature look. And today, the styling options are virtually endless. Whether you normally wear yours in a more traditional manner and want to experiment with new looks, or you’re ready to make the turtleneck a more integral part of your wardrobe, here are some fresh ideas to keep in mind.
So chic you almost won’t believe your eyes, a turtleneck paired with flowing dress pants can look especially dramatic when you choose the same color for your top and bottoms. All black is, of course, a classic option that will never steer you in the wrong direction. You can add a statement necklace for a sparkly pop and step into a pair of strappy sandals to complete this look.
The beauty of this look is in its extreme versatility. Wear it to the office on a brisk day with a structured blazer thrown on top and a belt at the waist for added definition. Try it with a more cropped length bottom and a pair of slip-on sandals if you’re headed out to meet friends for a casual brunch or meeting someone for date night. A monochromatic outfit also allows any accessory you incorporate to shine, making it a fantastic opportunity to show off a patterned scarf or a glamorous clutch.
Capitalize on the inherent sophistication of the turtleneck by pairing it with something just as posh, like a midi skirt. The length, which scaled the heights of trendiness several years ago, has proven its worthiness in more ways than one over the years. Today, it’s the go-to option for many who want something more practical than a mini yet a little cooler and more refined than a maxi.
Try a pleated variety with your turtleneck for a study in contrasting textures, finishing with a pair of over-the-knee boots that cover your calves and pull the outfit together nicely. Or try it with a more fitted midi skirt for a sleek look from top to bottom. Don’t feel you need to go monochromatic for the look to work. A jewel-toned turtleneck paired with a neutral skirt can be captivating and offers such a fun and fresh take on corporate or date-night style.
As cooler weather rolls into town, you may feel a sense of longing as you put your lightest dresses away for the season. But you don’t necessarily have to retire the lighter-weight women's dresses that are a part of your warm-weather rotation just because temperatures drop. Extend their usefulness by layering them over a turtleneck instead.
Try it beneath a sleeveless dress to increase the mileage of a piece that you normally reserve strictly for spring and summer wear. You’ll love the way your added layer suddenly makes an unwearable dress more than practical for the season. If the dress is a shorter length, you can even add leggings and boots to create a fresh take on the outfit. A patterned dress looks best with monochromatic layers underneath, allowing its print to stand out without clashing with others.
You may normally associate turtlenecks with sleeker silhouettes that you wear beneath blazers or coats. But it can also be a completely independent and very cozy piece that keeps you incredibly warm and toasty when it matters the most. If it’s chilly outside, try a thicker version, like a cashmere turtleneck that will keep you warmer than the average style.
Cashmere not only feels phenomenal to the touch but also adds a touch of luxury to your cold-weather wardrobe. Wear it with flowing dress pants for a polished look from head to toe. If your sweater is especially baggy with a tunic-like silhouette, try it with a sleeker bottom, like a pair of leggings, jeggings, or skinny jeans, to establish a sense of balance. Try suede booties or a pair of calf-length boots to pull this outfit together and keep you warm when you need it the most.
When it comes to your comfort, almost nothing compares to the practicality of a turtleneck. It’s the ultimate piece that actually does it all, serving as a smart and stylish transitional piece that sees you from summer’s heat to fall’s cooler temperatures with ease. It’s as much an autumn staple as it is a wintertime essential. It also makes a smooth transition into spring. With that kind of usefulness, it’s no wonder that so many people appreciate the humble turtleneck.