If we were given the chance to run the world for a day, perhaps the first thing we’d do is provide every man with a men’s turtleneck sweater. The turtleneck sweater is one of our favorite pieces in the male wardrobe, thanks to its ease of wear, versatility, ability to insulate and much more. You can read on below to get the full story on why men need a men’s turtleneck in their closet.
Forget what you’ve heard about turtlenecks taking skill to “pull off.” Contrary to that too-prevalent line of thinking, the turtleneck sweater is one of the most user-friendly garments a man can wear.
Because of the generous zone of coverage that a turtleneck sweater provides, it can be easily pulled over a t-shirt or undershirt. Because whatever shirt you choose to wear underneath your turtleneck will not be visible to the outside observer (a trait not always shared by men’s v-neck sweaters and crewneck sweaters), you won’t have to worry about it contrasting with the rest of your look.
In addition, the knit quality of a turtleneck means that it never has to be ironed. It can go directly from your closet to your body, no steaming or pressing required.
Some of the same factors that make the turtleneck such an easy garment to wear and maintain also make it uniquely useful for travel. Knit garments like turtleneck sweaters are much less likely to crease or wrinkle during travel, allowing them to be worn right out of the suitcase once you land. And because they serve the function of a shirt and a men’s sweater, they can help you to cut back on packing too many items.
Turtlenecks may be easy to wear and well-suited to handling the bumps that come with travel, but these features wouldn’t count for much if the turtleneck wasn’t able to easily pair with the other staples of the male wardrobe. Fortunately, the turtleneck is one of the most versatile pieces around.
At the most casual end of the spectrum, a turtleneck can be matched to a favorite men’s flannel shirt, a pair of broken-in jeans and work boots. But it can also be matched with classic clothing like corduroys, chinos, barn coats and parkas.
The turtleneck can even be dressed up, so long as it features a fine weave. Try pairing a turtleneck to a pair of dress trousers and a blue blazer. Or go bolder (and tieless) and use it as a dress shirt substitute the next time you wear your go-to suit.
What we can’t lose sight of is the fact that the turtleneck is still a sweater, and its primary importance is providing warmth. To that effect, the turtleneck makes for an effective insulator by fully covering that one part of the body that sometimes goes naked even in the chilliest depths of wintertime: the neck.
With a turtleneck on, you’ll feel as if you are always wearing a scarf (but feel free to layer a plaid scarf on top for extra coziness and a bit of autumnal style). You can also use the turtleneck as a key building block for an outfit that requires a number of layers: for instance, wear a turtleneck under a quilted vest or a parka.
But don’t forget the helpful role that a turtleneck can play as a base layer. If you decide to don long underwear to keep the cold at bay, you can select a long underwear set with a turtleneck shirt for the highest level of insulation and coverage possible.