Ah, the turtleneck. Also known as the roll neck jumper, the polo neck, the funnel top, and basically the layering superhero of mid-winter wardrobes everywhere. That’s of course, only when it’s worn right.
Not always the easiest sweater style to pull off, this cold weather staple – The Roll Neck Jumper has proven its versatility by not only keeping us snug in the colder months, but has even been worn as a multi season piece.
Once the mark of the 1950’s beatnik culture, the polo neck evolved from a counter cultural fashion statement into a casual sportswear classic and versatile wardrobe essential. While roll neck jumpers still hold a reasonably dowdy or nerdy reputation with some, they can look all sorts of fashionable when styled correctly. As winter settles in, it’s time we sing the praises of the turtleneck. Be it thin cotton or chunky wool, this high-neck staple will not only keep you warm, but it will also elongate your neck and send your outfit high up in the style stakes.
Here are eight ways to nail it:
1) Make your summer dresses last across seasons by layering a slim turtleneck underneath. Black, white, and neutral turtlenecks are your best bet for creating a range of versatile looks. When looking at ways to style your sweater, stick to dresses with scooped or plunging necklines for a more flattering look.
2) Pair an over-sized knit turtleneck jumper with skinny jeans and sneakers for a super casual and comfy look. This is the perfect option for days you feel like lounging around home, or for a quick outing to the shops.
3) Go for a roll neck poncho, the perfect cold-weather staple. Pair with leggings and knee-high boots for fashion and function combined.
4) Accessories can really help to step up the look of your turtleneck. To change up the look of your favourite turtleneck sweater, use yours as a backdrop for your favourite statement necklace. Metals can be cold on the skin during winter so a turtleneck top is the perfect solution for keeping your skin warm while still being able to show off your jewels. Add a dainty pendant necklace and wear the turtleneck/blazer combination with trousers or a pencil skirt for a smart and stylish more ‘refined’ look.
5) A leather jacket toughens up a turtleneck in the best way possible. Layering your jumper is also the way to go if you’re new to the trend and would prefer to ease your way into the world of the roll neck.
6) Layer with an oversized scarf, beanie, and ankle boots for the perfect winter combination. Ensure that your accessories don’t overpower your top. This is best avoided by sticking to neutral tones and no patterns.
7) Loose printed pants pair well with a slim-fit turtleneck. Proportions are everything. With a snug top, you’ll want a looser bottom. The same logic applies with polo necks and full skirts. If you’re wearing print below, keep the top half simple in a block coloured sweater.
8) For office-friendly and smart casual attire, wear your turtleneck tops with a tailored blazer. It’s a timeless combination that’s perfect for wearing during the day and night. You’ll want to make sure your blazer/outer layer is roomy enough not to irritate your turtleneck layer underneath.
Find something that isn’t constrictive. If you don’t like tight clothing around your neck, skip the fitted turtlenecks and opt for a looser alternative. Style is about looking comfortable with what you are wearing, not being at war with it.
Turtleneck sweaters are a good choice in cold weather as their high neckline keeps you guarded from the cool. That means that even without a thick woolly scarf, your neck will be protected. And don’t forget to not count them out as the weather warms up. Paired with a skirt, turtlenecks look great as evening wear in summer.
Wave goodbye to the old plain white tee, pop out of your shell and say hello to what will become your new wardrobe favourite, the classic, versatile and much loved sweater of the season.
Are you giving the polo neck a go this winter? How will you style it?