The turtleneck is a pretty iconic (and divisive!) shirt for men. It’s been described as the most flattering thing a man can wear. In American culture, turtlenecks have developed a pretty weird stigma. When we tend to picture turtlenecks in America, we make think of our favorite movie-stars hip-hop artists on the red carpet, fashionistas and stylists, snobby artists, a certain tech-visionary, or if you think of any snobby dinner party portrayed in a movie, there’s sure to be a few turtlenecked extra’s floating around.
That being said, the turtleneck is a basic garment that can provide a subtle yet sophisticated look. AKA it can get you a buttoned up look, without, well a button-up. TBH I say button-down but it didn’t flow too nice in the sentence. I digress, it’s a simple piece that can give any guy a very elegant look, even if you aren’t some fashionista or some star strutting the red carpet.
They’re a great piece that can go great on their own.
However, if that’s a little basic for you, you can look to find turtlenecks with funkier patterns like stripes or multi-colors, or you can look into layering. You can get so many different looks depending on whether you want to pair it with a sport coat, denim jacket, a camel overcoat, a bomber jacket, realistically any type of layering piece, or if you want to add a pop of color you can consider throwing a scarf in the mix. Turtlenecks are a bit of a dress-code chameleon in that you can dress-it-up or dress-it-down based on what level of formality you are going for.
When doing lighter-weight layering, if you’re conscious about overheating, just pay attention to the kind of fabrics you are wearing. If you’re wearing something natural like wools, rayons, modals, or cottons you should be okay as those are designed to keep you warm in cold environments but are breathable in warmer environments.
If you’re wearing a chunkier knit it may not pair as well for formal dressing if it’s super chunky, but mostly it should pair pretty nicely. That being said, with chunkier knits there’s typical less of a need to layer (aesthetically and for warmth).