Turtlenecks have long been a staple in men’s fashion wear. They’ve been championed by actors, philosophers, and tech moguls alike. Now, they’re a symbol of sophistication and fashion awareness.
While they might seem intimidating, finding the best turtleneck for men isn’t hard. Once you figure out what you need and what fits you, you’ll start pairing turtlenecks with all kinds of outfits in chilly weather.
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For those of you who are fashion-illiterate or in need of new ideas, here are some options to consider.
Sold in a deep, luxurious camel color, this no-itch lambswool turtleneck sports a classically rough rugged cut.
It offers just enough roominess without being too oversized, with a soft neck that rolls smoothly and keeps you warm up to your chin.
- Made of 100% soft wool
- True to size
- Hand-wash cold
A wool knit, this charcoal turtleneck with ribbed trims has just enough spice to make a statement for first-time wearers.
One of its features is the mid-tier price. Costing a reasonable sum, this turtleneck crosses the bridge between expensive and affordable.
It’s a simple item that could be paired with different clothes. You can turn it into a formal fit with dress pants and a fitted blazer. Another option is to run casual with a snug pair of sweatpants. It’s guaranteed to make you look great either way.
- The roll neck can be adjusted according to preference
- Only available in charcoal
Cotton turtlenecks are popular for a reason. Besides being incredibly soft and warm, they’re ideal when it comes to layering because they’re breathable and lightweight.
Being the most expensive of our options, J Crew’s cotton turtleneck is available in deep inky navy color. It’s also true to size with an accurate slim fit.
For those of you who are eyeing formal attire, this turtleneck is the perfect garment to be worn under a fancy blazer or a luxurious coat.
- Easy to layer
- Comfortable underarm gussets
- Made of 100% merino
- Dry clean only
Turtlenecks can often be a bother to those who suffer from ultra-sensitive skin due to all the irritable fabrics.
However, this cotton-blend is a lightweight cozy wonder. Extremely soft and made with care, it resists any kind of irritation to your skin.
- Machine washable
- Dries off quickly
- Sizing isn’t always accurate
- Could be a bit tight around the neck
Comfortably slim, this turtleneck will leave be much-appreciated for those of you who find a tight fit desirable.
As for those of you who find a tight budget desirable, you won’t have to worry about any money with its affordable price.
Slim fit yet, it still remains comfortable and unrestrictive around the neck. In addition, it’s still incredibly cozy and suitable for layering in colder temperatures.
- Elasticized cuffs and collar
- 100% Tanguis cotton jersey
- Sleeves might shrink after washing
How Did Turtlenecks Come About?
Originally popularized as sportswear for polo players in the 1860s, the turtleneck had crossed into the realm of working-class fashion when it was donned by fishermen and fellow laborers alike by the 1920s.
In fact, it was in that very decade in London when playwright and actor Noël Coward iconically wore a black turtleneck to a performance of his 1924 play the Vortex.
Coward’s pairing of the turtleneck with a blazer quickly started a fashion trend among the middle-class in London.
“I took to wearing coloured turtle-neck jerseys,” he said of his wardrobe, “….more for comfort than for effect, and soon I was informed by my evening paper that I had started a fashion.”
Following this, academics, chorus boys, and fashion-conscious intellectuals quickly began to champion the turtleneck due to its functionality and chic rejection of formal conventions.
Hollywood and the Turtleneck
Female film stars caught on. Marlene Dietrich channeled her androgyny and glamour into outfits featuring turtlenecks and men’s trousers in early photoshoots, and Greta Garbo followed suit in sharp, sultry coolness.
In 1957, Audrey Hepburn sported a sleek, black turtleneck in her film Funny Face. Set in France, it teasingly recalls real-life Parisian bohemian culture with its fashion references.
In fact, the black turtleneck was pioneered by chanson singer and popular French muse Juliette Gréco. With her frequent wear, it quickly became a signature item reserved for those free-spirited individuals who lived on the left bank in post-war Paris.
Why Are Turtlenecks so Popular?
When the 80s rolled around, turtlenecks mellowed out of style. However, with their cool practicality and effortlessness, they’ve been witnessing a huge revival in recent years.
Steve Jobs is one example. Black turtlenecks have now become synonymous with the late American investor. A figure of the turtleneck revival, Jobs proudly embodied the garment’s long history in his innovative nature.
American minimalist fashion designer Halston asserted: “Turtlenecks are the most comfortable garment you can wear. They move with the body, and they’re flattering too because they accentuate the face and elongate the figure. They make life so easy: you can wear a turtleneck to work and then afterward throw on a jacket, and it becomes very dressy. You can go anywhere you like..”
In short, the turtleneck is popular because of its dismissal of rigid norms. It asserts a coolness supported by a long history of popular male couture. It’s sleek, comfortable, and fashionable.
Versatile and universally flattering, a turtleneck is the ultimate basic clothing item. Its staying power and history in mainstream fashion is enough proof of its credibility.
Looking for the best turtleneck for men is quite easy if you know what you need. A pick like ASOS DESIGN Lambswool Roll Neck Jumper In Charcoal is ideal for those of you who want variety and comfort, while Uniqlo’s Men Premium Lambswool Turtleneck Long-Sleeve Sweater is suitable for those who won’t hesitate to pull on a sharp blazer on when they’re heading to work.
Years have gone by while the turtleneck jumps in and out of popular trends. Right now, it’s in. Don’t be intimidated by it. Join in on the fad and the fun.