It’s safe to say that turtlenecks have never gone out of style for guys. However, these classic articles have to be worn properly and styled with the right accessory clothing to really work and maximize your aesthetic appeal.
If you don’t know how to style a turtleneck, read on – we’ll break down everything you need to know and more in detail.
Choose the Right Turtleneck Style
First, you’ll want to pick the right turtleneck style. There are two broad types of turtlenecks you can choose from as a man:
- Thinner or fitted turtlenecks. These look a little more formal and are perfect for layering beneath suits and sports jackets
- Chunkier or looser turtlenecks. These are more casual and are typically worn as standalone pieces since they are too thick to be worn beneath some jackets
Consider Your Body Type
Next, think about your body type and how that might impact the ideal turtleneck style for you. Guys with average or fit physics are better off wearing thin and fitted turtlenecks alone or as a base layer beneath a jacket.
Meanwhile, guys with a little extra padding should avoid a thinner turtleneck, as the thin material will cling to your body in an unappealing way. The same is true for skinny guys – a chunkier turtleneck is better since it will fill out your figure and hide any imperfections.
Pair the Turtleneck with the Right Articles
Styling your turtleneck successfully also means pairing it with the right complementary articles and accessories. Luckily, turtlenecks are versatile enough that you can combine them with many different menswear options.
For example, you can wear turtlenecks with a suit jacket and trousers. This formal, stylish option is best approached with a navy turtleneck and gray suit combination. This way, your turtleneck will be the darker layer beneath the lighter color of your suit. It's a perfect menswear look for the colder months of the year in autumn and winter, particularly if you pair the entire ensemble with dark dress shoes and a silver watch.
Naturally, tailored and stylish slacks – the kind that are appropriate for button-down dress shirts – are also good partners with turtlenecks, especially dark-colored turtlenecks that are a little more formal than light-colored turtlenecks. The right trousers, especially when combined with a good watch and dress shoes, could complete a workplace-appropriate outfit or serve as the ideal partners for a turtleneck you plan to wear to the club or some other social space with your peers.
Take these Super 130’s Tasmanian Gabardine Trousers from Berle. They’re a stark gray color, so they’ll partner perfectly with black turtlenecks, brown turtlenecks, or turtlenecks of other dark shades.
Jackets and Blazer
You can also pair a lighter turtleneck with a sports jacket or blazer of choice. For example, a cream turtleneck (remember, thinner is better for layering) will look great with a navy or brown sports jacket or blazer, particularly if the outermost article is tailored and fitted to your shoulders and upper body.
Then, all you have to do is find trousers of a complementary color like gray or brown, add some dress shoes to the mix, and choose a silver or leather watch. This is a great styling option for guys who want to look academic or sophisticated without evoking the same kind of formal energy that wearing a turtleneck with a suit creates.
You can also pair your turtleneck of choice with denim slacks. However, casual denim won’t do the job; in fact, it’ll stand in sharp contrast to the slightly elevated formality level that a turtleneck brings to the table.
Instead, you’ll want to stick with dress denim slacks, like these indigo slacks from Berle. Dress denim pairs perfectly with a dark black and gray or black, and such an outfit will evoke a Steve Jobsian look that could make you feel right at home at a board meeting or tech presentation (though you might want to skip the sneakers to avoid a direct emulation of Jobs’ style!). Generally, you’ll want a looser turtleneck if you opt for this style.
At the end of the day, you’ll have to practice wearing your turtleneck a bit to get the hang of styling it properly. But with a little effort and with the right accessories, you’ll rock your favorite turtlenecks at casual social occasions, semiformal get-togethers, and even workplace meetings.
If you need help finding the right trousers for your turtleneck, Berle can help. Check out our selection of tailored trousers and dress denim jeans today!