Top Turtleneck Sweaters for Men

by Jamie Wilson

Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA

Turtlenecks are often over looked in men’s fashion, regarded as dowdy and something your grandad might have worn back in the day. However, that’s certainly not that case nowadays, and our handy guide of the top turtleneck sweaters for men will demonstrate how to wear a turtleneck in a contemporary, on trend way. 

Turtleneck Sweaters for Men

The turtleneck has had a serious reputation overhaul. Gone are the days of only associating them with middle-aged men in leisure suits, and now, when worn correctly, the turtleneck can become an iconic style piece that blends together a retro feel with a modern edge. There’s something oddly bold and elegant about the turtleneck with the way they can elongate your frame and accentuate your facial features.

They’re also a lot more versatile than you might think, and you can dress them up in a number of ways. Don’t automatically assume they’re only a way of dressing down suits – you can wear these pieces in sleek, classic ways as well as more casual, street style ones.

Best Turtlenecks Sweaters for Men

Now, there are different style of men’s turtlenecks, but whether you’re going for a standard thin knit design or a chunky style one, how you dress one up or down can drastically change the overall look. There’s no hard and fast rule that says if you’re going for a smart look you have to go for a certain style of rollneck though, and chunky and thin styles can work for various looks.

How to Wear a Turtleneck Sweater with a Suit

Let’s get the most obvious and controversial look out of the way first. Mad Men has proved that the 60s and 70s were a time for turtlenecks and suits and that this combination had varied amounts of success. We’ve learnt from the past that when it comes to a sleek suit, bold colours just aren’t the answer, and it’s best to actually try to downplay the look of your turtleneck rather than accentuate it.

If you want a bit more protection from the elements you can go with a thicker knit turtleneck. Don’t worry about it looking too casual, as even the chunkiest jumper can be smartened up with the right blazer. You can also opt for a neutral, but slightly brighter, colour scheme, working with colours such as blue, cream and grey to give your outfit a less rigid look.

How to Wear a Turtleneck with a Leather Jacket

If you prefer a simple Oxford shirt with your suit, and you’d rather keep your turtleneck for casual outfits, then there are plenty of looks you can go for. One less common combination is a classic leather biker jacket paired with a coloured roll neck. Before you shudder and shake your head, just bare with us – it can work, you just need to pick the right turtleneck.

Don’t go for anything black, as this will just blend in with the leather jacket and look a little too intense. Instead go for a muted, versatile colour, like tan, to give just enough of a contrast to work with the look. Then it’s as simple and finishing off the look with some jeans and boots, and you’re set.

How to Wear a Turtleneck on Its Own

A turtleneck is a something that tends to complement an outfit, worn with a suit or overcoat to create a uniformed look. However, it can be worn on its own to create a number of sleek looks that blend formal and casual styles together. Don’t be afraid to experiment with merging pieces together, and although skinny jeans, trainers and a rollneck sweater might not seem like the best combination, if you do it right it can really work.

Formal Look with a Turtleneck

We’ve covered a few ways to pull off the simple men’s turtleneck sweater, and although there are a few rules to keep in mind when wearing one, you don’t have to be too restricted with what you pair it with. You can opt for numerous styles of coats for example, but something like a long tailored coat can give your outfit a boost of formality.

Casual Look with a Turtleneck

If you want to achieve a more casual look with your turtleneck then a change of fabric can help you keep things relaxed. Thinner, finer knit turtlenecks give off a slimmer more refined look which works better with formal looks, while chunkier knits are more suited to casual outfits. Grabbing a mottled, thick knit jumper and pairing it with some jeans and trainers will give you a comfortable, simple look that’s perfect for the winter.

How to Wear a Turtleneck Sweater

  • Try not to overcomplicate your outfits when you’re trying to wear a turtleneck.
  • Stick with more neutral colours when you’re just starting out with a turtleneck.
  • Thinner knit turtlenecks work for formal looks, while chunkier knits are good for casual outfits.
  • Keep your look casual and pair your turtleneck with pieces like trainers and jeans.

On That Note

Men in turtlenecks isn’t something everyone wants to see, and if you’re totally against them then there’s not a whole lot we can do to change your mind. However, if you’re on the fence about them, then hopefully this guide has helped to show you their versatility. Smart looks can be achieved with a classic thin knit design, while chunkier knits are better suited for casual looks, and there’s a whole load of combinations you can create with a little experimentation.

Feature image from Pinterest

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