Types of Turtlenecks for Women
The fashion industry only continues to grow as more and more people use the way they dress to show who they are to the world. US fashion e-commerce sales are on track to reach over $215 billion by 2024.
But regardless of your style, certain staple elements of clothing belong in every wardrobe. One such item is the turtleneck - a comfortable, always fashionable piece that is versatile enough that every woman can find a type of turtleneck they like.
Curious to learn more about turtlenecks?
Below we explain the 5 most common types of turtlenecks for women’s style, as well as the best ways to wear them. If you’re ready to look more fashionable than ever, continue reading to the end to avoid turtleneck styling mistakes.
Classic turtlenecks are the traditional look for a turtleneck and are likely what you think of when you envision a turtleneck. Classic turtlenecks are usually fitted to the body and have a thin, slim neckline. This sweater became extremely popular in the 1940s and 50s when stars like Audrey Hepburn wore them frequently.
Because they fit so well, they can be paired with numerous items like jeans, skirts, and even over some dresses. They are essential layering pieces because they can even be worn under shirts and dresses to give extra depth to a look.
Classic turtlenecks are simple enough that they can be dressed up or dressed down. For a more daytime look, they can be layered under a casual jacket or a casual dress. To dress them up, they can be worn with nice slacks or a skirt as well as a nice updo.
A trending fashion look for the classic turtleneck right now is to wear them with jeans and stylish sneakers, as well as a fun bag.
The mock turtleneck, also known as the funnel turtleneck, is a wonderful option for those looking to have the style of a turtleneck without all of the fabric reaching up the neck. This type of turtleneck ends about halfway up your neck.
You can find mock turtlenecks in numerous fabrics. For example, some will be thick, chunky mock necks with wool. Others will be quite thin, like cashmere, and will be designed for layering. But most of the textures will exude elegance with a mock neck.
Like a classic turtleneck, mock neck sweaters have quite a bit of versatility. You can wear them with jeans and flats for an everyday look, or dress them up with a skirt and heels for a sexier evening look.
Colorful mock sweaters are great layering pieces because you can place them over collared shirts to view the collar. You can even roll up the sleeves to give a more casual, playful look.
Wearing a turtleneck dress gives a new look to the classic turtleneck that everyone has grown accustomed to. Turtleneck dresses have a variety of fits and can be worn for different occasions.
A turtleneck dress with lace or another quality material can be dressed up with heels, especially if the dress has a nice fit to the body and accentuates the was it.
Meanwhile, turtleneck dresses can also be made more casual if they have a slouchy or loose fit. Loose, knit turtleneck dresses are a convenient option when relaxing at home or having a casual day running errands during the cold weather.
Unlike the classic turtleneck, a cowl-neck sweater has a looser fit. The cowl neck has an unstructured necklace that can even be considered droopy with some pieces. The neckline is usually chunky and large, which makes the cowl neck seem more laid back.
Cowl necks may even have drapes below the collarbones for an even more casual look. The fabric falls naturally from the neck and mimics the appearance of what a scarf would look like.
Because a cowl neck sweater has quite a bit of volume, it needs to be styled properly. Cowl necks look wonderful with belts to accentuate the waist and a pair of chunky boots to balance the outfit properly.
The oversized turtleneck can come in any shape or form. It could be a cowl neck, classic-like turtleneck, mock turtleneck, or knit turtleneck.
An oversized turtleneck will have all of the same properties as the category of turtleneck that it fits into, but it will have an additional element of being a few sizes too large.
Oversized turtlenecks are receiving their category because oversized clothing has become increasingly popular. They should be styled in a different way than regular turtleneck sweaters.
The key to styling an oversized sweater is to add length and slimness to your outfit. They should be worn with slim pants and at least a slight heel to add length while keeping the elegance of an oversized look.
Avoiding Turtleneck Styling Mistakes
Though turtlenecks are one of the most versatile (and often comfortable!) items that you have in your wardrobe, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will look good with everything. Like any other item in your closet, you need to style turtlenecks properly for you to look the best.
Some common mistakes that we outline below include improperly laying your turtlenecks, choosing jewelry that’s too large, and wearing the wrong turtleneck for your natural features.
Layering with Bulky Clothing
The style of your turtleneck plays a role in the bottoms you choose. Unless you have long, slender legs, wearing a form-fitting turtleneck with skinny jeans or pants will not create a balanced outfit. Instead, you’ll want pants with a bit more fabric to balance the look.
The same goes with wearing an oversized turtleneck. You’ll want to have a belt or bottoms that are a bit more form-fitting so you can accentuate your waist and show off your figure.
Along the same lines as wearing the wrong bottoms, you don’t want to layer a turtleneck with bulky clothing or accessories.
Turtlenecks will often add bulkiness to your outfit by making your shoulders look broader, and your midsection looks a bit larger. (The exception to this is a tight-fitted turtleneck that isn’t made from a knit or sweater material.)
Because the proportions of the turtleneck are so large, you don’t want to layer the turtleneck with other bulky items in the outfit. Don’t wear a heavy jacket over the turtleneck or wear a large shirt under the turtleneck.
Choosing Disproportionate Accessories
When it comes to your shoes and bags, you want to keep them as sleek as possible, depending on the size of the sweater.
If you choose to wear an oversized turtleneck sweater, wearing your loose-fitting slouchy boots with a sleek bag will add balance to the outfit. By choosing to wear flats, you may look too-top heavy.
However, if you’re wearing a large turtleneck dress, you may have to experiment with your accessories to find one that works properly for your style and body shape. A loose turtleneck dress with chunky boots and a large bag may add too much bulk. Instead, you may want shoes that are sleeker in this case.
Ignoring Face Shape & Neck Length
Turtlenecks are often recommended for women with long necks because they can pull off the extra fabric. That being said, all women can wear a turtleneck as long as they wear the proper one for their neck and face.
Look at the pieces in your closet that you think complement your neck shape. This can be the guideline for finding turtlenecks for you.
A general rule is to avoid higher-neck turtlenecks if you have a shorter neck. You don’t want to shorten the length of your neck and make your proportions look off. Instead, go for a softer turtleneck like a mock neck or a cowl neck.
Finding your face shape also will help you determine which styles should be your go-to looks.
For example, diamond and oval face shapes tend to do well with classic turtlenecks because it balances the length of the face and adds volume to the bottom of the face. Heart-shaped faces look lovely with cowl necks because it adds volume and balance to a face that has the most width on the top.
Excessive Hair & Jewelry
Because a turtleneck has so much fabric so close to your face, it’s important that you keep your hair simple and your accessories minimal while wearing a turtleneck. Otherwise, it will distract from your face and make the entire look too much.
When it comes to your hair, putting it back is always an ideal choice. You could go for a sleek ponytail or an updo that shows off your face and the fabric of the turtleneck.
Earrings will be your jewelry of choice for turtlenecks. Since the fabric will already be covering your neck, you should not wear a necklace unless it is very small and elegant. You’ll have more options with your earrings - you can choose a hoop, dangled earrings, or even statement studs to add a more dramatic look to the turtleneck.
Types of Turtlenecks for You
Regardless of the fashion trends you follow, having a turtleneck in your wardrobe will keep you feeling both elegant and comfortable.
Now that you’re more familiar with the types of turtlenecks, you can select styles that are the most flattering for your features and your style.
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