Turtlenecks (also known as roll-necks) are a brilliant way to make a fashion statement. They stand out a mile from your typical sweater due to their unique shape and unique shape.
They are also practical: wearing a thick wool turtleneck under your coat or jacket is the way to stay warm in winter. The many different types of turtlenecks make them a surprisingly adaptable choice. Ones made from fine wool push the formal end of the spectrum and are great office wear. They can even be worn under a suit or blazer. On the other hand, thick sweaters with knit patterns are perfect for a casual weekend.
I have two turtleneck sweaters in my winter rotation. The first is an absolute mammoth I bought from H&M years ago. It has a long thick neck and a super-unique monochrome pattern. I bring it out each winter to wear on the absolute coldest days. It goes great under a long wool coat, or even a thick leather jacket.
My other has a much shorter neck and is a little thinner. It’s still quite casual but the less aggressive fold means I don’t have to save it for only the coldest days. I think my next purchase will be a more traditional style of turtleneck I can wear with a wider variety of outfits. Perhaps the classic style from the list below.
7 Different Types of Turtlenecks
Classic Knit Turtleneck
A classic turtleneck is typically made from fine wool or cotton. It has a fold that comes to rest at the top of the neck. The style is thin and they come in a large variety of colors which makes classic turtlenecks a great tool for layering. Consider putting them under jackets, coats, or blazers.
Mock turtlenecks are those with a neckline that is shorter than a traditional turtle neck. They will typically end around halfway up your neck or lower. These sweaters are good for days when the temperature doesn’t justify a full roll neck. They come in a variety of styles and fabrics including regular knit, cable knit, undershirts, and more.
Cable Knit Turtleneck
Cable knit turtlenecks are those with a knitted pattern. Like cable knit sweaters, they are typically a little thicker than a regular one. They are a little less formal than classic styles but are still really versatile. Like the classic turtleneck, you can wear them under a variety of coats or jackets.
Oversized turtlenecks are best worn on the coldest days. They’ll typically be made from thick wool and have a neckline that reaches right up to your jaw. You won’t get away with one of these at the office, but they are perfect for looking cool during outdoor winter activities.
Zip turtlenecks are those that have a short zip going from the top of the neck to the chest. There is no fold in the neck due to the zip. They are often made from cotton or wool and they are often more casual than other types of turtlenecks.
Cowl Neck Sweater
Cowl neck sweaters are more like a close cousin of the turtleneck. The necklines on these sweaters have a looser fit that will typically fall off your neck. It may also start a little lower before wrapping around the back of your neck.
These are typically the super-thin turtlenecks that you wear under regular clothes. They get a mention on this list because, despite going under your regular outfit, the high neckline means they play an important part in your outfit. Be careful how you wear them, but do it right and you’ll certainly have a unique look.