If you ever considered wearing a turtleneck only during a weekend ski getaway or a holiday party, think again. This iconic piece of clothing is just as wearable in professional situations as in casual settings. And today I want to show you why you shouldn’t toss them out of your wardrobe and how to wear them in 2021! Here are some style tips to keep in mind, to ensure you’ll be wearing turtlenecks to work as a pro in no time.
First, you’ll want to think about the material of the turtleneck. If your turtleneck is destined for office wear, you’ll want to stick to a wool, silk, or cotton turtleneck. You don’t want the turtleneck’s fabric to be too heavy or chunky. Fuzzy, cable knit turtleneck sweaters are precisely what you want to wear at home in front of the fire, but for professional settings look for fabrics that are lighter and have a slight sheen. Turtlenecks made from a cotton-modal blend or even 100% silk are excellent for office wear for precisely this reason.
In short, the thinner the fabric the easier it is to wear it as a layer underneath other clothing garments. For example, wear it underneath a loose shirt and a blazer for a modern business / professional look. More on ways to wear it below.
The next qualification to consider is the cut. Is the turtleneck cut more loosely, or even in a tunic shape? The looser the cut, the more off-duty its look, save those tunic turtlenecks for the weekend. Also, look for turtlenecks that have full-length, or at least ¾ quarter length sleeves. Turtlenecks without sleeves fall on the more casual side of the spectrum and should be saved for off-duty wear unless your workplace is more casual.
Regarding the question of pattern, we have one simple rule: keep it solid. Solid turtlenecks will always appear more professional. However, if your workplace leans a bit more casual and you’re more pattern-inclined, look for something in a subtle, smaller-scale pattern like checks or stripes versus a pattern that is big, bold, or busy.
Next, you’ll want to plan what you would want to wear your turtleneck with. This is the area in which the turtleneck truly shines. It’s a remarkably versatile piece of clothing that can be paired with pencil/suit skirts, suit trousers, and also chino pants, slacks, or jeans alike.
While the common way to wear a turtleneck is by itself, one of my favorite classic moves is to pair it with a blazer.
For a more modern, contemporary take on business casual, match it to a solid-colored blazer in black, navy, or grey. For a more modern business look wear it under a loose button-down shirt.
There are a few other, more practical reasons for incorporating the turtleneck into your work wardrobe. One of those is that it makes an excellent “break in case of emergency” outfit. Imagine that you are wearing a fitted white blouse to work, and just before that big presentation you happen to spill a mug’s worth of piping hot coffee over it (this happens to most of us at some point in our lives). This is a tricky situation, but if you’ve stashed a ready-to-go turtleneck in a spare office drawer you’ve got an instant solution to your problem.
In addition, due to its knit quality, a turtleneck won’t wrinkle when folded like a shirt or blouse would. For this reason, the turtleneck is also one of my favorite things to pack during a work trip. And if you travel frequently enough, you can hardly pick a better piece of business clothing than the turtleneck. That’s why a turtleneck is a must in my business wardrobe, and I have it in different colours and fabrics, from thin to thick, to cover all seasons and occasions.
So how to wear your turtleneck in 2021? Apart from wearing it on its own, there are 3 simple ways to rock it:
♠️ Layer it with a loose button-down shirt (for a modern business look)
♠️ Wear it under a vest
♠️ Wear it under an oversized blazer/coat
And how do you wear yours? Inspire us in the comments below 👇.
PS: Want to look the part for that business meeting or a professional event? Check our Corporate Wardrobe service if require our assistance in creating business / professional looks, especially for you. Or DM me with any questions you might have.
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