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When it comes to building a complete fall and winter wardrobe, making sure you have a go-to turtleneck is an important step. Turtlenecks can be professional, functional, cozy, sexy, and all of the above. It all comes down to knowing what to look for. Whether you’re in search of a fitted turtleneck for date night or a sweat-wicking option for outdoor activities, some styles will work for you. What’s more, the styling options for turtlenecks are endless. Want to pair one with jeans? A mini skirt? Overalls? No problem.
As Nyjerah Cunningham, stylist for women’s workwear brand M.M.LaFleur shares about turtlenecks: “There are no rules. it's all about your preference.” Still, if you find yourself constantly hunting for the perfect turtleneck, or you have no idea where to start when it comes to styling them, it’s helpful to narrow down the options.
Below are the best turtlenecks on the market, plus some helpful advice from Cunningham about exactly how to use them within your already-existing wardrobe.
Best Overall: J.Crew Tissue Turtleneck
J.Crew’s Tissue Turtleneck is available in sizes 00 to 24, 19 different colors, and is less than $40. Not only that, but the top has a pretty solid amount of positive reviews, as well. One happy customer said in their review that they purchased nine of these tops to round out their winter wardrobe. Many customers note the turtleneck’s lightweight, layerable nature as a major plus. Plus, the size and color range (and the fact that it's machine washable) are major bonuses as well.
Material: 100% organic cotton | Size Range: XXS-3X | Care: Machine wash
Best Budget: Old Navy Ribbed Knit Turtleneck
At under $25, it’s hard to find a more reliable, versatile turtleneck than Old Navy’s ribbed-knit turtleneck. It provides warmth without being bulky, and the ribbed material means that it camouflages things like bra straps that sometimes show through in a thinner turtleneck. Available in 11 colors, the turtleneck could easily be a way to invest in 3-5 layering pieces to last you all season long—without breaking the bank.
Material: 7% cotton, 38% polyester, 5% spandex | Size Range: XXS-XXL (regular, tall, petite) | Care: Machine wash cold, gentle cycle; lay flat to dry
Best Thermal: Uniqlo HeatTech Turtleneck T-shirt
Uniqlo’s HeatTech turtleneck is an excellent option if you’re searching for a way to stay as warm as possible under a winter coat or hiking jacket. Plus, thanks to its approachable price point, you can add several colors to your cart while staying within budget.
Material: 38% polyester, 31% acrylic, 21% rayon, 10% spandex | Size Range: XXS-XXL | Care: Machine wash cold, gentle cycle
What Our Editors Say
"Once the temperatures dip below freezing, I reach for my HeatTech turtleneck automatically—it's basically a second skin at this point. I plan to get more this season in a few different colors, so I can cover all my bases." —Erika Reals, Associate Fashion Editor, Commerce
Best Ribbed: Madewell Ribbed Turtleneck Top
Madewell’s Ribbed Turtleneck Top is one of the brand’s best sellers for a reason. The top has a lightweight, super soft-to-the-touch feel and comes in a ribbed fabric that provides just enough texture to make it more interesting than your average T-shirt.
Material: 70% polyester, 25% viscose, 5% elastane | Size Range: XXS-XXL | Care: Machine wash; tumble dry
Best Bodysuit: Spanx Suit Yourself Turtleneck Bodysuit
No one does body-hugging, comfortable pieces quite like Spanx, which is why the brand’s turtleneck bodysuit is the best of the best. Complete with a thong button (no panty lines necessary), this top would look great tucked into a pair of jeans or work pants. It’s also available in four different colors, so if it works for you, you can purchase more than one and get twice as many looks out of it.
Material: 77% polyester, 23% elastane; Gusset: 100% cotton | Size Range: XS-3X | Care: Machine wash cold with like colors; tumble dry low
Best on Amazon: ANRABESS Asymmetrical Pull Over Turtleneck Sweater
This oversized turtleneck sweater has more than 17,000 reviews on Amazon, the vast majority of which are positive. One reviewer even noted that it was “cozier than cashmere.” Though the size range could certainly be more inclusive, the oversized nature of the sweater makes it more versatile than you might think.
Material: 50% viscose, 30% nylon, 20% PBT | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Hand washing recommended; steam iron
Best Short Sleeve: Lauren Ralph Lauren Elbow-Sleeve Turtleneck
Turtlenecks with shorter sleeves are hard to find, but this Lauren Ralph Lauren’s popularity proves that it’s worth considering for your wardrobe. Complete with a decent amount of stretch for ultimate comfort, this elbow-sleeve turtleneck would be great for more mild winter temperatures.
Material: Viscose/elastane | Size Range: XXS-XXL | Care: Machine wash
Best Lightweight: Lands' End Lightweight Fitted Turtleneck
For a classic, comfortable, and lightweight turtleneck, Lands End’s fitted turtleneck has it all. Whether you want to layer it under a thick shacket or you’re hoping to sport it for a camping trip, the turtleneck provides warmth and stretch while still looking great. It also comes in 19 colors.
Material: 56% cotton, 38% rayon, 6% spandex | Size Range: XS-XL (regular, petite, tall) | Care: Machine wash
Best Sleeveless: Everlane Sleeveless Turtleneck Vest
For a truly versatile turtleneck, a sleeveless style will give you the most bang for your buck. It’s cool enough to wear throughout the year and lightweight enough to layer over long-sleeved blouses in the spring and fall, but substantial enough to layer under chunkier sweaters when it’s colder outside. The relaxed style also means that you can easily French-tuck into high-waisted jeans or work pants.
Material: 100% organic cotton | Size Range: XXS -XL | Care: Machine wash cold; tumble dry low
Best Sweater: M.M.LaFleur The Lea Sweater
Everyone needs a big, cozy, oversized turtleneck sweater in their closet for chilly autumn and winter weather. This 100-percent cashmere option from M.M.LaFleur feels sophisticated while still being comfortable enough to take a nap in. Plus, cashmere is always a good idea.
Material: 100% cashmere | Size Range: XS-XXL | Care: Hand wash with the Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo or dry clean
Best for Date Night: Anthropologie Turtleneck Cut Out Set
This tank and turtleneck shrug set is a sexy twist on a traditional turtleneck. Whether worn with jeans or a leather skirt, the peek-a-boo nature of the top makes it both surprising and versatile. (Too warm? Just take the shrug off!)
Material: 88% polyester, 12% nylon | Size Range: XS-3X (standard, petite) | Care: Hand wash
Best Crop Top: Reformation Cropped Cashmere Turtle
A cozy cashmere cropped turtleneck can be a wardrobe investment that looks just as good in the office as it does to after-work drinks or out on a date. This one comes in four on-trend colors and looks put together while still having a slouchy, casual feel as well.
Material: 70% recycled cashmere, 30% cashmere | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Dry clean only
Best Active: Athleta Foresthill Merino Wool Ascent Turtleneck
Finally, a turtleneck that works as hard as you do. This merino wool top from Athleta looks like a standard, cute turtleneck, but it has so many more features that make it particularly great for hiking or walking, including chafe-free seamless, stretchy merino wool and thumbholes to keep the sleeves taut or your hands warm.
Material: Wool/nylon | Size Range: XXS-2X | Care: Machine wash; lay flat to dry
Best Everyday: Universal Standard Renee Ragland Turtleneck
Everyone needs a comfortable, everyday turtleneck that they can throw on without thinking about what they’re going to pair it with or if it’ll be warm enough. The Renee Ragland Turtleneck from Universal Standard isn’t too thick, too thin, too casual, too stuffy, or too sexy. It’s the perfect balance of everything, making it an excellent everyday turtleneck (plus, it’s available from size 00 to size 40).
Material: 20% recycled cotton, 35% cotton, 45% recycled polyester | Size Range: 4XS-4XL | Care: Hand wash cold; lay flat to dry or dry clean
What to Look for When Buying a Turtleneck
If you’re still confused as to what turtleneck or turtlenecks are right for you, think about your lifestyle. If you never, ever find yourself at the dry cleaners or you hate washing things by hand, that will eliminate more than a few for you. If you only have turtlenecks that are work-appropriate but none that make you feel confident or sexy, then start there. As Cunningham says, it’s all about your preferences.
“I tend to aim for slim-fit turtlenecks in neutral colors, which helps with easy layering and color pairings, but oversized turtlenecks, like our Lea sweater, are statement pieces on their own—no extra work needed,” Cunningham suggests.
Another factor to consider is the climate of where you live. A cropped or sleeveless turtleneck might make perfect sense if you live in Florida, but an oversized, cashmere option might be a better investment if you live in the Northeast.
What Are Some Tips on How To Layer Turtlenecks?
So you’ve picked out your favorite turtleneck options to add to your wardrobe. The next step is figuring out how to layer them.
“When layering turtlenecks, I think the fit is extremely important. It's best to layer body-hugging silhouettes versus styles that have volume,” Cunningham says. “As I always say, your wardrobe tells you how it wants to be styled, and with that said, its silhouette will guide you in finding the best pairings.”
In other words, if you opt for thicker, bulkier sweaters, they might be perfectly fine on their own, paired with slim-fitting trousers or mini skirts. If you opt for something more form-fitting, then there’s room to play around with adding a leather jacket, shacket, or another top.
What Goes With Turtlenecks?
The good news is that, according to Cunningham, pretty much anything goes with turtlenecks.
“Turtlenecks are classic wardrobe staples that can be styled in multiple ways,” Cunningham says. “I usually like to play on its elongated details with another elongated style or a statement blazer so its neckline peeks through.”
Why Trust Byrdie
Olivia Muenter is a fashion commerce contributor for Byrdie, and she has been published in Refinery29, Bustle, Fashionista, Glamour, and Woman’s Day, among others. Her search for this piece covered retailers of all types. For criteria, she evaluated customer reviews, return policies, variety of inventory, and user-friendly or inspiring shopping experiences.