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.
J.Crew Tissue Turtleneck
Who else recommends it? The Strategist also picked the J.Crew Tissue Turtleneck.
J.Crew’s Tissue Turtleneck has a pretty solid amount of positive reviews and is such a well-priced find. 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, layer-able nature as a major plus. Plus, the size and color range (and the fact that it's machine washable) are major bonuses as well.
Price at time of publish: $42.50 in Light Pink
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: XXS-3X | Care: Machine wash
Old Navy Ribbed Knit Turtleneck
It’s hard to find a more reliable, versatile turtleneck than Old Navy’s ribbed-knit turtleneck. For under $25, 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.
Price at time of publish: $22.99
Material: 57% cotton, 38% polyester, 5% spandex | Size Range: XXS-4X, plus petite and tall sizing | Care: Machine wash cold; tumble dry low
Universal Standard Renee Raglan 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).
Price at time of publish: $88
Material: 20% recycled cotton, 35% cotton, 45% recycled polyester | Size Range: 4XS-4XL | Care: Hand wash cold; lay flat to dry or dry clean
FRAME Cable-Knit Merino Wool Turtleneck Vest
This turtleneck from FRAME might seem expensive, but it's truly versatile and a good value, given that it can be worn on its own in spring and fall, as well as in winter with long-sleeved blouses. The relaxed style also means that you can easily French-tuck into high-waisted jeans or work pants.
Price at time of publish: $400
Material: 100% extra fine merino wool | Size Range: XS -L | Care: Dry clean
Uniqlo HeatTech Cotton Turtleneck Long-Sleeve 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.
Price at time of publish: $19.90
Material: 39% polyester, 32% acrylic, 21% rayon, 8% spandex | Size Range: XS-3XL | 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 for Layering
Cortana Cisne Silk-Tulle Turtleneck Top
The main incentive of layering a turtleneck doesn't have to be warmth. Cortana's Cisne top is made from sheer silk-tulle for a close fit and has unfinished edges and a classic turtleneck. It teams well with a bralette or camisole for a more sultry take.
Price at time of publish: $230
Material: 100% silk | Size Range: FR36-44 | Care: Hand wash
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.
Price at time of publish: $45
Material: 70% polyester, 25% viscose, 5% elastane | Size Range: XXS-XXL | Care: Machine wash; tumble dry
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.
Price at time of publish: $88
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.
Price at time of publish: $40.99 in Caramel
Material: 50% viscose, 30% nylon, 20% polyester | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Hand wash only
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.
Price at time of publish: $69.50
Material: Viscose/elastane | Size Range: XXS-XXL | Care: Machine wash
Lands' End Lightweight Fitted Turtleneck
For a classic, comfortable, and lightweight turtleneck, there's Lands End’s fitted turtleneck. 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 over 30 colors and patterns.
Price at time of publish: $19.97 in Rich Burgundy
Material: 56% cotton, 38% rayon, 6% spandex | Size Range: XS-XL, plus petite and tall sizing | Care: Machine wash
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.
Price at time of publish: $525
Material: 100% cashmere | Size Range: XS-XXL | Care: Hand wash or dry clean
Best with Cutouts
Reformation Zaire Knit Top
This 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.
Price at time of publish: $98
Material: 88% Tencel lyocell, 12% spandex | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Hand wash; dry flat
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 looks put together while still having a slouchy, casual feel as well.
Price at time of publish: $148 in Cocoa
Material: 70% recycled cashmere, 25% cashmere, 5% wool or 70% recycled cashmere, 30% cashmere or 90% recycled cashmere, 10% cashmere | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Dry clean or hand wash
Athleta Foresthill Merino Wool Ascent Turtleneck
This fitted merino wool top from Athleta looks like a standard, cute turtleneck but is perfect for layering under a vest or jacket, thanks to its seamless design, lightweight merino wool composition, and thumbholes that keep the sleeves taut.
Price at time of publish: $79 in Dark Blue Sardina
Material: Wool, nylon | Size Range: XXS-2X | Care: Machine wash; lay flat to dry
What to Look for When Buying a Turtleneck
If you’re still confused as to which 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.
The turtleneck style can be worn in most seasons, depending on the fabric. Wool and cashmere, for example, offer warmth for the winter months, while cotton styles are more versatile as they can be worn on their own in mild weather or layered under thick (perhaps itchy) sweaters to keep you cozy in cold climates.
The fabric composition also comes into play for fit. Those with a percentage of spandex are generally meant to fit close to the body (they'll most often contain synthetic materials, too, like viscose).
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.”
Should a turtleneck be loose or tight?
A turtleneck can be loose or tight depending on how you want to wear it. To wear it on its own, it can be loose, whereas more narrow silhouettes that cling to the body look great under blazers, vests, and shackets.
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.
Meet the Expert
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any turtlenecks from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will evaluate the product ASAP.
What’s the Best Black Turtleneck? The Strategist. https://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-black-turtlenecks-for-women.html