A turtleneck can be tricky to wear. But the turtleneck can also be super stylish. And, it can be a great way to add warmth for transitional dressing. So, how to wear a turtleneck? And what are the most flattering turtleneck outfits for women over 40?
Below, you will find lots of inspiration for styling your turtleneck in different ways, as well as some of the best turtlenecks to choose now.
What is a turtleneck?
First of all, yes I know it sounds like a silly question, but what exactly is a turtleneck?
Depending on which part of the world you live, you may call it by a different name. Perhaps you grew up calling your turtleneck a polo neck, a roll neck, a skivvy or a mock neck (although a mock neck doesn’t tend to go quite so far up your neck).
Whatever you call it, a turtleneck is generally a sweater, although you’ll also find this neck style on other tops and on dresses, with a high neckline that folds over on itself.
Pros of wearing a turtleneck
A turtleneck tends to be one of those divisive items of clothing that you either love or you hate to wear. But there are plenty of benefits to wearing a turtleneck:
- It can be very flattering if you have a long neck
- The turtleneck can make your bust look bigger
- A high neckline will keep you warm as well as stylish
- It’s a classic style that will never date
- It makes a great layering piece for transitional weather
Patricia (above) wears her turtleneck with similar color jeans.
Check out this similar sweater, jeans, tall boots, top handle bag, gloves, beanie and sunglasses.
Cons of wearing a turtleneck
However, if you do want to add a turtleneck sweater to your outfit, it makes sense to be mindful of any disadvantages too:
- If you have a shorter neck, a turtleneck can draw attention to this
- If you’re large busted, this sweater style can make your chest look even bigger
- You might get too hot if you’re prone to overheating
Famous women who love their turtlenecks
However, despite any “cons”, rules are made to be broken. Just because you are larger busted, it doesn’t mean you can’t look fabulous in a polo neck.
As with all of your outfits, you simply need to consider the balance and silhouette of your whole look. So, you may want to wear wide legged pants or bootcuts, for example, rather than skinny jeans so you don’t look top heavy.
If you do love turtlenecks, or you decide to give them another try after reading this article, you’re in good company.
Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie O, Gwyneth Paltrow, the Duchess of Cambridge, Rita Hayworth, Diana Ross and Twiggy have all been pictured looking incredibly stylish in a turtleneck.
So, what is the best way to wear yours?
Below you’ll find turtleneck outfit ideas to suit you no matter what your style is…
With wide-legged pants
Wide legged pants can look fabulous with a turtleneck.
Vanessa (above) opts for an all red outfit with a pink outfit.
Recreate her look with this similar sweater, jacket, wide leg pants and booties.
Ted Baker London stripe mock neck sweater – Anne Klein crop wide leg pants – Linea Paolo slingback flat – Kate Spade New York tote – ShopSNA trapezoid earrings
Oversized with leggings
If you have a long turtleneck tunic or a turtleneck dress, then this can be a good option to wear with leggings.
Nikki (above) wears her cableknit turtleneck dress with her leggings and chunky boots.
Get her look with this similar sweater, leggings and lace-up boots.
CHARTOU suede moto jacket – Caslon turtleneck tunic sweater – Lyssé high waist suede leggings – P448 high top sneaker – Kate Spade New York tote – ShopSNA trapezoid earrings
With a formal skirt
A turtleneck sweater is a good transitional item for your closet. You can wear your lighter weight skirts with your knitwear.
Katharina (above) wears her black turtleneck, picking up the background color of her skirt.
Check out this similar sweater, printed midi skirt (here is a plain option), tights and pumps.
BP. ribbed turtleneck sweater – Club Monaco metallic midi skirt – Michael Kors ankle strap sandals – COACH foldover crossbody clutch – RIAH Fashion tassel earrings
As an underlayer
Do you have a slipdress in your wardrobe, but tend not to wear it either because of the weather or because you prefer not to show your upper arms? You could wear a turtleneck as an underlayer.
Kim (above) shows how to pattern mix by teaming her square-print top with her animal print dress.
Steal her look with this similar turtleneck top, slip dress (plus size option here), croc embossed boots, clutch and earrings.
FLORIA slim turtleneck top – Chi Chi London colorblock slip dress – Michael Kors ankle strap sandals – COACH foldover crossbody clutch – CEALXHENY acrylic hoop earrings
Also take a look at more ideas for covering your upper arms.
With a long vest
Wearing a long vest over your turtleneck can create a flattering column of color.
This creates long, lean lines and can be effective in making you look taller and slimmer (if you want to).
Mejacal (above) opts for a fur-neck long vest with animal print vests.
Check out this long fur vest that you can wear with this similar sweater dress, vest, knee high boots, earrings, tights and purse.
Bellivera printed trench coat – FLORIA slim turtleneck top – Frye lace-up boots – Topshop croc embossed crossbody bag – Canvas Jewelry multi chain layered necklace – Bony Levy twit hoop earrings
with a blazer
A blazer always looks good with everything, and is a great way to elevate any outfit.
Fonda (above) matches her scarf to her burgundy turtleneck.
Recreate her outfit with this similar turtleneck sweater, blazer, jeans, boots and scarf.
LookbookStore notched lapel blazer – Club Monaco wool sweater – Wit & Wisdom bootcut jeans – Marc Fisher LTD block heel pump – THE MARC JACOBS leather crossbody bag – Sterling Forever hammered pearl drop earrings
With a long, v-shaped necklace
If you’re worried about your neck looking short in a turtleneck, one way to counteract the effect can be a wear a longish, v-shaped necklace over the top. This helps to create the elongating effect that you would usually get from a v-neck top.
Joy (above) looks very elegant in her monochrome outfit with long, tassel necklace.
Check out this similar sweater, tuxedo blazer, pants, pumps, clutch and tassel necklace.
Joules wool blend coat – Herou Women’s pullover turtleneck top – Lulus crop flare faux leather pants – Frye lace-up boots – THE MARC JACOBS leather crossbody bag – Kendra Scott tassel necklace
As a dress
If you like to wear dresses during the cooler months, a turtleneck sweater dress can make sure you stay warm and stylish.
BLANKNYC faux leather moto jacket – Lulus sweater dress – Steve Madden pointed toe boot – COACH leather tote – Vince Camuto geometric hoop earrings
If you like the look of turtlenecks, but you really don’t find them flattering on you, another option could be to opt for the cowl neck, which is similar to a turtleneck, but because it is draped, and lower down on your neckline, it is easier to wear.
Jenny (above) wears a draped turtleneck with her jeans and lace-up boots.
Steal her look with this similar sweater, jeans, boots and crossbody bag.
Wantdo double breasted pea coat – Lulus turtleneck sweater – FRAME crop cigarette jeans – Kate Spade New York tote – Aquatalia pointy toe loafer– Sterling Forever hammered pearl drop earrings
Turtleneck inspiration for you
Take a look below at a turtleneck capsule closet. You can see you could easily swap the tops and bottoms around to create different outfits.
- 13 Ways To Style Winter Sweaters And Fall Sweaters For Women Over 40
- Where To Shop For The Best Cashmere Sweaters
- How To Layer For Transitional Weather
Do you have a turtleneck in your closet? How do you wear yours?
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Feature image by Vanessa
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