Turtlenecks can make you stand out in the best ways

Turtlenecks can make you stand out in the best ways

Q. Are turtlenecks in any way in style? I like the warmth they provide my neck (and a bit of wrinkles’ coverage). But I don’t want my clothes to be another thing accenting my age. 

A. You certainly do not need to worry that turtlenecks are out of style or are only worn by older men. Since turtlenecks appear in the current L.L. Bean and Lands’ End catalogs and online from many different brands in all price ranges, I can assure you that this classic item has not disappeared from a well-dressed man’s casual wardrobe.

Turtlenecks are a great addition to any man’s choice of casual clothes. They have a relaxed yet sophisticated look that makes them suitable for both informal and somewhat dressier settings. They’re especially great for cold weather wear. Whether you’re looking for a lightweight knit to wear alone or to layer under a jacket, or for a much heavier style to wear in really cold weather, you can be sure you’ll find something you’ll like.

Manufacturers feature a huge variety of solid colors (from classic neutrals to bold shades), patterns (from stripes to busy geometrics), and fibers (from all weights of cotton to wool and cashmere). Your biggest problem may be narrowing down your preferences to only a few.

Some of their advantages, besides covering up those few wrinkles you mentioned, is how truly comfortable the fabrics are. Many are made of the softest and finest cotton jersey knit that’s highly resistant to staining, wrinkling, pilling, and shrinking. Alternatively, you’ll find luxurious turtlenecks made of 100% wool or cashmere, making them ideal for chilly conditions, and not too heavy to wear with fine dress trousers (as well as with chinos and jeans).     

While turtlenecks are somewhat more popular in knit Tee-shirt weights than in heavier sweaters, both are widely available. The style works nicely when worn as a top alone, when layered under a casual crewneck sweater, or under a dressier sport jacket or blazer. The dressiest ways to wear a turtleneck are with a sports jacket, a blazer, or a rather informal wool tweed suit. Turtlenecks coordinate with many items that are already in your closet and will serve you well for many years.

As to your comment about clothes that accent an older man’s age, keep in mind that loud colors and flashy looks can make him look foolish. Trying too hard to look younger suggests a lack of good judgement. Choosing classic, tasteful combinations reflects well on you, not as “old,” but as an “adult.”  

I can think of few combinations that look better on a man than a lightweight turtleneck in a pastel-colored knit worn with a blue blazer and well-cut gray dress trousers. Another smart choice is a heavier-weight bold royal blue or bright red turtleneck sweater topping a neat pair of khakis or jeans. These are styles that will make you stand out in the best ways – looking your best and different from others – and will remain age-appropriate (or just-under-your-actual-age appropriate!) for all to see. 

Please send your men’s dress and grooming questions and comments to MALE CALL: Lois.Fenton@prodigy.net

Categories: Male Call