Top Photo Credit: John Morgan
In a way, Turtlenecks are a lot like suit jackets or blazers. It’s key that YOU are wearing the turtleneck, and the turtleneck is not wearing you. Slim and trim merino or cashmere always trumps bulky cotton, with one exception (more on that in a sec), but like suits and blazers, lots of guys shy away from the turtleneck for fear they’ll look like they’re getting swallowed.
Are they for everyone? Not at all. But they’re another option for plenty of us who are plowing through a bitter cold winter and want something warm and cleaner looking than the ol’ college hoodie. Ten options follow. Feel free to add your take on the turtleneck in general in the comments.
J. Crew Cashmere Turtleneck – $77.99 w/ GET40 ($245)
Spendy, but less so when you think about it’s retail price, the decent rep J. Crew Cashmere has… and the fact that it is, in fact, cashmere. Navy is in stock now but the heathered toffee version won’t ship til march. (need a smaller size and have a ton of cash? Club Monaco has a cashmere version as well… for $179. Might want to wait for an extra 30% off code there.)
Looks like it’s just the trim that’s ribbed on this one, and even there it’s a pretty small gauge. Fabric isn’t going to be the thickest. Sizing might run a bit on the traditional side, so consider sizing down if you’re inbetween. Great news is that since it’s Nordstrom, it ships and returns free. Sizes are a bit limited (no smalls). Available in black and “bark.”
Lands’ End Merino Turtleneck – $55.50 w/ OUTSIDE & 5311
Another good, not too light/not too heavy turtleneck. The ribbed collar helps the thing from looking like it’ll float away. Not from the Canvas side, so sizing might lean towards generous. OUTSIDE and 5311 gets you 25% off plus free shipping at $50, so it ships free.
Part of their winter sale. Big brother to Zara. 98% wool and 2% elastane. Ships and returns free. No smalls or mediums left, but for those who are on the fence between M & L, a large might be worth a shot since the brand fits slim.
Tri blend = Poly, Cotton, and Rayon. So no wool, but instead leans poly-blend t-shirt like in fabric. Meanwhile, American Apparel models. What the hell.
Uniqlo Cashmere Turtlneck – $49.90 ($99.90)
Toscano Merino Wool Turtleneck – $59.96 w/ ALSTART3 ($74.95)
After 100 reviews, these things are still 4.5/5 stars. Some reviews say they fit a little trim (which, that’s a good sign). Merino wool from the Zegna Baruffa-Lane Borgosesia mill in Italy. Code ALSTART3 takes 20% off. Meanwhile, ALJAN3 takes 25% off $125+ and 30% off $200+.
The worth a look resource: Check your local Army / Navy surplus store.
Most Army/Navy stores seem to have at least one or two options. After all.. they are awfully tactical looking.
The Splurge: Billy Reid Cable Cashmere Turtleneck – $157.98 ($395)
The cable knit doesn’t get too wide, so it still looks decently sleek. All cashmere from the well respected American designer. Has that heritage look to it. One of those things that if you ever stumbled across something similar in a thrift shop you’d wet your drawers.
The Exception: Orvis Made in the USA Cotton Submariner’s Sweater – $98.00
And here’s the exception to the slim & trim rule. As classic as it gets. Hemingway and Cousteau would be proud. Shaker rib knit. Somehow made here in the States. Specifically, knitted in Fall River Massachusetts. Orivs stuff can run big, so be warned.
Are you game to channel your inner Steve McQueen? Or do you think the turtleneck rebound is just a bunch of 70’s throwback bunk? Leave it all in the comments. Oh. And, yes Skyler and John, Archer would be proud: