Our Favorite Nineties Throwback: The Turtleneck

The seasonal trend for turtlenecks hasn’t gone unnoticed at Sloanie HQ, and there’s no better time than January (especially if you’re in a colder climate like London or New York) to be snuggling into something fitted and ribbed, a chunky knit, or – our favorite – a lovely bit of cashmere. Are you ready to meet our favorite 90’s fashion throwback…?

But turtlenecks used to be a bit of a fashion faux pas, right? Weren’t they once the reserve of elderly prepsters and middle-aged, golf-playing dads? Correct. But then again, style icon Princess Diana owned the whole turtleneck look, and Kate Middleton has been snapped numerous times sporting a chic turtle under her skirt suits on formal occasions. So there are turtlenecks and there are turtlenecks, so to speak. And since designers the world over have caught onto the wearability and versatility of a good turtleneck, we’re reclaiming the turtleneck officially as a fashion item. Hurrah!


Blogger, Jacey, from Damsel in Dior gives her classic turtleneck a bit of a menswear touch

Turtlenecks are super flattering, too. Elongating the neck whilst slimming the jawline and – if you choose a slouchy look – disguising any evidence of festive overindulgence in one. With a cosy high neck they eliminate the need to layer with scarves, thus reducing extra bulk on the silhouette. What’s not to love? Check out our six ways to style a turtleneck. Extra Brit points go to those who call it a ‘polo neck’…

1. Transition Turtle


Pick a lightweight ribbed or cashmere turtleneck for wearing under a sleeveless dress for a chic look that works day-to-night. Pick a fabric that sits closer to the skin than your dress, and wear a block colour. With a lot covered up top, you can afford to bare the legs if the weather allows it. If not, tights and boots will also look fab.

2. Chunky Turtle


Choose comfy Arran or Fairisle knit for a cute ‘Sloanie goes to Scotland’ look. Pair with boyfriend jeans for a relaxed and stylish finish. Step into heels for an instant night-time upgrade, or just knock about in your sneakers by day.  Blogger, Anna, from See Jane (above) pairs her chunky cream turtleneck with a statement plaid jacket, and a pair of trusty Sorrels.  A look that is not only practical for the winter elements, but also comes off extremely polished.

3. Under Turtle

Don’t pile away all your summery shirts just yet – they might just come in useful. A thin and close-fitting turtleneck under a light denim shirt is an instant winter upgrade that keeps you warm without adding bulk. Also looks Burberry-stylish under a trench coat.

4. Oversize Turtle


British models and socialites Alexa Chung and Poppy Delevingne wear their turtlenecks oversized and mid-thigh length, always with leggings or skinny jeans. Throw on some big statement jewellery to add some interest to the look, and step out in brogues for an ensemble that’ll pass the King’s Road test every time.  Blogger, Emilee Anne (above) pairs her oversized turtle with feminine touches like a lacy skirt, and a classic black hairbow

5. Cropped Turtle


A more daring look that’s been made infamous by pop princess Miley Cyrus, the cropped and sleeveless turtle can be edgy and punky with skinnes and a moto jacket, or a bit retro rockabilly when paired with a print skirt and cardi. Aim for just a sliver of tum on show. Let’s keep it classy, ladies.  Blogger, Sarah Tucker (above) pairs her cropped turtle with a pair of printed palazzo pants.  A chic look that has just enough edge to it.

6. Mini Turtle


Made in Chelsea’s fashion blogger and model Millie Mackintosh (seen above) rocks the black turtle and tartan mini skirt look. A bit retro and a bit seventies glam, this looks cute with black tights, boots and smoky eyes. A textured skirt in fabrics like tartan, boucle or leather will add depth to a simple black turtle. and all that coverage up top lets you get away with showing off those pins.

image sources: top street style /  damsel in dior / tulle skirt /  see jane / emilee annesarah tucker / millie mackintosh