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While turtlenecks have surged in and out of the fashion mainstream, they’ve always had a firm place in fashion history. Marilyn Monroe herself wore turtlenecks in the 1950s and made the world sigh.

There have been times when the humble turtleneck has been considered a little nerdy or too covered-up (‘00 get out of here!). However, it’s back, baby, and we’re celebrating the best turtleneck looks from the 1980s and today. 


Brooke Shields in Preppy Layered Style

Preppy, country-chic! Brooke wears a creamy turtleneck layered with a plaid jacket and houndstooth coat, with dark blue jeans and a tan leather belt. This look screams of wealthy women out on the ranch with the horses, darling. Pair with tan leather riding boots. 

Julia Roberts in Ripped Blue Jeans and a Blazer 

Oh, Julia! Check out the fusion of rugged, ripped denim with a smart blazer and knit turtleneck. As if this weren’t enough, we’ve got western cowboy boots to polish it off. You could swap the boots for heels or brogues for work if the cowboy boot hasn’t quite made its way back into your wardrobe. 

Rob Lowe in Brown Leather and Blue Jeans

Rob Lowe went for a more of a mock-neck in the 80s, layered with a brown leather jacket, blue jeans, and a silver pendant necklace. Note the popped jacket collar and tucked-in turtleneck. Refine the look with a more streamlined jacket…but keep the smoulder and the lush hair. 

Short-sleeved Turtleneck with Embellished Maxi Skirt

A fitted, short-sleeved turtleneck worn with a glitzy skirt and heels brings an “I’m casual but I can appreciate a glitter moment” attitude. You could even swap the skirt for a pair of silk, wide-leg pants. As Claire Danes demonstrated in the 90s, “out-out” clothes can absolutely include a knit sweater. 

A Neutral Midi-Skirt and Sneakers 

Picture, a humble midi skirt in a body-hugging knit, with a thigh slit and high waistband. Layer it over a simple, slightly roomy turtleneck and blouson it over the skirt’s waistband. Perfect. Now add a pair of chunky sneakers with white socks. When heading out, a leather jacket wouldn’t go astray. 

Layered Under a Black Jumpsuit 

Oh, the jumpsuit. How we love you. Pick a plunging jumpsuit with a high waist seam and wide legs. Layer with a contrast-tone turtleneck and your Fall/Autumn outfit is done. Overalls would work just as well here! 

High-Waisted, Pleated-Front Slacks and Cozy Textures 

If you’re feeling a “fancy woman searching the galleries for that next feature piece” vibe, try this. High-waisted slacks with a pleated front and leather belt, preferably in beige or tan hues. Add a soft-touch cashmere turtleneck, leather brogues, and a leather handbag over one shoulder. Chilly? Add a tweed blazer or tan trench. 

A Mini-Skirt, Trench, and Knee-High Boots 

A Rachel from ‘Friends’ moment, right here! An A-line skirt with bare legs and knee-high boots. A black, cropped turtleneck, classic taupe trench, and layered necklaces…French-chic. This is a multi-seasonal look as you can add thick stockings and a merino bodysuit for extra warmth. 

Layered With A Simple Slip Dress 

The slip dress has burst back onto the scene, layering perfectly over rib-knit turtlenecks for Fall/Autumn or Spring casual wear. Wear with chucks or chunky sneakers for no-care strolling, or heeled boots to take the styling up a few notches. 

A Blazer Dress with Statement Stockings and White Ankle Boots

A turtleneck can be a supporting artist to the lead star, in this case, a tweed blazer dress. Layer a neutral turtleneck in a light knit with a statement, structured dress with a low neckline and high hemline. Pair with statement tights and a cute little pair of boots (or a badass pair of chunky lace-ups). 

Layered with a slouchy suit 

Take a bright, candy-colored turtleneck sweater and layer with a slouchy, bold-shouldered suit jacket. If you’ve got the goods, add matching suit trousers in a loose, roomy fit. Or, go for the eclectic look with pants in a contrasting pattern. Go 00s like Hailey and add pointy-toe heels. 

Leather pants, leopard print, and red lips 

Playing with prints and textures makes fashion fun, like a long leopard jacket and slinky leather pants. Pick a chunky cable-knit turtleneck to add to the texture party, and polish off the look with statement heels and a little gold in the ears. 

Creamy neutrals and silky texture 

The silky, bias-cut midi skirt has become a fashion staple in recent years, and we hope it never leaves. Juxtapose a chunky, slouchy turtleneck with a dainty, silky slip skirt. Pair with chic, pointy-toe mules, or even trainers for a casual-smart-casual fashion sandwich. 

Boyish denim shorts, a bold blazer, white shirt, and statement boots 

A turtleneck makes for a perfect layering piece, adding warmth and coverage where it’s needed most. Layer it with mid-length denim shorts, a white linen shirt, and statement blazer. Add eye-catching footwear and a contrasting handbag. Creative styling at its best. 

Sheer fabrics, monochrome, wide-leg trousers, and layered gold 

Not all turtlenecks are opaque and chunky, not at all. Some are sheer, fitted, and slinky. Layer a jewel-tone turtleneck with high-waisted, wide-leg trousers, shiny gold jewelry, and chic heels. 

About The Author

May is totally crazy about the 80s and everything the decade inspired! Having grown up in a household that was totally taken over by 80s music and fashion its only natural that May lives and breathes the 80s!

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