Let’s be honest; there’s only one accessory guaranteed to make a turtleneck look cool — and that’s the shoulder holster. From Steve McQueen shrugging on such a holster in Bullitt to Roger Moore upping the fashion factor of his turtleneck in Live and Let Die, there’s just something innately cool about the look.
Unfortunately for us, unless you’re a renegade cop or a superspy, there’s really no reason to slip your arms through a shoulder holster. In fact, you’d probably get into a whole heap of trouble just for trying. Thankfully, then, Gentleman’s Journal has found you four alternative ways to style the classic turtleneck which will make you look almost as cool…
Pair your standard black turtleneck with a grey blazer
The unofficial uniform of spymasters and evil henchmen alike, there’s something to be said for pairing a plain black turtleneck with a textured grey blazer. The monochrome move may seem a little understated, but it’s a colour combination that will work season after season.
For us, nothing beats the John Smedley turtleneck. Speaking of James Bond, Daniel Craig’s take on the spy has been known to slip on Smedley’s knitwear. Pair this with a blazer — either Rubinacci’s unstructured offering or something a little more constructed from Ralph Lauren — and you’ll have a go-to power dressing get-up fit for world domination.
Loro Piana Grey Slim-Fit Cashmere Blazer
John Smedley Merino Wool Sweater
Oliver Spencer Grey Slim-Fit Unstructured Puppytooth Cotton And Virgin Wool-Blend Blazer
Throw on a shearling jacket over a chunky polo neck
Of course, not all turtlenecks are created equal. Some are woven in weightier knits, and require something a little more rough and ready than the blazers above. To this end, there’s nothing better to zip up over your jumper than a shearling jacket. With a statement neck, these bombers will go collar-to-collar with even the chunkiest knit — and look darn handsome doing so.
So, if you’ve opted for something a little denser — such as this Luca Faloni camel coloured cashmere sweater — also ensure you invest in the best shearling jacket you can afford. And, yes, we realise these offerings from Levi’s and Polo Ralph Lauren will stretch those leather-lined pockets a little, but they’ll be upping your turtleneck game for years.
Levi's Shearling-Lined Suede Trucker Jacket
Luca Faloni Camel Beige Pure Cashmere Roll Neck
Polo Ralph Lauren Shearling Trucker Jacket
Make a statement with a bold turtleneck and patterned overcoat
One of our favourite ways to style a turtleneck is to pair a block coloured sweater with a patterned overcoat. It sounds like a simple way to go, but combining colours and patterns to create a signature style is a tricky task. We’d recommend sticking with a classic colour, such as burgundy, and then adding checks.
Incotex should form the foundation of this look, with its mid-weight burgundy polo neck. Then, to add your checked overcoat layer, turn to anything from this smart casual, logo-reversing offering from Gucci, to Dunhill’s smarter Prince of Wales checked coat.
Gucci Reversible Logo-Jacquard Cotton-Blend Canvas And Houndstooth Wool Coat
Incotex Slim-Fit Virgin Wool Rollneck Sweater
Dunhill Prince of Wales Cashmere-Blend Coat
Mix up your blue suit game with a grey turtleneck
For fear of looking too flamboyant, many of us tend to shy away from a bold blue suit. But, as timeless as navy may be, we love a lighter hue — and have cracked how to style it. Do away with your shirts and ties, gents, and pair your blue suit with a simple grey polo neck.
Barena offers a sweater that exudes sophistication, and will create a subtle backdrop to a brighter blue while still letting your suit shine. And really go all out with the suit; from Favourbrook’s linen offering to Berg & Berg’s unstructured option — it’s the epitome of laid-back tailoring.
Favourbrook Navy Slim-Fit Suit
Barena Slim-Fit Colour-Block Virgin Wool Rollneck Sweater
Berg & Berg Navy Dan II Slim-Fit Unstructured Stretch-Cotton Blend Seersucker Suit Jacket
Looking for more seasonal style advice? These are our essential autumn style pieces — and where to buy them…