What is the winter version of the essential basic T-shirt? The classic turtleneck top. For those who live in a city that endures a cold winter or at least a chill in the air (looking at you, Los Angeles!), a turtleneck is arguably just as important as a plain white tee or tank. It’s a wardrobe foundation, and it’s just as functional as it is chic—whether worn alone or layered. Pair it with anything, like under a cardigan, a sweater, or a sleeveless dress, for a stylishly warm, layered look. It will also always look polished under a blazer or simply tucked into a pleated trouser. Elegant Dark Blue Ruffle Dress For the ultimate lesson in layering, just look at Prada’s fall 2021 collection, where printed and colored turtlenecks were used as a base layer, revealed only by scrunched sweater and coat sleeves.
For those who avoid it, let it be known that not all turtlenecks were created equal. There are plenty of options that aren’t too tight, or even worse, itchy or scratchy. Investing in a classic white and/or black style is a safe bet, as, trust me, you’ll be relying on these all season. Sweet Yellow Ruffle Dress But really, any neutral hue will do—heather gray or a muted brown—depending on the aesthetic and color palette of your closet. And for those who lean maximalist and would appreciate a turtleneck in a bright pop of color or a print, you’re in luck too. There are embellished turtlenecks from Dries Van Noten and vibrant yellow cutout knits from Prada, straight off the runway. Summer Pink Plaid Ruffle Dress While those who like to stick to monochrome colors might consider adding a little depth via a black-and-white pattern or textured top.
Here, a few options that range from essential to stylish to stylishly essential.