4 *New* Ways to Wear Your Old Turtlenecks

I’d be careful what I said about a piece of clothing that could choke you at any minute if I were you, but I get it: turtlenecks get boring really quickly in the winter. What starts out with such fresh styling promise (I am excited to wear a turtleneck come fall) quickly becomes snooze-y and repetitive. By March I don’t want to see another turtleneck so long as I live, but it’s still cold in March so my wardrobe and I remain beholden.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s how we’re not going to get sick of our turtlenecks this winter.

Remember that it’s summer somewhere


 Lisa Marie Fernandez bathing suit top over J.Crew turtleneck, H&M hoop earrings, Freda Banana sunglasses

Turns out that white turtlenecks look great under those off-the-shoulder tops you bought back in June, July and August. Add your brightest pair of sunglasses for any/all outdoor commutes and indoor photoshoots, then throw gold on your lobes for a red carpet party.

Turn your turtleneck into polo-neck 

J.Crew turtleneck, Hermès scarf, Emily Luciano x Bonlook glasses, H&M earrings

This is confusing not in execution, but because turtlenecks are called polo-necks in some parts of the world. Take a pair of scissors to the front and center of an old turtleneck that’s starting to sag. Make one slice that ends at your throat. (You can’t really mess this up. Just don’t go too deep; we’re not making V-necks here.) Let the two halves fold over like a polo and wrap a scarf around your neck, quick!, so that you don’t get cold. Eyeglasses and earrings optional — but in the way that French fries are, you know?

Put more pins on your turtleneck than a punk-rock backpack

Ulla Johnson one-shoulder top over J.Crew turtleneckGeorgia Perry and Marc Jacobs pins, Roxanne Assoulin and H&M earrings

Find a handful of pins you love and scatter them all over the front of your turtleneck. Throw a going-out top on over it for extra layers and interest.

Two important tips: 1) this can be kind of prickly, so wear a lightweight turtleneck underneath the one you pin to protect your skin. If that sounds too hot for your armpits incorporated, cut the neck off an old turtleneck and just wear that as a layer. 2) The weight of the pins will pull the turtleneck down, which drives me crazy. You might need to safety pin or clip the back to keep it up. Or, use a big brooch back there to tighten and pin the excess fabric. Like the polo neck, you can’t mess this up but you may have to fuss with it a bit.

Make it about the sleeves

J.Crew knit turtleneck over Monographie pleated sleeve shirt, Cult Gaia flower crown as choker

J.Crew knit turtleneck over Monographie pleated-sleeve shirt, Cult Gaia flower crown as choker

Find a fan-sleeved shirt on sale (there are so many) and wear it underneath a slightly larger turtleneck. Scrunch the turtleneck sleeves up and let the fans underneath spread their wings. I put a flower crown on our model Sydney’s neck because they got a bad rep after their Coachella proliferation and I believe they deserve a second chance.

Just like your old but no longer boring turtlenecks.

Modeled by Sydney Walsh; follow her on Instagram @sydwilkenwalsh. Styled by Amelia Diamond. Photos by Krista Anna Lewis.

You know who loves turtlenecks? Diane Keaton. Remember that time Haley tried to dress like her?

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  • Hilary

    AHHH YESSS! Perfect timing. The polo neck hack is everything I need – some of my old tissue turtlenecks are having a real sad sag party and I was trying to figure out what to do with them. THANK YOU!

  • the polo neck hack is MY FAVORITE THING EVER. You could even take it up a notch by adding some frill/lace stuff along the collar!! OMG doing it.

    • Amelia Diamond

      definitely! a savvy sewer would add a cool hem on the raw edge! show me if you end up doing that!

  • Robin

    optional in the way that french fries are — amelia, you feel me on a whole different level

    • Amelia Diamond


  • BK

    Neck flower crown is novel

    • Amelia Diamond

      this flower crown business is going to be a group effort and i really need everyone on board so thank you for your support bk!

  • Didi Ramirez

    Long live the power of the turtleneck!!!

    The ones in the photos are wonderful but my absolute fave is a turtleneck that happens to have an embellished neck (or a black turtleneck paired with a rhinestone choker.) like Rihanna’s when she pranked Jimmy Kimmel.

    A simple look but incredibly elegant.


    • Amelia Diamond

      “this is my casual pranking turtleneck!”

  • Emma

    Uggggh SAME with being bored with myself for wearing polos all.the.time. I also got a tip: put an ice-hockye shirt over your polo! looks nice, feels nice bc you get even warmer and you can do really nice colour combinations:)

  • Just admit it: nr. 3 is supposed to make turtlenecks grate again. 🙂 (OK so much about me being me, now to something completely different:)
    That flower crown! Wow.

  • I love the red one.