1 Piece/3 Ways: Fine-Gauge Turtleneck

February 20th, 2013

The turtleneck is an often overlooked menswear staple. Stereotyped with hockey dads, old english professors, and iconic billionaire computer geniuses, this sweater frequently gets a bad rap.

Also referred to as the roll-neck, polo-neck, or skivvy, the turtleneck has been around for centuries. Originally popularized by athletes and naval officers for it’s durability and warmth, it was eventually embraced by artists, philosophers, and innovators.

When done right, a turtleneck can serve as a stylish and functional layer, and it doesn’t have to look stuffy or old-school. We’ve been wearing them at Articles of Style for years, and we’re happy to see them making a “comeback” in mainstream fashion.

Here, I styled a thin charcoal number for three different occasions.  I hope this inspires some of you to go out and brave the turtle!

     1. Creative Business

    If you work in a creative industry, like fashion, or writing, or fashion writing, a fitted turtleneck with a tailored suit is fair game.

    It looks sharp, sophisticated and it’s a subtle way to stand out from the typical corporate “suits”.

    As Dan has written hundreds of times, simplicity is key in menswear.

    Less is more. Less is more confident.

    A very classic color palette here – navy, grey and brown. Can’t go wrong.

    The suede belt and shoes also help compliment a polished look.

    2. Sharp Casual

    This is my favorite way to dress – kind of casual, kind of dressy…appropriate for just about anything.

    This outfit could work for “business casual”, a dinner date, or just strolling our neighborhood in downtown NYC.

    My looks are usually very simple, and always rooted in menswear classics.

    Barbour jacket, flannel blazer, grey jeans, well-made lace-ups. These are all pieces I’ve had for years, and they’re only getting better with age.

    3. Blacked-Out Prep


    I’m usually not a big fan of wearing black, but Dan is on this “all black everything” kick lately and I have to say, it looks awesome.

    The “quintessential prep” in me tends to shy away from black, but black can be preppy.

    This look, for example, is less “urban streetwear” and more “80’s European playboy”. All I need is a vintage porsche.


    Don’t forget that a turtleneck has a sporty element to it as well.

    It’s all about how you wear it.



    Lastly, when in doubt, you can always go this way with the turtle…just be sure to pack your “slightly darker” black one.

    Thanks for reading.

    Stay Classy,



    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • Marcus Forlan

      Great post to capture the versatility of a turtleneck.

      I used to gravitate towards turtlenecks because I had a think neck relative to my shoulders and they were a great way to hide this imbalance. Useful tip for anyone with such a problem!

      But regardless, I love turtlenecks with suits, sport coats, leather jackets, coats and almost anything you can imagine. They can be dressed up, down or in between depending on what you are wearing them with.

    • Jeff

      A turtleneck is always a great look—and you look especially good in all of the pics.

    • http://www.chapmanbags.com Chapman Bags

      This is a great convo about menswear- I think the issue with turtlenecks is that they can be really bad on the wrong person or with the wrong outfit. They are not exactly universally flattering- slim body type with a jacket and great accessories, yes. Chunky man with less style, an unfortunate no.

    • John

      Everyone is commenting about the belt on look #1, but that awesome briefcase needs some love!

      Look #2 is the best in my opinion, but the barbour is shorter then your suit jacket. Breaking the “rules” a bit here? I like the contrast though!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Agreed on the briefcase. Frank Clegg’s handmade leather products are on another level.

        Who’s rules? Your rules? :)

        • Marcus Forlan

          The same rules you talk about breaking in some of your posts :-).

    • LouCaves

      All great looks. The D-ring belt really caught my eye.

      I used to get t-necks as a teenager for Christmas and hated it! Now it’s a staple in my wardrobe. Go figure. Maturity? :)

      Love Archer’s wardrobe. LOL!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        An acquired taste, maybe.

    • http://undefined khordkutta

      Whoa, that Members Only is ridiculous. Really dig the 1st look as well.

    • Rory

      Killer looks. Love turtlenecks but can’t find any here in Ireland in the past few years. Tempted to look online but not sure what sites to check. Also a bit wary of online buying as I like to try things on first.

    • http://undefined TimL

      Great look.
      I started wearing the heavier gauge tutlenecks under sports coats and suites back in 2001 after seeing George Clooney in Oceans 11. Got alot of nice compliments.
      A very sharp look.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Been in the game for years!

        • http://undefined TimL

          I’ve been dressing in style for years but you guys up the game with all sorts of looks and patterns.

    • Robert

      The D-Ring sueded belt in the first look steals the show IMO. I’ve worn the fine gauge Banana Republic turtleneck for years. It’s a great alternative to the shirt/tie business look. Plus it’s a time saver on those A/W months you may be running a little behind.

    • Archer

      I’m not saying I invented the turtleneck. But I was the first person to realize its potential as a tactical garment.

    • http://www.theseals.com.au Desmond

      The belt in look one is a corker!

      Townsend, do you have your Barbour jacket/s tailored? If so, is it simple for a tailor to work with the waxed cotton?

      I tried on a couple of the classics (Bedale, Beaufort etc) in a store one time and they just looked ridiculously loose fitting on me when zipped up.


      • http://tsbmen.com Townsend

        Hey Desmond,

        I don’t have them tailored, I just find the appropriate size, as Barbours can tend to run a bit big.

        Thanks for reading!

    • Ella

      Tom Cruise? Is that you?

    • http://secondhand-dandy.blogspot.com/ Secondhand Dandy

      There is a popular sentence, that: “There’s no thing more flattering the man than a turtleneck” and photos above are the greatest confirmation of such statement. Impeccable! :D