If you’ve become too comfortable wearing sweatpants and leggings for just about every single daily activity lately, you’re not alone. The coronavirus pandemic seriously affected pretty much everyone’s personal style. After all, when you’re relegated to your home for weeks — OK, months — on end, even the most fashionable of folks can’t help but wonder, What’s the point of getting dressed up?
Many of the items in your closet are probably gathering dust. So instead of reaching for those trusty pj’s yet again, why not dig into that wardrobe and try putting on real clothes? You know, just for fun? A fashion staple we can always rely on and not think about too hard is the black turtleneck. It’s one of those timelessly chic items that requires very little effort to look good. The sleek silhouette is universally flattering, and pairs well with virtually anything in your closet (and we mean anything). And hey, if it’s good enough for Audrey Hepburn, it’s definitely good enough for us.
But if you’re not feeling particularly inspired, it might be tricky to come up with reliable outfit ideas for your favorite black turtleneck. That’s precisely where we come in. You don’t need to overthink it, because we’ve rounded up five of our go-to styling tricks for your dependable top, from classic takes to unexpected twists on current fashion trends. You’re bound to find something that works for the vibe you’re going for among our suggestions. Even if that vibe is just chillin’ at home and ordering takeout.
1. Go for monochromatic.
Dressing in the same hue from head to toe is by far the easiest approach for styling a black turtleneck. An all-black outfit is always stylish, no matter the occasion. Pair your turtleneck with your favorite black bottoms, whether that’s chic cigarette style trousers (aka the Audrey Hepburn way) or looser fit leather joggers, as shown here. You can also opt for a pencil skirt or a pleated skirt for a slightly dressier option. To really top off the monochromatic theme, wear a black motorcycle jacket or a black blazer layered over the turtleneck. Finish with a pair of thigh-high black boots or your go-to black stilettos, and boom you’re ready to conquer the day.
2. Channel the ’90s.
The 1990s are experiencing a major renaissance in the fashion industry right now. All the trends that you likely rocked as a kid or in your teenage years are back in full force. Why not take a stroll down the sartorial memory lane? One way to do this is to wear your black turtleneck with some good vintage denim. You can opt for high-waisted “mom jeans” from a local thrift store (or literally the back of your mom’s closet). Another option is to rock your turtleneck with a pair of denim cutoffs. The more ripped up they are, the better. As for the finishing ‘90s touch, a bandana and a pair of Doc Martens are the only way to go.
3. Raise the hemline.
Who said short skirts are just for the summer? We absolutely reject that notion and adamantly believe they can be worn year-round. As with all things fashion, it just takes a little imagination. For starters, a black turtleneck will instantly give you some much-needed mileage out of those miniskirts. To stay warm even in the coldest winter months, the best styling approach is to wear a pair of super tall boots that will provide ample leg coverage. And if you’re not into bare thighs in the middle of February, that’s totally fine. Just put on a pair of black tights — or even colored tights, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous — and you’ll be all set.
4. Pair with plaid.
When a classic meets a classic, that’s when magic happens. We’ve already established that a black turtleneck is a wardrobe essential that can be worn in a multitude of ways. Similarly, plaid pieces are just as versatile and timeless. Plus, they’re probably not getting as much attention as they deserve these days. Whether you’ve got plaid pants, skirts, jackets, or all of the above in your closet, they are simply waiting to be worn with your favorite black turtleneck. Since plaid is such a busy pattern to begin with, it’s probably best to keep accessories to a minimum.
5. Choose oversize outerwear.
If staying toasty is your top priority, then going oversize with your outerwear is a no-brainer. The thicker the coat, the closer to peak warmth. (That’s how the saying goes, right?) A black turtleneck is practically made for layering underneath your floor-grazing coat, and the combination will undoubtedly keep you warm no matter what the wind chill is outside. Finish the look with your favorite denim or a pair of black trousers, slip on some chic loafers, grab your trusty crossbody bag, and you’re done!