Which black turtleneck is best?

If you’re shopping for cold weather essentials, make sure a black turtleneck is at the top of your list. Considering it’s a timeless style — and one that lends itself to accessorizing — it’s easily one of the most versatile tops you’ll buy.

A black turtleneck is instantly recognizable, no matter the cut, fit, sleeve length or neck style. If you’re looking for a classic design that coordinates with virtually every bottom, Lauren Ralph Lauren Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy a black turtleneck

Types of black turtlenecks

The classic black turtleneck is a fitted style that features a fold-over neck and long sleeves. That’s far from the only turtleneck style, though. 

Sleeveless black turtlenecks are popular base layers for cardigans and suit blazers, and they’re often paired with skirts or dress pants. Mock turtlenecks have a pared-down neck that many wearers find more comfortable than flip-over necks. Chunky black turtleneck sweaters have cozy-casual looks that are frequently styled with jeans and leggings.

How to style black turtlenecks

Black turtlenecks are simple, versatile tops that lend themselves to plenty of styling. While you can don a black turtleneck on its own in a sleek, minimalist look, there are a few accessories worth trying.

  • Long necklaces, such as a pearl strand or statement pendant, add balance and symmetry to turtlenecks.
  • Belts emphasize the natural waistline on black turtlenecks and create a flattering silhouette. 
  • Cardigans are ideal shell layers over thin, form-fitting black turtlenecks.
  • Brooches add a sparkly, sophisticated touch to fold-over black turtlenecks. 
  • Chunky black cardigans coordinate well with leggings that feature bold prints or colors.

What to look for in a quality black turtleneck

Materials

Considering there are countless styles of black turtlenecks, it’s no surprise that you’ll find them in many natural, synthetic and blended materials, as well. 

The most popular natural materials include wool, cashmere and cotton.

Wool is breathable and keeps wearers warm and dry, not to mention it’s naturally wrinkle-resistant. Cashmere is an ultra-soft, lightweight material that is gentle enough for sensitive skin. Cotton is soft and breathable, and it’s available in light, medium and heavyweight styles.

Some of the most common synthetic materials for turtlenecks are acrylic and polyester. Acrylic is a soft, lightweight fabric that holds in body heat. Polyester is durable and resilient against heavy wear and tear, including frequent washing. Both of these materials come in various weights and knits, some of which may feel like wool or cashmere. 

Acrylic and polyester are often blended with stretch materials, like Spandex and Lycra, to make them more flexible. Stretch materials also help maintain a garment’s shape instead of getting warped or overstretched, which happens with many natural materials. 

Neck style

Black turtlenecks either have fold-over necks or mock turtlenecks. Fold-over styles, including those that hug the neck, are the warmer option, given the double layer of fabric. While they’re typically worn folded, some people prefer wearing their turtlenecks with a “scrunched” look that resembles ruching. 

Mock turtlenecks, as their name implies, are just as high as fold-over styles — only they don’t fold over. Some wearers feel they’re more comfortable, not to mention they’re less likely to feel overheated in them. 

Sleeve style

Sleeve style and length vary considerably among black turtlenecks. Besides long sleeves, many turtlenecks feature three-quarter, elbow-length or short sleeves. There are several styles that are sleeveless or have cap sleeves. As far as sleeve style is concerned, you’ll find a broad range of fitted, puff, dolman, bell, cold shoulder and bishop sleeves in contemporary black turtlenecks. 

Hemline

Like sleeves, hemlines are where many turtleneck styles differ. Traditional styles, for example, are cut at the hips and graze pants or jeans. Longer black turtlenecks have hemlines that fall anywhere between the lower hips to the mid-thigh area. There are a few cropped turtleneck styles, often knitted varieties, that are cut above the natural waistline. 

How much you can expect to spend on black turtlenecks

Basic cotton black turtlenecks cost $25 and below, but if you’re looking for a quality blended style, be prepared to spend $30-$60. Many designer black turtlenecks, often made with premium materials, cost anywhere between $75-$350. 

Black turtleneck FAQ

What sizes are available for black turtlenecks?

A. Most women’s black turtlenecks are available in progressive sizes that range from XXS through 2XL. A few brands now carry plus sizes, which begin at 1X. There are also a growing number of brands that offer petite or tall sizes, as well. 

What are performance black turtlenecks?

A. Performance black turtlenecks, including a few camouflage and printed styles, are typically geared toward outdoor and athletic wear. They’re made with stretch materials, like spandex and lycra, to achieve a second-skin fit. Many of these styles have wick-away, odor-trapping or compressive properties. 

What’s the best black turtleneck to buy?

Top black turtleneck

Lauren Ralph Lauren Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater

Lauren Ralph Lauren Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater

What you need to know: A classic style by a much-loved brand, this black ribbed turtleneck is a cold weather essential that matches most bottoms. 

What you’ll love: The turtleneck has a slim fit that hugs the body to create a flattering silhouette, and it’s made from a premium cotton, nylon and modal blend that stays soft without shrinking in the wash. The sleeves are long and can be worn cuffed or uncuffed. 

What you should consider: A few wearers felt the sizing was off, and the hemline was much shorter than expected. 

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top black turtleneck for the money

Lands' End Relaxed Mockneck Top

Lands’ End Relaxed Mockneck Top

What you need to know: If you’re looking for a classic black layering turtleneck, this affordable Lands’ End style is ideal

What you’ll love: It has a relaxed fit that leaves room for base layers, like thermal tops. The ribbed cuffs prevent sleeves from sliding over the hand. The mock neck is one of few styles available in regular and tall sizes.

What you should consider: The mock neck may droop to one side, and it’s 100% cotton, which means it’s prone to shrinking. 

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s

Worth checking out

Asvivid Chunky Pullover Turtleneck

Asvivid Chunky Pullover Turtleneck

What you need to know: A cozy option, this chunky black turtleneck sweater is made with soft acrylic that is gentle on sensitive skin. 

What you’ll love: The sweater has a wide turtleneck that gives wearers plenty of room to move their head without catching their chin. It has ribbed cuffs and hemline to give the style a modern shape, and the oversized fit has room to accommodate base layers.

What you should consider: According to some people, the turtleneck isn’t as structured as the images suggest. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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