90’s Turtlenecks – A Tactical Garment That Is Vaguely French For Some Reason

Julia Roberts wearing a turtleneck
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Last Updated on May 25, 2022

Why do we associate turtlenecks with French style? Really, I want to know!

There is just something about it that screams European debonair and elegance. Have you figured out that I love turtlenecks already? Okay, there is no denying it. I just love how they look so stylish and cool.

I mean, even Joey managed to look poised with a black turtleneck and grey overcoat so there is hope for me, right?

Read on to find out all there is to know about styling a good old turtleneck!

My one true love, the crop top turtleneck is the best kind of turtleneck

It’s got all the benefits of a regular one – slimming for your neck, tight on the bust, flattering cut – while also looking excellent with a pair of those 90s mom jeans. Or they show off a tiny sliver of skin on your stomach, which is sexy and not to mention breezy.

Especially if it’s short-sleeved, it makes a great option for summer, and it can be worn by itself, under dresses, under dungarees…you’re only limited by your own lack of imagination, so step it up, gal.

Read: How to Style a Dungaree Dress

Floral turtleneck … If you want to make anything 90s, just make it floral.

I’m not kidding, especially if it’s dark floral. Dresses? Maxi skirts? Turtlenecks? Dungarees? Slap on an autumn floral on them and boom! – it’s a 90s outfit.

A floral is a great way to make an outfit feel feminine and delicate, and all that gross girly stuff. Especially if, like me, you tend to live in jeans and converse, you can really get a kick out of finding small ways to feel girly.

Stripes were never ugly

It’s pretty much an unspoken rule that if you make something striped and in weird, muddy, objectively garish colours, people are going to clock it as from the 70s or – you guessed it – the 90s. Of course, the beauty of it is that you don’t have to get an ugly one. You can just wear a classic, black-and-white one and look Parisian-chic.

That’s not exactly grunge, but it straddles the line to an extent that I don’t think anyone would mind or clock you on it.

If it’s winter, you bet your behind I’m gonna be wearing one

I have…maybe 5 in different colours that I rotate until I start seeing the sun more often, which is WAY too late in the year, if you ask me. Anyway, they are the world’s most simple outfit to put together, especially if you’re partial to the Steve Jobs uniform: black knit turtleneck + blue jeans = done!

This is also super versatile, because you can throw on a dungaree dress or a pinafore and you’ll look adorable AND warm, which is a rarity.

Extra thick .. to ribbed, it has to be the men’s turtleneck

What is even the difference between a woman’s turtleneck and a men’s one?

Well, technically, the men’s one is not as tight. Unless you’re Sterling Archer, in which case the black Tactical Turtleneck ™ is as tight as possible and an absolute essential. But you’re allowed to wear men’s turtlenecks for more than just secret spy missions.

Eliana Levine, the co-founder of FindPeopleEasy states, “You don’t need to wear a turtleneck to do your undercover work. That said, wearing a turtleneck will you make you look much better while doing it.”

Turtlenecks also make great casual options for days where you don’t want to make a massive effort and just want to be comfortable.

After those winters we’ve had lately, sometimes the only thing that keeps you warm is a men’s turtleneck jumper.

The underrated mom turtleneck

Now, you may be confused at this term, because what even is a mom turtleneck?

Well, you see, it’s like a regular turtleneck, but it’s for moms. Which means it’s looser and frumpier and just a touch less cool than the normal version. I’m kidding, moms rock, you guys, great fan of moms here.

Anyway, like the men’s version, the mom turtleneck is a good option for keeping things casual and not feeling like you’re dressed too tight or French or whatever.


If you like to keep things sexy, then the ribbed turtleneck is for you

If you like to keep things sexy, then the ribbed turtleneck is for you. Turtlenecks tend to be cut pretty close to the body anyway, but ribbed turtlenecks take that to the next level and make sure that it’s clinging to you super tight and highlighting your shape in a super flattering way.

A word of advice for this one – don’t wear it on super warm days, especially if it’s a thicker material, because it can feel a bit claustrophobic with all that fabric around your neck. I’m not talking from experience or anything.

Twist Ribbed Cable Stretchy Fit Knit Turtleneck

Do not underestimate the cool factor of the sleeveless turtleneck

YAAAAS I love a sleeveless turtleneck. And listen – I KNOW what you’re thinking: “When the hell do you wear this? What kind of weather calls for a SLEEVELESS turtleneck?”. I’ll tell ya – summer evenings, and warm spring days, under a biker jacket, and with a pair of high-waisted jeans or trousers, with chunky sandals.

Do not underestimate the cool factor of the sleeveless turtleneck, especially if it’s cropped. It can make for the ideal summer staple, particularly if you get one in a bright colour, but black is always chic and moody. And you know, sweaty.

Read: Old School Tank Tops Were For You, Me, Her and Him (Oh, and the Dog)

Sweatshirt turtleneck

Okay, so maybe it’s not the most common option out there, but the sweatshirt turtleneck is a thing, people, and it can be cool; well, as much as sweatshirts can be cool, which is not a lot. I’m just not that big of a sweatshirt fan, okay? Don’t come at me.

I suppose a sweatshirt turtleneck would be great for when you’re exercising in the dead of winter and freezing your mitts off, especially if you tend to go for runs around the neighbourhood at 6 am, and if that IS you I see every morning – why do you hate yourself, gal?

Turtleneck Hoodie Pullover