The “Boring” Basic You’ll Find Celebs, Fashion People, and Me Wearing

I spend a good chunk of time dedicated to curating a collection of great basics in my closet. Without a doubt, they are always the pieces that get the most wear, so I love having an arsenal of items I can rely on to style with different outfits. I even wrote up a list of my top 15 holy-grail wardrobe basics that I always recommend to my friends. Turtlenecks are on my must-buy list but right now, I think they deserve special attention.

Looking for inspiration away from my typical scrolls through Instagram, I recently did a bit of perusing on Pinterest. I couldn’t escape all of the amazing turtleneck outfits I spotted, with runway images from 1997 Tom Ford for Gucci to 2001 Prada to 2021 Miu Miu grabbing my attention. Each of the outfits was equally cool and relevant, as were the turtlenecks anchoring each look. Here, I’m diving into why basic turtlenecks are a wardrobe essential, how I’m wearing them myself, and where I’m finding styling inspiration from the runway, celebs, and the fashion set.

On the runway:

A staple on the runways, the sleeveless turtleneck is a hallmark of brands throughout the ’90s, ’00s, and today. I love the easy styling at Calvin Klein and Prada that stick to neutral tones and minimalist silhouettes as well as the sculpted, body-con take at Fendi.

Pictured: Calvin Klein F/W 99

Pictured: Prada S/S 01

Pictured: Fendi F/W 20

How I’m wearing it:

I love the simplicity of a sleeveless turtleneck. In my opinion, it adds a cool ’90s element to any look and functions in a similar way to a basic tee. Here, I’m wearing one with a pair of loose, tailored trousers for an easy monochrome look.

On the fashion set:

Whether you lean towards sleeveless turtleneck tops or dresses, fashion people have no shortage of ways to style them. One common theme? You can’t go wrong by sticking to neutral tones.

Pictured: Zara top; Bottega Veneta skirt; Amina Muaddi heels

Pictured: Fendi dress and heels

Pictured: Prada Cleo bag

Shop sleeveless turtlenecks:

On the runway:

Printed second-skin tops have become one of the most talked-about trends among Who What Wear’s team of editors. Also, one of the most popular pieces to enter our collective closets in recent memory. One the runways

Pictured: Miu Miu S/S 21

Pictured: Marine Serre F/W 19

How I’m wearing it:

I’m very here for the baggy jeans trend that’s popping up for spring, so wore a pair with this checked second-skin turtleneck. 

On the fashion set:

One of the ways fashion people are wearing the trend? Sticking with bold prints and dynamic prints. Then, all you really need to add is a great pair of jeans or trousers.

Pictured: ASAI top

Pictured: Richard Quinn top

Pictured: Nanushka top

Shop printed turtlenecks:

On the runway:

The black turtleneck has long been a fashion staple and for good reason. Just look to the runways to see all of the versatile ways to wear one—with a micro miniskirt at Tom Ford, underneath a dress at Kenneth Cole, or paired with slouchy trousers at The Row.

Pictured: Gucci S/S 97

Pictured: Kenneth Cole F/W 03

Pictured: The Row S/S 21

How I’m wearing it:

An outfit formula I return to again and again? A black turtleneck with jeans and a blazer. This is something I tend to throw on when I don’t want to think too hard about what I’m wearing.

On the fashion set:

Whether you opt for a sleek pair of trousers or a strappy “floss” skirt, a turtleneck is the grounding piece that just works no matter what you’re throwing on.

Pictured: The Row Big Sisea Shirt $1490), Chandler Pants ($790), and belt

Pictured: Subsurface skirt

Shop black turtlenecks:

Next, shop 25 cool fashion finds I’m obsessing over right now.