How to style a turtleneck in 5 different ways
An important part of shopping for a sustainable wardrobe is calculating the cost per wear of each piece before you buy it. This involves tallying the amount of time the items will be worn against the cost of the item. While those new $20 jeans may seem like a bargain at first, how many wears will you get from them before they begin to rip at the seams and end up in the bin?
Whereas those $200+ organic cotton jeans may hurt the wallet upfront, in the long run, they will hold their shape and continue to be a staple piece in your wardrobe. Eventually, their cost per wear will be $1 or less. Proving to be much more valuable than their $20 counterpart. I talk more about this in my blog on “5 Easy Habits to Introduce for a Sustainable Wardrobe.”
Considering the ways you can re-style your item is an important step in making this investment a success. Ask yourself these questions; Is this a staple I can style for different occasions? Do I have existing items in my wardrobe which I can mix it up with, like complimentary prints, fabrics or shapes? And most of all, will I still love it in years to come?
For me, a major key item to re-style is the humble turtleneck (skivvy, polo neck – whatever you want to call them) for its versatility, comfort and the many different styles and fabrics available.
Want to see exactly what I mean? I raided my wardrobe to show you 5 ways to style a classic turtleneck by ethical designer, Lois Hazel.
Look 1. Jeans + Oversized Jacket
Keeping it easy for a comfortable, casual weekend vibe, the turtleneck plays a canvas for mid-wash jeans, boots and a plaid blazer.
These jeans (a preloved score on eBay) are the perfect denim wash for a classic wardrobe staple. The wide cut, straight leg can be dressed up with a heel or worn casually with a sneaker.
Relying on the structure of a blazer is a great way to smarten up any outfit. A polished cut should fit squarely on your shoulders, but not be too fitted overall. I chose a plaid fabric for the contrast and interest it adds to the look.
Each piece is a classic in its own right and together they create the perfect casual look for brunch with friends.
Look 2. The Suit
As the Gucci runway and numerous street style snaps continue to prove, the ’70s are in and the two-piece suit is here to stay.
This fabulous check creation is the work of Anna Cordell. Anna specializes in custom suits for those wanting to add a little bit of flair to their wardrobe. Mainly worn by musicians on stage, Anna’s suits are custom made to your measurements in any fabric of your choice.
Buying a custom suit is the definition of conscious shopping! For me, I wanted something I could take from my professional platform (public speaking at events) and blend it seamlessly into my existing wardrobe. A suit can of course also be worn many times as separates.
In place of a traditional shirt, the turtleneck gives an unexpected edge to the two-piece suit look, perfect for front row at VAMFF.
Look 3. Playing With Tones
As a Melbournian, I find that I’m near often wearing head to toe black. This winter, I’m breaking that habit by experimenting with complementing tones.
That doesn’t mean all black is out the window of course. Experiment with different shades of colour in your outfits and use a darker touch to help anchor the outfit.
Look 4. The Boilersuit
Looking for ways to wear your favourite pieces across all seasons is important in achieving that cost per wear score we’re talking about.
Layering and experimenting with new looks is a great way to achieve this. Here I have layered my favourite spring garment – a boiler suit by Kowtow, with the classic black turtle neck. The turtleneck not only brings interest to the look, but it also means I’m toasty enough that I don’t need to introduce a jacket into the look!
Look 5. The Skirt
Just when I said I was going to try and avoid head to toe black this winter…
For this look, I’ve kept it classic and embraced black on black (a win for outfit repeaters everywhere!). The textured circles on the skirt add interest and dimension, while the silky fabric gives the casual turtleneck a more elevated finish.
Speaking of elevated, add some extra accessories like a gold buckle belt, a statement clutch and some heels, and this simple outfit can move from day to night. To keep the chills at bay, layer an oversized coat in a neutral tone over your shoulders. This vintage one was a $4 Vinnies find!
Keeping the cost per wear of our clothing at the forefront of our minds when shopping helps us to avoid those unneeded spontaneous purchases and get the most out of our investments, and the planet. Each purchase for our wardrobe should be a calculated decision – okay, we can try out a fun trend or two at times! If sustainable fashion is something you’d like to know more about, I’ve created a Beginners Glossary, which breaks down the key terms and phrases used.
Whatever item you wish to wear more of, don’t be afraid to experiment with different layering techniques or complementing tones to make the cost per wear score a success. After all, fashion is about having fun whilst finding our own individual style.
By ASI Graduate and Sustainable Stylist, Jenna Flood
Interested in learning more about sustainable fashion styling? Upcoming Certificate of Fashion Styling course dates are available here with your choice to train online or on-campus.