The "Boring" Basic You'll Find Celebs, Fashion People, and Me Wearing


(Image credit: @kendalljenner; Pictured: Jil Sander Turtleneck; The Mannei Irbid Dress ($2113); Commando leggings; Dorateymur boots; Fendi bag; Skims mask)

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.

The Sleeveless Turtleneck:

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.


(Image credit: Alamy)

Pictured: Calvin Klein F/W 99


(Image credit: Getty Images/Victor Virgile)

Pictured: Prada S/S 01


(Image credit: Courtesy of Fendi)

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.


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

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.


(Image credit: @pernilleteisbaek)

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


(Image credit: @ashleygraham)

Pictured: Fendi dress and heels


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Pictured: Prada Cleo bag

Shop sleeveless turtlenecks:

The printed turtleneck:

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. While they're notably less "boring" than their neutral counterparts, they're a standby basic nonetheless.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Miu Miu)

Pictured: Miu Miu S/S 21


(Image credit: Courtesy of Marine Serre)

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. 


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

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.


(Image credit: @meccajw)

Pictured: ASAI top


(Image credit: @himichelleli)

Pictured: Richard Quinn top


(Image credit: @chrissyford)

Pictured: Nanushka top

Shop printed turtlenecks:

The black turtlenck:

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.


(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Pictured: Gucci S/S 97


(Image credit: Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris)

Pictured: Kenneth Cole F/W 03


(Image credit: Courtesy of The Row)

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.


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

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.


(Image credit: @kendalljenner)

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


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)


(Image credit: @fongminliao)

Pictured: Subsurface skirt

Shop black turtlenecks:

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

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.