Have you ever wished that your wardrobe was stocked with essential pieces to create endless stylish looks? Well, look no further because my list of Essentials will help create a good base to build on. Black turtleneck sweaters are my go to piece for casual and formal occasions! Not only will they provide you with the touches of style and elegance that you’re looking for in an outfit, but this classic staple will keep you warm and cozy through cooler seasons. Plus, its timeless design keeps it always on trend. Read on to find out why a black turtleneck might just be the most important piece of clothing in your base wardrobe. I certainly reach for mine often.

I’ve broken down a few categories for the black turtleneck sweater. Keep scrolling to learn about materials and care, history, and fit. 

The Black Turtleneck Sweater

Let’s first start by thinking about what your needs are out of the sweater. Over time, I have collected various versions to fit many situations, but the best place to start is where you know you’ll be wearing it the most. Start by thinking about what climate you live in. If living in colder regions, you may opt for a heavier material so as to keep you warm and snug. Think wool or cashmere.  If in warmer climates, it is likely best to go for lighter weight fabrics such as a linen or even a wool blend. Typically, if I see a synthetic material like acrylic I know it won’t breath in the same way as a natural fiber. This can be helpful to trap heat in, so you might enjoy that in a colder area. Secondly, consider your budget when selecting the perfect turtleneck sweater. Once you’ve narrowed down the type of material that you prefer and/or need, then choosing which retailer works best into your budget should become more straightforward. There is an extremely wide range on prices, particularly when it comes to 100% cashmere or wool. I’ll go more into detail in a bit if you’d like to learn more about that!  Last but certainly not least, select a sweater that compliments you. Finding the style and fit that suits you is a personal thing but I keep a few things in mind. An oversize sweater will give a more casual look, and can overwhelm your look. For me, I have to find just the right length, otherwise it adds bulk because I have a larger chest. If you are on the petite side, it might be tempting to go with a cropped sweater, but keep in mind that often they will cut proportions and are made very boxy. My go to style is a fitted sweater with a moderate turtleneck. 

Caring For Your Sweaters

I can’t think of a single sweater I’ve had that doesn’t have some sort of pilling. This natural process is caused by friction during wear and typically shows up under your arm pits, around the elbow and down the sides where your waist and arms hit. It’s an easy thing to fix, especially if you have a sweater shaver. I’ve had this one for six or seven years now, and it’s still going strong. I like that it also includes spare blades in case one gets dull. I’ve replace the blade ones in the time I’ve had it. Click here if you need a good sweater shaver. Note: they have a rechargeable wire option. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t speak to it but I’d imagine it is just as good. Changing the blades is simple, and ensures that there is a clean cut of the pilling. Over time, this does wear down the fibers so don’t do it all of the time. 

Don’t fret if you get a snag. They are inevitable, and relatively easy to fix. Turn your sweater inside out and use a needle to pull the snag through. If it is particularly long, I’ll tie it off just to avoid it slipping back out and further pulling. You can also use a tiny stitch from the inside of the sweater to close of any small holes. If it is an investment piece you plan on keeping for many years, I’d suggest taking it to a seamstress to have it stitched. It shouldn’t cost much, but it will be the most professional work outside of someone who knits. If you know one of those- ask if they do repair work!

I like to wear a paper thin tee under my sweaters to push the time in between needing to wash them. This helps to extend their longevity and keep sweat out of the armpits. You should be able to get a couple of wears in between washes and maintain a fresh smelling sweater. It might be tempting to store them in a vacuum sealed bag, but there is a greater chance that you might lock in moisture and they get a mildew scent. When I pull mine out of storage for winter, I let them air out. Which brings me to the last thought on sweater care…Don’t hang them up. It’ll stretch out the shoulders and can make the weave droop in the weirdest fashion. You can certainly find sweater hanging hacks online, but I’ll always be a fan of the simple fold and stack. 

The History of the turtleneck

I’ve always been fascinated by the history of fashion, and have amassed a collection of books that give history, details on production, and information regarding fashion for more than 20 years. The humble and rather simple turtleneck makes it’s first appears in the medieval Europe as a buffer to be worn under chainmail for knights. For centuries it remained a garment worn mainly by men, and it wasn’t until the early 1900s that we see women beginning to wear them. Starlets like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn paved the way for making this utilitarian piece into an iconic fashion staple. By the 1960s it was a symbol of the counterculture movement for feminists and civil rights activists alike. Today, it’s seen as a quiet, understated sign of sophistication. 


Cashmere is a luxurious and premium fiber found in everything from sweaters to scarves to blankets. It’s crafted from ultra-fine cashmere fibers that originate from the outer coats of goats bred for this purpose in places such as Mongolia, India and Tibet. The production of this material requires great attention to detail and it’s what adds to its value – something to keep in mind when considering buying any sort of item made with this material. Cashmere comes at different prices depending on the quality of the fibers and weight, so know it can vary quite a bit in cost.


Wool is an incredibly durable and dependable material that has been used to make clothing, blankets, and even carpets for centuries. It’s made from the fleece of sheep and goats, which is harvested every few months to provide a continuous supply of wool. Quality wool can be more expensive than most synthetic materials, but it’s well worth the investment due to its remarkable durability. Wool fibers are resistant to a variety of wear and tear, meaning they won’t stretch out or lose shape over time. Plus, the fibers can be luxuriously soft while still being strong enough to withstand cold temperatures and windy weather conditions. By investing in wool products, you’re not just purchasing a luxurious item – you’re buying quality that will last you for many years to come!