It wasn’t so long ago that turtleneck jumpers were widely perceived as being slightly lame. They were the go-to item of clothing for beatniks in the 1950s, and seen as a feminist statement in the 1970s for their defiant covering-up of any cleavage: the young Gloria Steinem liked to wear a turtleneck leotard under jeans.
But from the 1980s up until relatively recently, turtlenecks (or polo necks) were struggling with something of an image problem. They might have been warm, but they were no longer cool. Rather, they were the preserve of people on skiing holidays, middle-aged men who rather fancied themselves, and middle-aged women who wanted to hide their necks, à la the late, great Nora Ephron.
Today, though, turtleneck jumpers are some of the hardest-working items in our wardrobes. Rare is the woman in 2016 who doesn’t own at least one slim-fit black roll neck top, to be worn with skirts or jeans or under shift dresses, in the office as easily as at a house party. Chunky knits, meanwhile, have become an autumn/winter statement staple, beloved by everyone from Solange Knowles to Olivia Palermo.
We’ve rounded up 30 of the best turtlenecks you can buy right now, from high street to high end. May your neck never be cold again…
Cut-out Merino Wool Turtleneck Sweater
Bordeaux Knitted Turtleneck Sweater
Twisty Funnel Neck Jumper in Orange Mix
£29.50, Marks & Spencer
B.Intl Caster Knit in Grey
Cashmere Cowl Neck Knit in Burgundy
Autumn RSVP High Neck Jumper in Winter White
£75, French Connection