styling tips

The Styling Tip I Borrowed From the Rock

If you’re reading this in the northern hemisphere, there’s a pretty decent chance you’re wearing a turtleneck or have worn a turtleneck in the last 48 hours. And you may be getting tired of it. When the first wisps of winter start creeping in, turtlenecks feel appealing. You’re excited to look like Colin Firth in Love Actually. But there’s only so many times you can do Love Actually cosplay before you’re itching for something new and fresh. Why not decorate your turtleneck?

The obvious way to decorate a turt is with a necklace, a trick that’s been used by everyone from Gucci Mane at the Grammys to Joyce Carol Oates on Twitter to the Rock, famously, in the 90s. But there’s another level. Look at the Schiaparelli haute couture 2020 show. What made it brilliant was that the jewelry was not the afterthought, but the main event. The clothes were decorated with jewels.

Even if you don’t have access to couture jewelry, you can take a cue from that show and physically, literally decorate your turtleneck as if you are bestowing ornaments on a Christmas tree. You can use safety pins, political pins, ribbons, fanny packs, belts — the turt is your canvas for a multimedia masterpiece.

Below are seven ideas from Cut staffers on how to decorate your very own turtleneck.

The Rock Meets the Row

Photo: Sarah Spellings

Take the black turtleneck that you probably already have and add a couple of the necklaces that you probably already have. (The more you wear, the less you will feel like Dwayne Johnson.) Then locate your best oversize button-down and wear it half-buttoned on top — à la the Row spring 2020. The result is a look that’s both laidback and dressy at the same time.

The Ladies Who Lunch

Photo: Andrew Nguyen

Wearing a camel turtleneck plus a single string of pearls will make you look like an Upper East Side grandmother. That can be fun, but if you want to make more of an impact, borrow this trick from the Cut’s editorial assistant, Andrew Nguyen, and layer multiple pearl necklaces on top of each other. Throw in a jade pendant like Andrew’s to top it all off.

The Tony Soprano

Photo: Emilia Petrarca

Fashion writer Emilia Petrarca moonlights as a Sopranos superfan on her account @sopranosstyle. So it’s not super surprising that she tried a Tony-inspired look. Wearing a leather jacket and a gold chain is a very Tony Soprano combination — and of course, the chili pepper adds Italian flair.

The Tumblr Turtleneck

Photo: Emilia Petrarca

If you’ve collected pins from political candidates, or, like Emilia, the Whitney Museum, take them off of your messenger bag or denim jacket and put them on your turt as well. They’ll be closer to your face, so the message can be even more clear.

The Almost-But-Not-Really Punk

Photo: Sarah Spellings

I love a not-quite-punk accessory. Give me a school skirt, a studded headband, anything that Jenny Humphrey would wear in season two of Gossip Girl. Originally, I wanted to decorate my turtleneck with safety pins. But stylist Dora Fung had the idea to add the bow. The safety-pin brooch is something that’s been done by Versace, Gucci, and Chanel. But it’s ridiculously easy to DIY, provided you don’t mind not having the logo. Go forth and conquer, my fellow bougie punks.

The Belt

Photo: Emilia Petrarca

If a small, choker-length chain isn’t enough for you, try out a belt. Emilia used this Chanel one, which also has a bow. But you can really use anything that has some hardware — all you have to do is believe.

The Timothée Chalamet

Photo: Andrew Nguyen

Yes, this is expert-level, but fashion assistant Andrew Ngyuen actually wears his shearling harness more than you would think. His is from the Robyn x Bjorn Borg collab and no longer available. But it’s the spiritual cousin of Timothée Chalamet’s Louis Vuitton bib from last year’s Golden Globes — the cousin that goes to Burning Man and Coachella.

Some Nice Turtleneck Decor You Can Buy Online

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The Styling Tip I Borrowed From the Rock