How to Wear a Roll Neck in 6 Stylish Ways

Before the Milk Tray Man, before that decade fashion was forgotten and then remembered (that’s the 1970s, in case you were wondering) and before Steve Jobs, the humble roll neck was already at work, tying itself up for style. Was setting up as a casual but quiet way. out of the cold.

A Modern Wardrobe Staple With All the Comfort of a Crew Neck Sweatshirt, but with the added benefit of being smart enough, it has fully earned its place in the Menswear Hall of Fame. “The roll neck jumper is a timeless classic due to its versatility and the fact that it is extremely comfortable,” says the male model and photographer Chris John Millington,

It’s become a staple of the frontline set at Fashion Week in recent years, but it’s also retained a staunchly masculine appeal (Daniel Craig’s Bond, for example, is a fan). “They offer that Steve McQueen ‘man’s man’ feel that’s always charming, but it also offers the modern, sophisticated look that men want right now,” says Alex Fields, Head of Menswear Design reees,

History of Roll Neck

The exact origin of the roll neck is just as unclear as the name (on the other side of the pond it is more simply referred to as ‘turtleneck’, while ‘polo neck’ is a more frequently used term).

Whatever your favorite surname, the general consensus is that it came into existence during the 15th century, meaning it was a grandiose. piece of knitted fabric Has existed in some form or the other for at least 500 years.

Like most of the clothing canon of menswear, the roll neck was born out of utility, initially adopted by everyone from poets and professors to playboys and prepsters.

Despite the wide appeal of the north-facing neckline, it only earned its place as a true wardrobe staple 50 years ago. It was 1968, a time when the roll neck had all the sartorial star power of a pair of crocs. enter Steve McQueen as a straight-talking police detective bulita And, all of a sudden, every man was seeking to add one to his collection.

Roll neck type

Perhaps even more confusing than the inconsistencies in the name are the different types of roll necks available. With classic styles, it is quite common to see a roll neck that doesn’t ‘roll’ at all, or iterations that are barely more than a crew neck sweatshirt. Consider this your pullover primer.


The type of roll neck favored by generations of stylish men is not surprisingly the most classic. Featuring an elongated neckline that folds back on itself, the result is often the most formal, lending itself well to worn with or under one. winter coat,

classic roll neck

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funnel neck

A simpler version of the classic roll neck, the funnel neck style is cut with a slightly shorter elongated neckline, eliminating the need to fold back on itself. To give structure, most funnel neck designs are ribbed, but they can also borrow from athletic apparel by including a zip.

funnel neck

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mock neck

A hybrid of a funnel neck and crew neck sweatshirt, the mock neck knit locks in heat with a slightly extended neckline. Best worn for a mid-weight casual, it’s the perfect way to add extra insulation to a winter look.

mock neck

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know your gauge

It’s important to get a handle on the variety of gauges available (that is, the number of stitches per inch of fabric) before fully heating this sophisticated, draft-barring design, which will affect not only its insulating capabilities but It can also be worn with what it can be.


Lightweight and form-fitting, a fine-gauge roll neck is the ideal piece for slipping under cold-weather staples of an entire wardrobe. Smart enough to be a formal shirt alternative, especially in temperature-regulating and breathable merino wool, it also looks just as good as worn under one. leather jacket For a flawless up-down combo. The not-so-surprising news is that there’s nothing like second-skin fabric to highlight gym dodgers, so it’s wise to bulk up your dresses if you’re carrying a few extra pounds.

Fine Gauge Knit Roll Neck Jumper For Men

middle weight

A very friendlier option for the exercise-intolerant, a medium-weight roll neck can add inches of warmth while disguising a more partial body.

Versatile enough to work with (and, ergo, both) smart and casual looks smart casual Ones, too) The added weight not only dials up the thermostat but also lends some gravitas to lighter shades like cream.

Men's Mid-weight Ribbed Roll Neck Jumper


Once prized by men’s men like Ernest Shackleton and Hemingway, today a chunky fisherman-style roll neck retains its appeal to keep its wearer toasty in the worst of weather.

The undisputed king of insulation, a thick fleece weave in a waffle or cable weave design is perfect for a chilly trip or for pounding the park and pavement on the weekend, especially when slipped under an overcoat.

Heavy Gauge Cable Knit Roll Neck Jumper For Men

6 ways to wear a roll neck

The ebb and flow of menswear may not be as sweet as the ever-tidal seasonal changes of women’s clothing, but we get our fair share of tough trends (kilts, anyone?).

For a long time, roll necks fell unfairly under this category, but you just need to look at the five examples below to dispel the misconception that they are impossible to style.

back in the 1970s

the seventies Menswear is going strong, and few pieces are as synonymous with Concorde’s decade as glam rock and Kevin Keegan’s hair roll neck.

To accentuate the look, opt for a mid-weight knit and wear it over a pair of trousers before capping with one. shearling jacket For bonus points. Leave flares in the back of your dad’s wardrobe.

How to Wear a Roll Neck - Styles Inspired by the 1970s

House of Fraser Simons River Island River Island

under leather jacket

With a list of wearers that includes Sir Michael Caine and James Bond, there is no shortage of roll necks when it comes to masculine credentials.

To further boost testosterone, layer a mid-to-thick gauge roll neck under a leather jacket and finish with tailored trousers so a look can fly business casual Office, or jeans for the weekend.

how to wear a roll neck with a leather jacket

Reiss Crombie Selected Homme Massimo Dutti

under an overcoat

Sometimes style and practicality are so frustratingly off-kilter that finding something that a) looks half-decent and b) is really easy to wear is just asking for too much. However, when worn under an overcoat, a roll neck is a great way to tame the lows in high style.

For a smart outfit, anchor your top half with a pair of wool trousers and leather boots, or slant casual with chinos and sneakers for a solid off-duty outfit.

The best way to wear a roll neck - under an overcoat

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with a suit

Whether it’s for a casual Friday getup that looks great outside the office or as a way to tackle party season Without being trussed up in a tux, a light-gauge roll neck is the perfect companion to a suit.

Neutral colors are a no-fail bet when sewing contrast, so create a rotation of black, blue, and gray colors before trying something more daring, such as jewel tones.

How to Wear a Roll or Turtle Neck With a Suit or Blazer

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layer player

The biggest asset of the roll neck is its versatility, allowing certain styles to be worked as well as part of a more dressed-up rig. but instead of joggers and work boots In honor of ‘Hotline Bling,’ get creative with your layering instead.

A fine-gauge example can look surprisingly beautiful under an oxford shirt, while mid-gauge styles provide all the warmth of weighty versions when placed under a gilet or overshirt.

The best way to layer a roll neck

House of Fraser Olzen River Island Zara

with streetwear

Like corduroy, dad jeans, and chunky trainers, the ever-stuffy roll neck has been embraced by the youthful streetwear-leaning scene. Worn loose or with unexpected items (under a work shirt, say, or with some baggy cropped trousers), the trick here is remembering what would have been uncool five years ago and doing exactly what your face. But with a smile.

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