The turtleneck often provokes many of us to recoil in horror thanks to some pretty horrible childhood memories. There's choosing the wrong fabric (chenille any one?) and putting up with an itchy neck all day. Getting the cut or size wrong and inducing trapped in lift like claustrophobia. There's the risk of looking like you've just walked off the set of Diagnosis Murder or you're taking class 1B on a field trip to Cheddar Gorge.

It is a particularly tricky item, but if worn well, the turtleneck can offer Bond levels of style and that's why it is always in style; returning to the spotlight last year. Scarves are one of life's best accessories, but sometimes it's nice to head out without the worry of leaving it at work or in the pub. It can transport you onto a winding road in the South of France, heading to Paris behind the wheel of a Citroen DS21 (all in black and white of course). From Snoop Dogg to Caine and Jagger, just think Serge Gainsbourg rather than Ron Burgundy and you've got it. Why do you think Joey from Friends got all the ladies?

What sets the turtleneck apart from other knitwear is that you need to wear it and not let it wear you and there are a few other things to mind with this garment...

- No tucking in, you're not Steve Jobs (RIP)
- Don't iron or pull on the neck as there's nothing worse than a saggy neck - just think Deirdre Rashid - Go for colour or pattern (aka Raf Simons) by all means, but black is the safest first time option and very versatile (slimming too)

A turtleneck will always have a kind of pseudo-intellectual sophisticated beatnick thing going on and it goes with absolutely everything. Uniqlo do a 100% merino wool one at a bargain price so there's no need for to splash out at first if still unsure. However, putting in more coinage (John Smedley, Paul Smith) will mean mileage - see my earlier point about saggy necks. If a finer slimmer fitting turtle-neck's really not turning you on then perhaps consider the chunkier version. The Gucci ribbed one's rad.

Embrace the turtleneck by thinking of it as a warm and chic basic: a starting point for layering and you could be giving Alain Delon a run for his money this winter.