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A model is photographed wearing men's fashion in Toronto, Ont. Nov. 25, 2010. For Work It feature. (Photo by Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Among traditional businessmen, turtlenecks might conjure images of sloppy-yet-powerful millionaires such as Steve Jobs. But perceptions are changing this season as designers pair the informal tops with blazers and sharp trousers. The new looks, in other words, are more suited to slick Bay Street than to casual Silicon Valley. Here's how to don one for work without sticking your neck out.

1. No matter how rich or powerful you are, turtlenecks should never be tucked into ill-fitting jeans. So if you want to look up to a Steve this season, choose McQueen over Jobs. The late action star often chose to pair turtlenecks and tailored jackets with ultra-dapper results.

2. Always opt for thinner knits for the office, especially if worn under a blazer. For the advanced class, don't be afraid to layer finer gauges, as Hermès did for fall (above left). Just make sure both sweaters are of similar weight and colour.

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3. Keep it polished with a great pair of pants in a more formal fabric, such as wool. Anything in cord or denim will make an already relaxed look skew far too casual. And, unlike Jobs, keep those running shoes out of the boardroom.

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