The history and importance of the turtleneck

Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater by Ralph Lauren

In the world of fashion, certain garments stand the test of time, transcending fads to become iconic staples in our wardrobes. Enter the turtleneck! A classic and beloved garment that has evolved over centuries to become a symbol of elegance, sophistication, and versatility.

The origins of the turtleneck can be traced back to medieval Europe, where knights wore a similar garment known as a gambeson to protect themselves under their armor. This early version of the turtleneck provided practicality and warmth, showcasing the garment’s functional beginnings. Over the centuries, the turtleneck underwent several transformations, gradually shifting from a utilitarian item to a fashionable choice.

In the early 20th century, the turtleneck gained prominence among intellectuals and artists, becoming a symbol of non-conformity and bohemian chic. Legends and visionaries like f.ex. Pablo Picasso embraced the turtleneck, infusing it with an air of sophistication that appealed to the avant-garde. By the 1960s, the turtleneck had become a symbol of counterculture, worn by iconic figures like f.ex. Bob Dylan and Steve McQueen, further cementing its status as a statement piece.


Turtlenecks and Pop Culture

The turtleneck’s popularity soared in the latter half of the 20th century, making appearances in films, television shows, and high fashion runways. James Bond, played by Sean Connery, often sported a turtleneck, epitomizing the garment’s association with suave masculinity, and Audrey Hepburn and her iconic turtleneck look in “Funny Face” solidified its status as a symbol of effortless glamour.

Today, turtlenecks continue to be a beloved fashion choice. They come in various styles, from fitted sweaters to lightweight knits, catering to different tastes and occasions. The versatility of turtlenecks allows them to seamlessly transition from casual to formal settings, making them a favorite among fashion enthusiasts.


The turtleneck today

The turtleneck’s journey through history is a testament to its lasting appeal. From its humble beginnings as a practical garment to its current status as a fashion statement, the turtleneck has consistently proven its timeless elegance. As we continue to embrace this classic piece, we celebrate not only its rich history but also its ability to adapt, making it a cherished item in our wardrobes for generations to come.

We know exactly which piece we’re adding to our wardrobe this fall and it does not matter that we have plenty already. When it comes to the turtleneck, we think it’s safe to say that it’s impossible to have too many.

Let the investment in turtlenecks begin!






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