History of the turtleneck
We hope you are enjoying the mild transition of fall into winter with the cold breeze and a hot cappuccino. In our last article, we gave you some insights on sustainable knits which now bring us to talk about one of the most staple knitwear in our winter wardrobes, turtleneck sweaters!
You can't have a winter wardrobe without the iconic turtleneck. While they were once only seen on men, these days you will find them in many different styles and colors for women. Although considering the history, their place in fashion has changed dramatically over the years.
The reason why this garment has become so popular?
Well, there are two main reasons - its versatility across all seasons or just how cozy and warm they make us feel due to their design. And the second would be its history, let’s get right into it.
In their earliest forms, they were worn by knights, who used the high necks to prevent rashes and chafing from their chainmail and helmets. Later, they were worn mostly by laborers, athletes and seamen, likely because of the convenience of built-in scarf-like protection, and still for a largely utilitarian purpose – function over fashion. The Navy, fishermen, and other laborers wore this garment for warmth and protection. In 1860, polo players began wearing them while playing, and thus the turtleneck got its name as the “polo neck.”
In the early 1900's, it was a symbol for those who rejected traditional formal attire. French philosopher Michel Foucault made this look iconic while European film stars brought in their rich and elite lifestyle from France with them.
In the 1960s, high end designers ushered in a new era of business attire by wearing them underneath their classic grey and navy suits. This look was picked up on by powerful men such as Ted Kennedy as well as Audrey Hepburn, Steve McQueen and other luminaries of the silver screen.
After surviving a drop in 90’s though even then some of the suavest men kept turtlenecks looking good , They are now back!
What's most striking about the history of the turtleneck is the diversity of people and places where it has been worn. From salty Irish fisherman to movie stars, from the naval battles of WWII to Greenwich Village jazz clubs, the turtleneck has never found a time or place where it couldn't warm a few necks and look good doing it. Would you like to add turtlenecks this winter in your wardrobe? From this story we think you all can guess what’s coming next at TFM.
Let us know in the comment!