The pullover with a high collared neck still has a powerful allure that communicates, “I’m different.”
The Gap revived this imagery in their 2006 “Keep It Simple” Campaign.
More familiar to the British as a polo neck, English polo players first wore turtlenecks in the 1860s. Their adoption by Noel Coward in the 1920s turned turtlenecks into a middle-class fashion trend, and early feminists made them into a unisex item. Since the middle of the 20th century black polo necks have been identified as the uniform of radical academics, philosophers, artists and intellectuals.
Stone memorably paired a gray mock turtleneck from the Gap with a Valentino skirt and Armani jacket for the 1996 Oscars.
As an anti-tie, smart form of dress for those who reject formal wear, the turtleneck – also available in a simpler variant as a mock turtle neck – was surely a deliberate fashion choice made by Apple visionary, Steve Jobs. Communicating a desire to stand apart from others, his ubiquitous black turtleneck became an essential part of his uniform as the leader of those who think different.
Enjoying a revival this season, the winter staple was seen anchoring looks on the runways of Ralph Lauren, Celine and Jil Sander. A fantastic layering piece for when you want to wear dresses year round. They’re at their best worn with skinny jeans, slim fit trousers or a pencil skirt. In this age of so-called fashion democratization, the pullover with a high collared neck still has a powerful allure that communicates, “I’m different.”