Why do you love turtleneck? Why can’t you let your neck breathe?
These are questions that always make me laugh. I consider that if you don’t have a turtleneck sweather/dress, you definitely must go get one. Turtlenecks became much more fashionable during the mid-sixteenth century, though this version was much more elaborate than the minimalist style we are familiar with today. This top included a high neckline decked out in voluminous starched ruffles, creatively dubbed a “ruff.” Queen Elizabeth I of England and other members of high society favored this style at the time. The size and volume of the ruffles were indicative of status, and also incredibly handy for hiding any pesky skin conditions creeping up one’s neck.
The 1940’s and 50’s is when the turtleneck really began to take off as the iconic basic we know and love today. Skintight or cropped sweaters were getting popular and came in a variety of cuts, including turtleneck. Celebrities such as Jayne Mansfield helped to popularize this feminine, sexy version of the style. The look became so iconic that it is one of the many ways turtlenecks are often reimagined by today’s designers.