The Black Turtleneck became the Black Turtleneck

While you know turtlenecks are a good choice for fall, a black turtleneck is something else. It’s elegant, chic, sophisticated, and it can be a bit pretentious if done wrong.

Although it may be the most basic of garments, not everyone can achieve this look. This bold move combines a wealth of historical moments and figures into one garment. It is not something to be taken lightly. Understanding the history of the turtleneck is key to mastering its art. The long history of fashion icons and creative geniuses who wore the black turtleneck before your humble adoption. Artsy gives you the scoop on how the black turtleneck became the unofficial uniform for creative genius so that you can be an informed turtleneck shopper.

Black Turtleneck Humble Origins

Practicality is the foundation of the black turtleneck humble origins. Artsy says the turtleneck was originally designed for polo players in the 19th century. In the U.K., it is still known as the “polo neck” because of its utilitarian design. This was well before it was adopted by hipsters itachi headband and early bohemians. Artsy credits Noel Coward (a British playwright) for the rise of the turtleneck. He wore it throughout his peak popularity in the 1920s.

Marlene Dietrich, an androgynous Hollywood star, wore it before it finally reached its post-WWII peak during Paris’s postoccupation renaissance. It was a popular look for Paris-based writers, musicians, film stars, and artists like Miles Davis and Juliette Greco.

It was adopted by everyone, from Andy Warhol to Gloria Steinem, to reflect the beatnik fashion sophisticated French style. According to Artsy’s Digby Ware-Aldam, brightly colored versions were made of the chic, moody turtleneck in the 1970s.

The turtleneck is not a fashion trend that will be relegated to the past, thanks to the fashion mistakes of the 1970s. Elizabeth Holmes and Steve Jobs are two modern adopters of this iconic look. The black turtleneck’s image may have suffered more than it was worth, but ocasions the constant conversation around her steadfast adherence to the outfit shows that even the most basic looks can spark the most conversations.