The Tentative Return of the Turtleneck

Jan 30, 2013

The return of the turtleneckIt’s time to face facts about the young man’s turtleneck: its clawing its way back. The more fashionably jaded would argue that Britain is not yet ready for its youth to return to an 80's style that has been bad-mouthed and branded thoroughly unfashionable for nearly thirty years now. But people said the same thing about the cardigan a decade ago. The turtleneck has a lot to offer the younger generation if only it would be embraced for what it is.

Steve Jobs Turtleneck Turtlenecks won’t land you a job as the C.E.O of a multi-national electronics company. But as the late Steve Jobs demonstrated: it certainly helps. (picture by Ben Stanfield)

Turtlenecking is an ambitious practice to try to slip into your day. There’s no getting around that, particularly if you’re not the sort of chap who regularly sports charity shopped, granddad style jerseys that are needed to break yourself into turtleneck culture. Any man who braves the polo neck can’t deny his nagging fear: namely someone across the room pointing at your neck clinging, posture enforcing jumper and yelling “HA! What is that?”

The Beatles turtleneckThat’s right. The Beatles often wore polo necks. Why? It doesn’t matter: they’re the Beatles. Are you better than the Beatles?

On the flip side the rewards are sizable. There is a certain European arty-farty allure to the polo neck. Men who don them have a certain spring in their step. They’re the kind of gent who throws open the curtains in the morning, beaming, and tackles the day with an energy and determination. Why? Because not only is your neck warm, but you look cool in the process.

If you’ve recently identified yourself as a turtleneck wearer, don’t despair. It’s perfectly normal. You could be part of the pioneering club on the front lines of this revival. Pat yourself on the back. Not everyone is made of this stuff.There are no cardinal rules when it comes to turtleneck wearing. Just don’t go for a mustard coloured one that’s too musty. If in doubt, go for black. You’ll soon discover you can’t put a foot wrong in a black turtleneck.

James Garner turtleneckJames Garner's white polo neck in 1963's The Great Escape was so ruddy suave Steve Mcqueen openly complained that he was stealing his screen presence. Evidence to the success of the turtleneck? I think so.
James Fredrick Gray
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