Sophisticated yet practical – the turtleneck sweater should be a staple in every stylish wardrobe. This is our little ode to one of our most beloved (and underestimated) fashion items.
THE STORY BEHIND IT
The Americans call it ”turtleneck”, the French named it ”roll neck”, the Brits sometimes prefer ”polo neck”. (We decided on turtleneck, because well, it is a funny word.) Whatever you might call it, this high neck sweater has one outstanding quality: it makes you look intelligent. More precisely; it makes you look like an intellectual. Worn right, it makes you look like a sexy intellectual.
Contradictory enough, it was the jocks who were the first to sport the turtleneck, in the late 1800s. College athletes wore it as an undergarment, and then the military started using it, for the same functional purpose.
In the 1950s, the turtleneck became a symbol for the new intellectual bohemia, and in the following decades it was a key item for designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin.
”Turtlenecks are particularly underrated”, writes Diane Keaton in her memoir Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty. Few actresses have had more impact on fashion history than Keaton, and no woman before her had worn the turtleneck (or a tie and khakis, for that matter) with such accuracy and confidence. And of course, the fans followed.
After a few dark years for the turtleneck, it is once again a fashion key piece. Hip brands like Altuzarra and The Row love it, and so does their fashionista following.
HOW TO STYLE IT
Since tight is the new oversized and retro is the new modern, we opted for a sleek black look. A black turtleneck was paired with high-waist slim jeans à la modern beatnik, and stylist Columbine Smille added some subtle jewellery and a leather belt to finish off the look.
Photographer Tobias Lundkvist’s favourite items are the classics: a black t-shirt and Chuck Taylors. Stylist Columbine Smille’s favourite item is the perfect black silk dress. Our model is the lovely Chiharu Okunugi. Hair by Mette Thorsgaard and makeup by Josefin Scherdin.