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A polo neck, roll-neck1 (UK) or turtleneck (US, Canada) or skivvy (Australia, New Zealand) is a garment—usually a sweater—with a close-fitting, round, and high collar that folds over and covers the neck. It can also refer to type of neckline, the style of collar itself, or be used as an adjective ("polo necked").
A simpler variant of the standard polo neck is the mock polo neck (or mock turtleneck), that resembles the polo neck with the soft fold at its top and the way it stands up around the neck, but both ends of the tube forming the collar are sewn to the neckline. This is mainly used to achieve the appearance of a polo neck where the fabric would fray, roll, or otherwise behave badly unless sewn. The mock polo neck clings to the neck smoothly, is easy to manufacture, and works well with a zip closure.
Turtleneck-like garments have been worn for hundreds of years, dating at least to the 15th century.2
From the late 19th century on, turtlenecks were commonly worn by menial workers, athletes, sailors and naval officers. Since the middle of the 20th century black polo necks have been closely associated with radical academics, philosophers, artists and intellectuals.34 The polo neck jumper became an iconic symbol of the French philosopher Michel Foucault.5 Polo necks also became a big fashion for young wealthy men after they were worn by European film stars Marcello Mastroianni and Yves Montand.6 The term polo neck, common in British English, is thought to derive from garments with similar necklines worn by polo players.7
Their adoption by Noël Coward in the 1920s turned turtlenecks into a brief middle-class fashion trend, and feminists made them into a unisex item. In the 1950s the black polo neck became a distinctive mark of existentialists.citation needed Absorbed into mainstream American fashion by the mid 20th century, the turtleneck came to be viewed as an anti-tie, a smart form of dress for those who rejected formal wear. Senator Ted Kennedy, pianist/conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor Seiji Ozawa, singer Barry Manilow and scientist Carl Sagan, and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs were among those often seen in turtlenecks.
Over time it grew and as a women's wear, it became a fad, among teenage girls, especially in a lightweight form that emphasised their figures. It was not long before Hollywood was also exploiting this image as part of the sweater girl look.
By the late 1950s the "tight turtleneck" had been adopted as part of the preppy style among students, a style emphasising neatness, tidiness and grooming. This would become an important aspect of the turtleneck's image in the United States. The look would filter through to Britain and the rest of Europe in a watered-down version.
Turtlenecks have historically (and controversially) acted as substitutes of the traditional and dominant shirt and tie look.12 Some of the fiercest conflicts regarding the turtleneck's use took place in upscale restaurants and in weddings, where turtlenecks have been used in violation of the shirt and tie.
"the turtleneck was the boldest of all the affronts to the status quo. It was the picture of masculine poise and arrogance, redolent of athletes, sportsmen, even U-boat commanders. The simplicity of its design made neckties seem fussy and superfluous by comparison"
"Turtlenecks are the most comfortable garment you can wear. They move with the body, and they're flattering too, because they accentuate the face and elongate the figure. They make life so easy: you can wear a turtleneck to work and then afterwards throw on a jacket, and it becomes very dressy. You can go anywhere you like."
- Chilvers, Simon (2011-08-23). "Man-trend: Roll-necks | Fashion | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
- Weather & Time. "Who invented the turtleneck?". ChaCha. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
- Mary Ann Frese Witt, The Humanities: The humanities and the modern world, 2000, pages 463-464
- Deirdre Bair,Simone de Beauvoir:a biography, 1990, page 360
- Eribon, Didier (1991) . Michel Foucault. Betsy Wing (translator). Cambridge, MAS.: Harvard University Press. p. 311. ISBN 978-0571144748 Check
- Guido Vergani, Dizionario della moda, 2009, page 348 (in Italian)
- John Ayto (2002). 20th century words. 外语教学与研究出版社. ISBN 978-7-5600-2874-3. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, Putin's choice, 2008,
- Theodore C. Kariotis, The Greek socialist experiment: Papandreou's Greece 1981–1989, 1992
- "American Costume, 1915-1970: A Source Book for the Stage Costumer". Books.google.gr. 1989-08-22. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
- Steve black turtleneck reportedly explained in biography - Nathan Olivarez-Giles in LA Times
- Frank W. Hoffmann,William G. Bailey (1994) Fashion & Merchandising Fads p.267
- "Frank W. Hoffmann,William G. Bailey, Fashion & Merchandising Fads". Books.google.gr. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
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