The History of the Polo Neck

As one of our favourite garments for when the weather turns cooler, the polo neck is known by many names including the turtleneck in the U.S and the skivvy in Australia and New Zealand.

In fact, it is a garment that has been a staple in fashion since the 15th century, however it wasn’t until the late 19th century when it became heavily affiliated with a type of uniform. Here at 2forjoy, we recognise the brief yet interesting history of the polo neck and in this article, we have decided to go over some of the key moments. Read on to find out more…

The First Introduction

At the start of the 20th century, the polo neck became a staple in the uniform worn by menial workers, athletes, navy officers and even sailors, however the mid 1950’s saw the style migrate from such industries toward higher class members of society like academics, artists and philosophers. In fact, the garment became an iconic symbol of a French philosopher named Michel Foucault.

Role in Fashion

As a simple piece of attire, the polo neck has the ability to push the boundaries of fashion. For example, feminist fashion branded it a unisex item whereas the implementation from Noel Coward, an English Playwright, allowed them to be simultaneously viewed as a middle-class fashion trend. The polo neck is thought of as a smart garment that allows individuals the ability to make a good first impression without overdressing for casual events. In fact, it has even been implemented within politics as Russian leader Vladimir Putin is well known for donning a polo neck sweater too.

Famous Faces

Over the years, the polo neck has become synonymous with famous faces within celebrity culture and business culture alike. For example, British actress Audrey Hepburn is famous for wearing a black polo neck during a photoshoot in the late 50’s and it is now an integral part of her trademark, particularly during the film Funny Face. In addition to this, American businessman Steve Jobs wore a black polo neck as part of his uniform as part of a desire to stand out from the crowd. In fact, it became a recognisable part of his ensemble and was a welcomed change to the shirt and tie businessmen that people usually saw in the media.

Whilst the polo neck has been in circulation since the 15th century, it is important to recognise that it didn’t enter mainstream fashion until the early 20th century. In fact, it was the influence of famous faces like Audrey Hepburn and Steve Jobs that allowed them to develop into the popular fashion symbol they are today. Here at 2forjoy, we have a just introduced our Oversized Polo Neck Jumper in red and grey which we think are perfect for the staying warm this winter! In fact, our slow fashion durability guarantee ensures that your investment will be able to withstand the test of time. Get in contact with a member of the 2forjoy team to find out more information today. 

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