For such an unfussy garment, the history of the turtleneck is a strange one. First worn as a protective layer between chain mail and knights’ delicate necks, it was then adopted by sailors and merchant marines as insulation against frigid ocean squalls. Now, it has become a signifier. Of what? That seems to change as often as the sea wind. The turtleneck has had so many iconic moments that it’s hard to conjure up just one. Steve Jobs comes to mind, of course. So do Audrey Hepburn and Michel Foucault. Ask an octogenarian and they’ll likely weave a tale of some dreamy beatnik with whom they locked eyes in the late 1950s. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Eight Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 47 Alice Sheppard On dance as a channel to commune with the body—even when it hurts. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Dr. Woo Meet the tattoo artist who's inked LA. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Walt Odets The author and clinical psychologist on why self-acceptance is the key to a gay man's well-being. Arts & Culture Fashion Issue 47 A Picture of Health Xiaopeng Yuan photographs the world’s weirdest wellness cures. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Chani Nicholas and Sonya Passi Inside the astrology company on a mission to prove workplace well-being is more than a corporate tagline. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Julia Bainbridge On the life-enhancing potential of not drinking alcohol.