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 43 Paapa Essiedu The British stage star steps onto a new platform. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Amia Srinivasan Amia Srinivasan on the philosophy of sex. Arts & Culture Issue 43 David Erritzoe On the mind-bending potential of psychedelics. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Space Invaders Room dividers from a Roman studio. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Study: Tricks of the Mind The cognitive processing errors that shape us all. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Happy Medium In praise of average.