Polo neck

An example of a classic polo neck.

A polo neck (UK) (or turtle neck in the US) 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 the style of collar itself, or be used as an adjective ("polo-necked").


History

Woman in a black polo neck.

The poloneck sweater, like most sweaters, first emerged in the 1890s as an article of sportswear. It had a varied application but was most often used for the more static players in field sports (a use preserved for the soccer goalkeeper as late as the 1950s in the UK). It was also used in some equestrian activities, though no evidence exists for its use in polo, which might otherwise have explained its name. Originally a thick woollen garment, lighter versions were designed for those who found coarser wool uncomfortable against their skin. These lighter polonecks would become popular for golf amongst both sexes by 1895. Its use by women was also extended into field sports like hockey soon after this. This use as sports wear would continue into the early 20th Century.

Workwear

Polonecks crossed over from sportswear to work wear at the turn of the century, mostly amongst menial workers and seamen. The latter use at sea also led to its adoption by Royal Navy. It was probably at this time that its unisex status as sportswear was exploited by early feminists, who would wear their Hockey sweaters as day wear.

Casual wear

Over time polonecks would become acceptable casual wear, though still usually for men only. It was in this stage that a range of light polonecks in a variety of colours began to be designed. Their adoption by Noel Coward in the 1920s turned them into a brief middle class fashion trend. Again, it was the feminists who turned these into a unisex item.

Absorbed into mainstream American fashion by the mid 20th century, the poloneck came to be viewed as an anti-tie, a smart form of dress for those who rejected formal wear.

Womens wear

Later its increasing acceptability as women's wear saw it become a fad amongst teenage girls, especially in a lightweight form that emphasised aspects of 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 poloneck" had been adopted as part of the preppie style amongst students, a style emphasising neatness, tidiness and grooming. This would become an important aspect of the polonecks image in America. The look would filter through to Britain and Europe in a watered down version.

In contrast, France saw the black poloneck adopted by left wing bohemians and intellectuals, and by the late 1950s their counterparts in the United States and Britain had also adopted the fashion.

Feminist wear

This trend continued into the 1960s and 1970s, with the white poloneck being briefly adopted as a corresponding item for mainstream feminists. The poloneck was generally seen as a unisex and classless garment and wearing one remained a political statement in many circles. However, the poloneck in all its forms soon became a standard wardrobe item for both sexes during this period.

As explained in the spandex fetishism article, another reason why spandex and other tight fabrics may be fetishised is that the garment forms a "second skin," acting as a fetishistic surrogate for the wearer's own skin. Wearers of skin-tight spandex garments can appear naked or coated in a shiny substance like paint. The tightness of the garments may also be seen as sexual bondage.

Polo neck with sleeves. Polo neck without sleeves.

Return to fashion

By the 1980s it was largely out of fashion, though continued to be regarded as a staple item. However the 1990s saw its return to the catwalk, and it was soon to regain its place as a popular fashion item, particularly in America and on the Continent.

See also:

  • Spandex fetishism
  • Lacoste
  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • Preppy
  • Tennis shirt

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However the 1990s saw its return to the catwalk, and it was soon to regain its place as a popular fashion item, particularly in America and on the Continent. They have two adopted children, Josephine, born in 1993, and Cecilia, born in 1990, who both currently attend The Chapin School. By the 1980s it was largely out of fashion, though continued to be regarded as a staple item. Wang currently lives in New York City with her husband, Arthur Becker, the CEO of a company called Navisite. The tightness of the garments may also be seen as sexual bondage. In June 2005, she won the CFDA (Council of the Fashion Designers of America) women's wear designer of the year. Wearers of skin-tight spandex garments can appear naked or coated in a shiny substance like paint. She also penned the book Vera Wang on Weddings which was released by Harper Collins in October, 2001.

As explained in the spandex fetishism article, another reason why spandex and other tight fabrics may be fetishised is that the garment forms a "second skin," acting as a fetishistic surrogate for the wearer's own skin. She has expanded her brand name though her own fragrance, jewelry, shoe and houseware collections. However, the poloneck in all its forms soon became a standard wardrobe item for both sexes during this period. She has designed costumes for figure skaters, including Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan, and has made wedding gowns for Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson,Victoria Beckham and Sharon Stone, among others. The poloneck was generally seen as a unisex and classless garment and wearing one remained a political statement in many circles. In 1990, she opened her own design salon in Carlyle Hotel in New York which featured her trademark bridal gowns. This trend continued into the 1960s and 1970s, with the white poloneck being briefly adopted as a corresponding item for mainstream feminists. She worked for Ralph Lauren as a design director for two years.

In contrast, France saw the black poloneck adopted by left wing bohemians and intellectuals, and by the late 1950s their counterparts in the United States and Britain had also adopted the fashion. Wang was a senior fashion editor for Vogue magazine. The look would filter through to Britain and Europe in a watered down version. When she failed to make the US Olympic team, she turned to her other passion, fashion. This would become an important aspect of the polonecks image in America. Figure Skating Championships. By the late 1950s the "tight poloneck" had been adopted as part of the preppie style amongst students, a style emphasising neatness, tidiness and grooming. As a girl, Wang trained as a figure skater, and competed at the 1968 U.S.

It was not long before Hollywood was also exploiting this image as part of the sweater girl look. Her maternal grandfather was a warlord in China. Later its increasing acceptability as women's wear saw it become a fad amongst teenage girls, especially in a lightweight form that emphasised aspects of their figures. Her paternal grandfather was a military general in China. Absorbed into mainstream American fashion by the mid 20th century, the poloneck came to be viewed as an anti-tie, a smart form of dress for those who rejected formal wear. Her father started and owned a chemical company. Again, it was the feminists who turned these into a unisex item. Her mother often took her to fashion shows in Paris.

Their adoption by Noel Coward in the 1920s turned them into a brief middle class fashion trend. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in art history. It was in this stage that a range of light polonecks in a variety of colours began to be designed. She is a Chinese American raised in an affluent family and attended the The Chapin School, which both her daughters currently attend, and the Sorbonne in Paris. Over time polonecks would become acceptable casual wear, though still usually for men only. She is known for her wedding gown collection among other specialties. It was probably at this time that its unisex status as sportswear was exploited by early feminists, who would wear their Hockey sweaters as day wear. Vera Wang (Chinese: 王薇薇; Hanyu Pinyin: Wáng Wēiwei; born June 27, 1949) is a fashion designer based in New York, NY, USA.

The latter use at sea also led to its adoption by Royal Navy. Polonecks crossed over from sportswear to work wear at the turn of the century, mostly amongst menial workers and seamen. This use as sports wear would continue into the early 20th Century. Its use by women was also extended into field sports like hockey soon after this.

These lighter polonecks would become popular for golf amongst both sexes by 1895. Originally a thick woollen garment, lighter versions were designed for those who found coarser wool uncomfortable against their skin. It was also used in some equestrian activities, though no evidence exists for its use in polo, which might otherwise have explained its name. It had a varied application but was most often used for the more static players in field sports (a use preserved for the soccer goalkeeper as late as the 1950s in the UK).

The poloneck sweater, like most sweaters, first emerged in the 1890s as an article of sportswear. .
. It can also refer to the style of collar itself, or be used as an adjective ("polo-necked").

A polo neck (UK) (or turtle neck in the US) is a garment—usually a sweater—with a close-fitting, round, and high collar that folds over and covers the neck. Tennis shirt. Preppy. Polo Ralph Lauren.

Lacoste. Spandex fetishism.

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