From the late 19th century on, turtlenecks were commonly worn by menial workers, athletes, sailors and naval officers.
The Feminists made them into a unisex item. In the 1950s the black polo neck became a distinctive mark of existentialists.
Designer Halston wrote :
"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."