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Ollie’s Opinions: Turtlenecks Are Strangulation Death Traps

by Ollie Arnold Copy Editor-In-Chief

4 mins read
woman adjusting collar of soft sweater
Photo by Alena Shekhovtcova on Pexels.com

Every day, my outfit must abide by a set of very important rules. There must be no mid-length sleeves, no long pants without socks and absolutely no velvet. The most important rule is that shirt collars must land below the collarbone; unfortunately, this is the rule that clothing companies continually disrespect. Every day, thousands of turtlenecks are born into this world specifically to cause me pain.

The world’s worst neckline has existed since medieval times. According to startupfashion.com, turtlenecks started as protective wear for knights to avoid chafing from chainmail. During the mid-16th century, they became more fashionable, though they looked very different than they do today. I didn’t think it was possible, but turtlenecks were somehow more uncomfortable. They were called ruffs, and a bigger ruff indicated a higher status (think Queen Elizabeth I).

Turtlenecks were named for their apparent resemblance to a turtle poking its head out of a shell, as said by The Business of Fashion. I do not agree with this name. A more accurate name would be The Strangler. Turtlenecks touch my neck with their sinful fabric, and every oxygen molecule leaves my lungs for its second family in Detroit. They don’t look that much like turtles either. I prefer to compare them to wacky waving inflatable tube men.

Some adherents of the turtleneck may claim that the turtleneck is the superior way to keep one’s neck warm. To them, I’d like to say that the scarf is clearly superior in both comfort and attractiveness. They also came first—as CR Fashionbook reads: scarves date back to 350 BC when the Egyptian queen, Nefertiti, was recorded to be wearing one as part of a headdress. Some may also claim that turtlenecks are simply too stylish to pass up. However, when I see someone wearing a turtleneck, I’m much less likely to compliment them than I am to make an unflattering reference to Steve Jobs. You don’t look cute; you look like a middle-aged tech executive who wants minimum wage to return to what it was in 1970.

Someday, I hope turtlenecks find their true home among the other fashion faux pas: right next door to sandals with socks and crop-top winter jackets. They are the least comfortable things I have ever had the displeasure of imagining around my windpipe. If you see me in a turtleneck, know that I have been replaced by a clone with no fashion sense. To those who routinely wear turtlenecks, know that you are playing with fire—when the clothes of the world become sentient and seek to destroy their human oppressors, I don’t plan on freeing anyone from their self-inflicted neck prison. You are putting yourself in danger, and I just can’t condone that kind of behavior.

Is something making you so irate that you can’t enjoy a nice meal? Email oarnold@drew.edu for a chance to have me rend it limb from limb.

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