It’s difficult to say where and how the roll neck originated, although the one fact we do know is that the almighty roll neck transitioned into fashion with the use through, you guessed it… utility wear.

The traditional men’s piece seems to have been a part of many generations of fashion in one-way or another. It’s convenience; comfort and elegance have made it a piece of knitwear we see on anybody and everybody.

It seems the roll neck, polo neck, turtle neck, whatever you wish to call it began as fashionable wear in the 1920’s through playwright Noel Coward. Popular most with radical academics such as Steven Hawking, musicians like The Beatles, intellectuals such as Steve Jobs and creative types like Andy Warhol, the roll neck was a staple of many of the before said wardrobes. Andy Warhol’s famous black roll neck was even sold at auction many years later. However unaware one may be, they’re all inspirational sources to one of menswear’s most practical pieces.

The Beatnik generation definitely made its impact on the world of fashion, their use of the simple and classic black roll neck alongside a beret, a Parisian look that is something reciprocated by “Hipsters” today.

The Beatniks were part of a social movement during the 1950’s that included people who simply wanted to reject the social norms of society, much similar to what can still be seen today, the Beatnik fashion is copied and emulated into modern fashion seen on a majority of creative types.

As well, of course The Beatles and 60’s fashion played a huge part within the fashioning of the roll neck. Regularly seen on one, if not all members of The Beatles, as seen pictured supposedly after receiving a Grammy – all Ringo, Paul and George are donning the look. The roll neck was the ultimate piece for a casual-cool look in the 60’s and many popular musicians were known for fashioning the look by teaming the piece with a smart blazer or simply tucked into jeans.

The roll neck has been modernized over time, with fashion designers individualising the roll neck to different trends. It is recognisable the classic roll neck will never go out of style and is a sure investment for a modern and stylish man’s wardrobe. Celebrities such as Idris Elba and Dermot O’Leary are fond wearers of a high or roll neck John Smedley style.

The roll neck is perfect for a last-minute sophisticated ensemble – beneficially will appear the complete opposite of an indecisive look. Our range of fine quality sweaters will have you spoiled for choice. Emulate this timeless look and shop the new in for the Spring Summer season style Hawley, a comfortable and lightweight roll neck sweater made with our Sea Island cotton comes in a range of classic and bold colours from Dark Leather to Indigo. Shop the edit now for a roll neck perfect for you.

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