Depending on when you were born, the turtleneck may bring to mind any number of things: 1950s chic, 1960s bohemian, 1970s women’s activists, or (record scratch) 1990s Jerry Seinfeld-era goofiness.


Left: Natalie in her dress and pendent necklace with her friend Tricia; Chattanooga, Tennessee. Right: Natalie in a variation of that dress with her granddaddy and son, Zach on the family farm; Central, Alabama. Both images from 1986.

But the wonderful thing about a turtleneck is its timelessness. This particular style in our recent round of Collection updates is inspired by Natalie’s closet and a sense memory of clothing; she has incorporated it into her personal wardrobe over the years. When she worked on 7th Avenue at her first job in New York, Natalie designed a turtleneck dress as her first design, which she still holds a special fondness for.

The turtleneck is a frame for your face. Until now, a turtleneck might not have seemed your first choice for those days when you need to feel more classic and beautiful. But all you have to do is remember this: Ann-Margret, Audrey Hepburn, Eartha Kitt, Joan Didion, Brigitte Bardot all loved and routinely wore turtlenecks—the classic beauty is there for the taking.


Our new turtleneck-inspired styles in the Collection include Natalie’s Dress (derived from her original design), Natalie’s Tunic,  Rib Turtleneck Dress, The Easy Turtleneck, and The Easy Turtleneck Tunic. Lasting beauty and modern design. The turtleneck never wears you; you always wear the turtleneck.


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Click to read 5 comments
  1. Brunella B. Rosser

    As always, a visit to Alabama Chanin makes me feel really happy, reflective, and oh so relaxed. I love Natalie’s photos and her Turtle Neck Dress. So, now I’m thinking about changing a couple of my t-shirt necklines to Turtle Necks. Of course I haven’t figured it out yet, but with a steady supply of inspiration from this Daily Journal… I know that I will.
    Let’s thread our needles– or to quote Natalie “needle our thread”.
    Please keep the sewing music coming,
    Brunella B Rosser
    ecofriend on Craftsy

  2. Vickie Taton

    I’m really fond of turtlenecks, especially sleeveless. It’s like the best of both worlds – airy and cool but dressed up slightly. This dress might have to be added to my closet.