Steve Jobs – behind the turtleneck

A lot has been written about Steve Jobs since his passing last month, and of course whenever you think of him, it’s not only the great Apple innovations that come to mind, but also his black turtleneck and Levis.

Steve’s perpetual outfit earned him both praise and scorn in funny ways, ’cause let’s face it, when did we start rating innovators on how they dress? They’re too busy changing the world and piling up their money to keep up with fashion.

In GQ, Jobs made the Worst Dressed Men in Silicon Valley List, but right after his passing, he was also complimented for his “timeless geek chic,” noting that “in both his attire and his company, Jobs proved simplicity is powerful and elegant.”

As Robin Givhan writes, what Jobs wore was “neither disconcertingly flashy, nor self-consciously dowdy” and it “came to be uniquely associated with him, indicative of the streamlined ease of his technical wizardry, but wholly accessible, uncomplicated and welcoming.”


Givhan continues that “Job’s uniform was the closest thing to geek chich that anyone had every come…with just the tiniest hint of Steve McQueen cool in that mod black turtleneck. His style was that of the super smart guy who tutors you through calculus with his brain power, but ultimately makes you love math because of his simple charm.”


As Jobs explained in his biography, written by Walter Issacson, he got designer Issey Miyake to make him a hundred black turtlenecks, and he showed the Issacson the stockpile in his closet.

The Hollywood Reporter also mentioned that one clothing company, St. Croix, saw their sales in black turtlenecks double, prompting them to offer the American Cancer Society $20 for every black turtleneck sold.