Skip to navigationSkip to content

Elon Musk has some strong feelings about Steve Jobs-style turtlenecks

Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition II in Hawthorne, California, U.S., August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake - RC1290F65C60
Reuters/Mike Blake
Elon Musk, hater of turtlenecks.
By Marc Bain
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Some people hate the way turtlenecks look, others the way they feel. “Wearing a turtleneck,” the late comedian Mitch Hedberg once joked, “is like being strangled by a really weak guy.”

Among those surprisingly hostile to turtlenecks is Elon Musk, cofounder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Musk expressed some very strong feelings about the high-necked sweaters. “If I was dying and I had a turtleneck on,” he said, “with my last dying breath, I would take the turtleneck off and try to throw it as far away from my body as possible.”

Reuters/Beck Diefenbach
Steve Jobs.

Musk’s distaste for turtlenecks has a fairly unique origin story: They were part of Steve Jobs’ signature look, and Musk bristles at being cast as a new iteration of the Apple founder. Instead, Musk sees himself trying to create what he calls “useful things” that aren’t just technological innovations, but also make the future a better place.

Of course, the average guy’s trepidation about turtlenecks stems from other reasons, like whether they’re cool or not (paywall). In the past couple years, turtlenecks have been turning up more often on runways, and they of course got a big cosign from Drake in his music video for “Hotline Bling.” The turtleneck’s star looks to be rising again, whether Musk is on board or not.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.