This one piece of clothing I’ll never buy. I’m scared of it.

Alexei Sorokin
2 min readNov 24, 2022

All right, this will probably seem like a random and bizarre story on the eve of Thanksgiving.

But I thought I’d let it out.

First a disclaimer: I have nothing against the people who wear this garment. My current boss wears it all the time. He’s great.

Some very famous people, from heroes to villains, wore it. In fact, if I mention them, this story will become short because I will reveal what I’m talking about.

Steve Jobs:

Elizabeth Holmes, recently sentenced to jail:

You’ve guessed it by now, right?

A turtleneck sweater!

I think I have a phobia of turtleneck sweaters…

Again this story has no undercurrents. It’s not about specific individuals or trends. It’s about damn turtleneck sweaters! If I just try to imagine (let alone wear) some piece of clothing around my neck, I feel like I can’t breathe, like I’m being suffocated.

I barely buy clothing for myself. When I start running out of things, my wife usually gets me something. She knows well: if it’s a hoodie it has to be the kind that can be unzipped.

My neck and even upper chest have to be free of any heavy clothing, no matter the weather.

I used to live in Russia and other places known for cold weather, like Boston.

When you get ready to go outside, you’d often hear your wife, parents or even (or, no, not “even”, certainly !) your mother-in-law telling you to cover your neck with a scarf.

No! Never!

It’s a nightmare. It’s like a rope or snake around my neck.

I’m not saying I don’t get cold. Of course, I do. I’d cover my ears even when it’s mildly cold.

But not my neck!


My neck has to breathe.

I guess I’ll never become a famous designer of turtleneck sweaters.

Or maybe the other way around; I should think out of the box and start a turtleneck company.

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Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day.