Turtlenecks. Ick! They’re itchy, cumbersome, and often feel like choking hazards. Unfortunately for Italians in the 1600s, their fashion used to include something even more restricting than a turtleneck: the ruff. A ruff is a fabric ruffle held up with a wire frame. Although the ruff looks like the collar of a shirt, it’s actually a separate garment and could be made in different sizes. Some were even up to a foot wide! That’s 12 inches of starched fabric wrapped around your neck! Ruffs helped to hold the head up in a proud pose, and because of this, the garment became very popular with Europeannobility. Closed ruffs completely circled the neck, while open ruffs only covered the back and sides of the neck, allowing for a person to better move their head and neck. This fashionable neck piece was often made out of lace, could be paired with matching cuffs, and even sometimes had a jewelry attachment!