They're the staple jumpers in our wardrobe and a timeless part of menswear, but V-neck jumpers are often seen as pretty dull as well. Read on for our guide on the best, stylish ways to dress up and down these versatile pieces.
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V-neck jumpers are one of those things that you know about, you've seen around, but you might not yet view as a staple piece you should have. Too often they're associated with badly dressed business men or school kid's uniforms, and that kind of association brings them down in our estimations. The fact though is that a good V-neck jumper can be worn in so many different looks, whether it's a classic, formal outfit or a casual everyday one.
We'll go over some of the best ways to wear a V-neck, helping you to bring out the style and versatility of this simple piece. So whether you're looking for a new office outfit, or just a way to make your everyday look a little warmer, a V-neck jumper is there to help you out.
How to Wear a Sweater
There shouldn’t be any problem with wearing a sweater, especially in a man's wardrobe, as they tend to fit with almost every single piece of clothing, from classy jeans to elegant suits. As well as they defy trends and set styles, and flatter every body type, whether you've got a bit of chub to you, or you struggle to add on the pounds.
So, every time you have a problem and ask yourself “What should I wear?”, just throw on a sweater and it'll do the work itself. Well, maybe not literally, but we'll discuss what else you can wear with it later.
How to Wear a V-neck Sweater
It's a men's wardrobe essential and something that you can easily dress up in a simple, elegant way. The defined neck helps streamline the body and brings an understated style to your look.
“A V-Neck sweater is essential because it’s the classy mofo of the sweater world. V-necks add a touch of dressy formality that you just won’t get with a crew neck.”
- Ashley Weston, The Celebrity Menswear
The question is what kind of V-neck are you trying to style? Think about the colour, the fabric and even the textures, because they all have an influence on how your sweater should be worn and styled. The occasion or event is important as well – sometimes you want or need to look more serious and classy, sometimes it’s all about comfort.
Black V-neck Sweater
A black V-neck is a must-have piece of clothing, and something that every man should have in their wardrobe. There're so many ways you can wear this versatile piece, from smart office wear to casual, relaxed styles, and it's probably the most flatting style you can work with.
The V shape helps to elongate your torso, while the black disguises any extra bulk and smooths out the overall look of your body. You can use it to add some layers to your outfit during colder days of the year, or wear alone for a striking, clean look.
Try a simple all black look for a sharp, autumn outfit, working in some simple slim fit jeans and lace up boots, and throwing a versatile mac over the top. If you're not wearing a shirt under your jumper, or even a T-shirt for that matter, make sure you choose a jumper in a breathable material.
Something that contains too much polyester is just going to make you sweat, which will then soak into the jumper and leave you feeling uncomfortable and well, smelling bad. A blend made from more than 50% cotton will do the job if you can't get your hands on 100%.
A V-neck is pretty perfect for more formal looks as well, and you can easily match one with a range of smart outfits. From simple chinos and shirt combinations to sleeker looks with blazers and added accessories, a black V-neck is one of those pieces that can blend in and complement even the most extravagant clothing choices.
Still, sometimes simplicity is best, and a timeless, fail-safe look that's great for the office is to keep your outfit sharp, but with a dash of colour or pattern. Play around with the classic office outfit by pairing your classic v-neck jumper with a shirt that's a little more complex, such as a black and white checked design, or a plain, but coloured one. To keep a formal balance make sure that the rest of the outfit is sleek and in clean, neutral colours, and that you don't overload your outfit with any unnecessary accessories.
Men’s White/Cream V-neck Sweater
White can be a bit of a daunting colour to incorporate into your wardrobe. It's got a few issues - it's easy to stain, it shows every lump and bump, and it's not always entirely versatile, so a lot of us tend to avoid it on the whole. On the other hand, if it's styled correctly white can really add a clean, elegant touch to your outfit and keep you looking effortlessly sophisticated.
If however, that's just not for you, then cream can be a great alternative. It has the same light and clean benefits of a white jumper but doesn't have as much of an intense finish. This makes it easier to incorporate into different outfits, whether it be a simple look with simple colours or a more vibrant one.
You can easily smarten it up with some white chinos and a light blue shirt for a classic smart-casual style, or keep things casual with a light, relaxed look by pairing a white shirt with some loose fit jeans and simple lace-up shoes, like these, £74.00.
Grey V-neck Sweater
If a black V-neck just seems too formal or 'office appropriate' for you, don’t hesitate to try out something a little less intense and go for grey instead. There's a huge range of grey shades from so dark it's almost black, to the subtle blue-grey tones, through to medium greys that can really work with everything.
While black can sometimes create a more striking contrast when paired with lighter tones, grey has the benefit of being a little lighter and easier to blend in with different colours. If you're going for a relaxed look, try pairing a simple grey v neck with a brighter coloured pair of chinos for a bold contrast and a comfortable finish. Complete the look with some brown boots or loafers to fit in with the colour scheme, and throw on a dark blue denim jacket for some extra layering.
There're various ways that you can add your grey V-neck into more formal outfits though, with grey having a clean formal vibe, much like black, but giving off a less rigid finish. Replacing a black V-neck with a grey one in a formal outfit is a simple way of achieving the same sharp look, but with a lighter overall look.
If you're looking for something that's in between the realms of smart and casual, play up with the traditional formal look by swapping out certain pieces for more relaxed ones. For example, a white shirt with a grey V-neck and chinos is a standard smart outfit, but swapping out the chinos for jeans and finishing off with some rugged boots can keep things looking more relaxed.
Men’s Argyle Sweater
Starting from the bottom, argyle is a print based on diamond shapes, which consists of;
Layers of overlapping motifs, adding a sense of three-dimensionality, movement, and texture
Coming originally from Scottish folk style, argyle shapes came into fashion in the 1950s, gradually going out of style before returning with a vengeance in the 80s. Nowadays the classy, old school look that came with its 50s popularity has remained, and modern interpretations tend to dress the argyle V-neck sweater up in a preppy, conservative style.
However, you don't have to look like you're on your way to the country club, or off to play a spot of golf, to pull off an argyle sweater. Grab one in a rustic colour like brown or grey and pair it with some light, classic chinos. Finish off with some sturdy lace-up boots like these ones, £109.90, for a rugged finish, and a complete the look with a good waxed jacket to give off a relaxed yet put together look.
What to Wear Under a V-neck Sweater
This is a debated question that's had firm and vague answers from different people over the years. Some argue that only a T-shirt or shirt should be worn under a V-neck, and that it should never be worn on its own. Other say that you can easily wear it on its own, as long as you style it properly.
You may want to try styling a clean wool blend V-neck with a something like a dress shirt for an easy smart casual look, or go for a softer material and wear it on its own with a pair of slim fit jeans. The only rule is to feel comfortable, and maybe to not wear one that's so thin you're showing your nipples. Just putting it out there.
Sweater Over Dress Shirt
This is a look that's been around for years and instantly adds a smart elegance to your outfit without making you look overdressed. Depending on how you style it you can easily create an ultra smart or smart casual look, and this is great if you're looking for a layered look that's easy to change up.
Try mixing a simple white oxford shirt with a light grey V-neck sweater for a clean, understated look, and either pair it with some jeans for a more relaxed look, or some straight leg trousers for a more office appropriate look.
For a more colourful option, go a little bolder with your colour options. Red, orange, yellow or even pink are all options if you want to stand out from the crowd, and can be paired with more neutral coloured shirts to even out the look. For an everyday, smart casual option, go for a checked shirt with a dark, navy blue V-neck sweater and match it with whatever fit of jeans you prefer. The patterned shirt will help give a casual boost to the look, while still keeping everything put together.
Your Quick Guide on How to Wear a V-neck Jumper
- Wear it on its own or layer it over a T-shirt for a simple laid back look.
- Layer it over a simple dress shirt for a more formal style.
- White V-neck sweaters are great for bold, clean looks, and can easily be matched with a good pair of jeans.
- Black V-neck sweaters are the most versatile and can be worn in both casual and formal looks.
On That Note
Look for inspirations, experiment and play with fashion but always place your comfort and personal style first. Sometimes it really is better to keep it simple than to overdress and feel weird. Learn, try things and get inspired but always refer back to your style – this is the only way to look stunning no matter what you are wearing.