A v-neck sweater should be a part of every guy’s essential wardrobe. These sweaters are great for layering during those cool days and nights and allow you to take your standard wardrobe and increase the number of options available. One of my favorite outfits is a clean navy blazer, white dress shirt, striped tie, with a pair of jeans and white sneakers. The V-Neck is great because it can pretty much be layered with anything in your closet. It’ll go great with your blazer or suit, of course, a dress shirt and a tie as well as an oxford dress shirt. As far as bottoms go it’ll go with whatever you have in your essential wardrobe, including dark wash jeans, wool pants or men’s chinos. And shoes – white sneakers, chukkas, leather boots or derby brogues will also go great.
Why should you buy a v-neck instead of a crew neck
I’ve never worn crewnecks. I just never like the way they looked on me (short neck) and I never liked the way they felt, especially with a button down underneath. V-necks were always the best of both worlds. They look great as well as feel great. I can dress them up with a broadcloth dress shirt and a tie or down with a plaid or gingham shirt. My V-Neck is one of my favorite pieces in my arsenal.
V-Neck Do’s and Dont’s
- Store neatly folded rather than hanging
- Limit washes and dry cleaning because sweaters will fade and wear thin
- Wear them with tie, with Oxford Button Down Dress Shirts, with Suits, with a Blazer, with Trench Coats, with Wool Trousers, with Dark Wash Jeans, with White Sneakers, with Derby Brogue Dress Shoes, and with Leather Dress Boots.
- Clip loose threads. You’ll be starting something you might not be able to finish
- Throw away pilling sweaters. These can be refurbished
- Lay your dress collar on top of the sweater
- Wear logos – keep it clean, wear over a t-shirt, wear over Polo Shirts, wear them without a shirt underneath
V-Neck Sweater Fabrics
V-neck sweaters come in a multitude of fabrics. It would be difficult to cover them all here so we’ll take a look at the most popular.
Cashmere is probably the softest and as a result the most expensive fabric. Cashmere is made from the soft fleecy part of a goat’s coat. The coat develops when the goat is exposed to cold temperatures. The harsher the winter the more you get. When the winter breaks and the goat sheds, this undercoat is combed out and spun into cashmere. The result is a fabric that is very soft to the touch and has none of the itchy qualities of wool. The great thing about Cashmere is that it still provides the warmth of standard wool. Sweaters made out of cashmere will need to be dry cleaned.
Probably the most popular fabric for v-neck sweaters is merino wool. This wool is made from the Merino Sheep which is known for its incredible softness, and breathability when compared to the classic itchy types of wool. Key benefits of merino wool include natural anti-bacterial properties, lightweight because of the fine fibers of the wool, and maintenance. I would suggest dry cleaning any wool products, but you could get away with washing a merino wool sweater and drying flat in a pinch.
Cotton & Cotton Blends
Cotton is very common in most clothing products and offers a less expensive alternative to its wool counterparts. If not 100% cotton, most v-necks will be blended with cashmere, silk, or polyester. The blended sweater will contain about 15-20% of the secondary fabric. The great thing about cotton and cotton blends is they come in lots of colors, can be washed at home, and as I stated previously are inexpensive. Be careful of sweaters using low-quality cotton which will cause pilling and wear out quickly.
V-Neck Colors You Should Buy
Depending on the fabric you get v-neck sweaters come in a multitude of colors. In our 33-piece wardrobe capsule guide, we talk about staying with neutral colors to provide greater ability to mix and match. Our top choices are Navy and Black, and if you’re still looking to fill out your wardrobe add charcoal and light grey, and then a light beige v-neck in that order.
How should a V-Neck Fit?
If you don’t get the right fit on a v-neck sweater you can start looking sloppy really quick. For the length, you want to make sure the bottom hem just falls below your waistband or overlaps. Any longer looks odd. If I’m wearing a belt one of the things I like to do is the J. Crew tuck, where you tuck in just the front of your sweater. As with a suit jacket you want to make sure the shoulder seams sit right at the end of your shoulders. The sleeves should end right at the base of your thumb/wrist. The great thing about sweaters is if your sleeves are running a little long you can cuff the sleeves without taking too much away from your look. The body of your sweater should be comfortable without being too constraining. If you’re getting folds or billowing in the body then it’s time to size down.
Where To Buy 5 Of The Best Mens V-Neck Sweaters For Any Budget
The brands below are some of my favorite for V-Necks around. They’re all extremely reputable and provide you a great product regardless of your price point.
1. John Smedley V-Neck Sweaters ($250)
2. Filippa K Fine Merino Wool V-Neck Sweater ($165)
3. J. Crew V-Neck Sweaters ($70+)
4. Brooks Brothers Merino Wool V-Neck Sweater ($60)
5. H&M V-Neck Merino Wool Sweater ($50)
Men’s Outfit Ideas for V-Neck Sweaters
These are four of my favorite v-neck sweater outfit ideas. I’ve paired the sweaters with dress shirts, jeans, chinos, wool pants, and blazers. You should find something from casual to business casual.
1. Navy Blazer: J. Crew Navy Blazer
2. Shirt: Todd Snyder Hamilton Blue Solid Pima Twill Shirt
3. Sweater: J. Crew Merino Wool Sweater Navy
4. Chinos: Uniqlo Uniqlo Flat Front Chinos Navy
5. Sneakers: Oliver Cabell Low 1 Sneakers
6. Belt: J. Crew Classic Leather Belt
1. Trench: American Trench Navy
2. Sweater: J. Crew Navy V-Neck Sweater
3. Shirt: Taylor Stitch Everyday Oxford Blue
4. Chinos: J. Crew 484 Stretch Chinos Navy
5. Boots: Red Wing 2954 Heritage Work Cooper Moc Toe Boot
1. Bomber: Norse Projects Ryan Poplin Navy
2. Sweater: J crew Everyday cashmere V-neck sweater Oatmeal
3. Shirt: Alex Mill Overdyed White Oxford
4. Jeans: Rogue Territory Standard Issue
5. Sneakers: Common Project Achilles Lows