The Best Way To Wear A V Neck Sweater?

The V neck is possibly the most popular cut of sweater at the moment.

There are multitudes of ways to wear it, and I’ve experimented with a few myself. Though it’s been the hot season in Australia for the last few months and I’ve mostly stuck to wearing a sweater tied around my shoulders like a stereotypical preppy douche, I’ve had a few occasions to wear V necks properly in addition to seeing gents on the Gram wear them in a myriad of ways.

This has brought me to a conclusion of how it looks best, and a quick hint which you might be surprised by, coming from a sartorial style writer:

It’s not with a tie.

A Match Made in Heaven: The Open Collar Shirt

Surprised? Don’t be. There’s a perfectly logical thought process behind the aesthetics of it.

Most modern V neck sweaters are cut like the one above. The V is fairly shallow, exposing one placket button when standing and likely riding up to cover that when you’re sitting. This leaves only the collar section of the shirt showing.
Now, if you’re wearing a tie, you aren’t going to be seeing much of it when you’re standing up in a normal V neck. And, when you sit, all you’ll see is the bulge of the knot. It won’t look too flash.

Here’s an example of my own which depicts a V neck with a tie:

However, this shallow V cut is the perfect companion to an open collared button front shirt. I’ve been wearing a couple of these looks myself, and have seen some great ones coming from my friends around the Web. So, here’s a small collection of inspiration for your own outfits:

Or, you could do a Dennis and go an extra mile by wearing a bandana or ascot with your open collar:

The Exception To The Rule

There is a specific type of V neck that looks better with a tie, and this is a classically cut cricket sweater. The deeper cut of the V on this style of sweater makes it look fantastically elegant with a tie.
Additionally, the decorative colour panels on the V draw attention to the tie, rather than allowing the tie to appear like a prisoner peering over a fence.

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I don’t have a cricket sweater yet – I’m hunting for one – but I’m pretty keen to have a crack at putting together some outfits like the two featured above.

Concluding Thoughts

One could call these types of aesthetic considerations a bit picky, but being picky is half of the journey to becoming a well-dressed man. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to wear your sweaters how you like.
If you prefer one way or the other, be comfortable in it and own it. If you do decide to wear a tie with a shallow V sweater, keep to a four-in-hand or old Bertie knot – a half Windsor or Windsor will have your tie looking like the sweater is strangling it.

Thanks for tuning in,

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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