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Knitwear & Sweaters

When should I wear a V-neck?

When should I wear a V-neck?

Photographed: Boden V-neck jumper (£50); GANT shirt (£85); MVP jeans (£40)


When faced with a choice between a crew neck or V-neck collar, the crew neck generally wins. “It’s more versatile,” says Thread stylist Freddie Kemp. “It follows the lines of a body, whereas a V-neck goes against them, which can be quite eye-catching.” If in doubt, stick to crews for your t-shirts, sweatshirts and jumpers.

But as with any so-called style ‘rule’, there are exceptions. “A V-neck works well on smart, warming layers,” says Freddie. “It sits well over a shirt, both when it’s open and when you’re wearing a tie, and the shape also complements the lines of a blazer or an overcoat.” In contrast, the interaction between shirt collar, tie knot and crew neck can be complicated, with too many elements in a limited space.

But not all crew necks are created equally. For the perfect style, look for these features.

1. Not too deep

“You should always go for quite a shallow ‘V’,” says Freddie. “It should sit quite high on the neck, so it’s not drastically different from a crew neck. Low ‘V’s never sit well with a t-shirt or shirt underneath.”

2. Add texture

“Look for a jumper that has thick, defined ribbing at the ‘V’,” says Freddie. “It’s a subtle detail, but it gives a nice contrast against the shirt or t-shirt underneath. It makes the V-neck feel higher quality.”

3. Don’t clash

“It’s even more important than normal to pick colours that complement each other,” says Freddie. “More of the shirt is on display, so if they clash, it’s really obvious. Plain shirts make matching easier.”

4. Get the collar right

“The shirt is as important as the V-neck,” says Freddie. “Pick one that has a collar that sits neatly tucked under the neckline of the ‘V’. It looks scruffy if the fabric pokes out over the jumper.”