Both the V neck and the Crew neck are very popular styles of sweater. The names refer to the shape of the neckline on the sweater and don’t give reference to anything else about the garment. For example, you could have a V neck cardigan or a Crew neck pullover. Both styles have their own unique look which suits itself better to certain outfits or different situations. In this article we’ll cover some of the advantages and disadvantages of the both styles and when and where they’re best suited for. Although you’ll often see the V neck and Crew neck on other garments such as shirts, we’ll be talking specifically about sweaters. Despite this specificity, you can carry across many of the same tips to other garments as the neckline remains fairly consistent.
What is the difference between a V neck and a Crew neck?
Both the V neck and Crew neck have a collarless neckline; however where they differ is with the shape of said neckline. Whilst the Crew neck has a round neck, the V neck (as the name suggests) has a V shaped neckline. Both of these styles have their positives and negatives are designed to be worn with different garments. For example, you might see a V neck sweater be worn with a tie as the shape compliments the accessory. On the other hand a Crew neck will cover the tie and do little more than break up the otherwise seamless rim.
The name “Crew neck” comes from the word crew as they were the types of shirts worn by oarsmen on a boat. The Crew neck features a round neck which is designed to sit around the base of the wearer’s neck, usually following the line of the collarbone. The neckline of the sweater itself is usually ribbed and sewn on as a separate piece giving a textured and raised look. The Crew neck is considered a “casual” style and will usually see very little wear in a formal setting.
The V neck Sweater takes its name from the shape of the neckline on the garment which creates a ‘V’ shape. The V neck tends to have much more variance than a Crew neck; the length of the V shape can differ considerably depending on the style. The great benefit of a V neck over a Crew neck is its versatility both in the clothing it can be worn with and the settings in which it can be worn. The V neck is seen as a more formal neckline, partially thanks to it being able to be worn with a tie and as such will see wear in more formal settings.
Although the V neck and Crew neck may seem similar at first, being differentiated only by a small amount of fabric, they are actually very unique from one another. Different styles, outfits, patterns and ideas may work for one whilst not the other.
Why wear a Crew neck?
As previously mentioned, the Crew neck features a round neckline which sits along the collarbone, this makes it ideal to work in combination with some clothes whilst makes it less than ideal with others. It is often seen as the more casual cousin of the V neck, being very similar and at the same time worlds apart. The Crew neck is a versatile piece, a layering piece and an everyday piece. Whilst a V neck may see wear on a number of occasions, the Crew neck will be constantly in and out of your wardrobe as a go to for comfort, warmth and layering.
As with the V neck, the Crew neck sports a collarless (or foldless) neckline which gives an unobtrusive line when layering, which makes it an ideal middle garment either under a jacket or occasionally under another piece of knitwear.
Truly the main reason why you’d wear a Crew neck is just how much use you’ll see out of it, with an unmatched versatility and a timeless casual look it’s hard to go wrong.
How to wear a Crew neck
The Crew neck is most commonly seen worn with a t-shirt underneath. The shirt can either showing or not showing on the neckline depending on the look trying to be achieved. Contrasting simple designed Crew neck sweaters with more patterned shirts can create an effective look.
Rarely is a Crew neck seen with a collared shirt (unlike the V neck) and for this reason it’s seen as a more casual garment. However, if you are to wear a collared shirt with a Crew neck make sure that it doesn’t look square or misaligned. This style can usually be complimented by layering with a jacket to reduce the squared look.
Fundamentally of course, a Crew neck sweater is a sweater designed to keep you warm, so you will see most wear out of you sweater in the winter months and must plan your outfit accordingly. You can either layer up or layer down depending on how cold or how warm it may be, as well as having the advantage of it being a lightweight alternative to a jacket.
The Crew neck works best as a light knitwear, allowing for easier layering, for this reason the thinner materials are better. Cashmere is a great choice due to exceptional light weight to warmth ratio. Merino wool or a Merino blend is another good pick as it is lighter than many other types of wool and is great for temperature regulation.
Why wear a V neck?
Arguably the less dynamic of the two, the V neck sweater is none the less an extremely useful piece of clothing that can be seen worn in a wide variety of settings. With an increase in more casual attire in the workplace, the V neck fits a happy medium between casual and formal that sits at home within a more casual office.
There are many different styles that can be worn with a V Neck, just to name a few; under a suit, business smart casual, casual wear.
The V neck fills the need of an occasion where a Crew neck might feel uncomfortable by being too casual for setting. The allowance for a collared shirt and occasionally a tie, helps to elevate the V neck to a more formal garment.
How to wear a V neck
A V neck works best when worn with a collared shirt, possibly including the more casual polo shirt, this allows the V neck to be one of the better knitwear choices for a smart casual or formal setting. Despite being a great choice to smarten up an outfit, be wary of a plunging neckline which can quickly turn a jumper suitable for a formal occasion into a very casual piece of clothing. Although the V neck can be worn with a t-shirt and other collarless shirts, if you are hoping to layer the neck with the likes of a blazer or jacket, a collared undershirt is a requirement.
When looking out for patterns and designs on a V neck, you usually won’t find much in the way of variety. A V neck works best with single (block) colours with little in the way of pattern. This can be complimented and contrasted with nicely by using a patterned, collared shirt underneath.
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