With cooler weather firmly planting itself across the globe’s Northern hemisphere, it’s time to break out the warm weather clothes. Even those of us who work in cozy climate controlled offices are feeling the need to layer.
One of the most versatile pieces of clothing that should be in your winter wardrobe is a fine gauge v-neck sweater. Just like having a pair of classic dark washed jeans that can take you from office casual to drinks at the Ritz, a classic v-neck sweater will cover a lot of bases without overdoing it.
Now, I’m not talking about a chunky ski sweater or that shapeless holdover used for yard work. You should look on this sweater as alternative dress clothing; something lightweight, lightly fitted and soft.
Cashmere is the best choice of course, but depending on quality and brand name, it can be very expensive. And don’t bother with double and triple thick cashmere unless you are spending lots of time outdoors. Most of us are wearing these indoors at work or home and the extra thickness will only make you extra warm. If price is an issue, merino wool is as an alternative to cashmere. Look for tightly knit fabric that is soft to the touch and has a comfortable fit.
Stick with solids at first – grey, brown, navy blue, and black. Once you have the basics in place, add an argyle for that college professor look. Indeed, this season there is a fair amount of variety when it comes to knits and texture and you can add some flair to your wardrobe with cables, heathers, and rough-weaves. Classics like crew necks, sweater vests and cardigans are all in style this season as well, so make sure to check out of your options.
Fair Isle in earth tones
The v-neck sweater is a timeless piece that, when chosen carefully, can be happily used for years. Several seasons back a deeper “v” was favored, while these days a higher neck line is preferred. Generally speaking, I like the “v” to fall about two inches (roughly 5 cm) from the neck line as it provides room for a shirt collar to spread out while at the same time still containing it.
A little more modern
Wear it over a tee shirt with those dressy jeans and you’re pulling off George Clooney-like cool. For a classic preppy look, throw it over an oxford and head off to a lunch meeting. If you are having dinner at a nice place but a jacket is still too formal, reach for your v-neck as the perfect compromise. Regardless, you’re good to go with this classically flexible layer.