Les Essentiels: The V-Neck Sweater

Two easy and elegant outfits with v-neck sweaters. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

A Wardrobe Staple

I’m always on the lookout for a good v-neck sweater. They’re a classic style (just ask Ines de la Fressange), and you’d think they’d be easy to find, but the last few seasons crew necks seem to have dominated the knitwear landscape. This fall though, I’m beginning to see more v-neck styles offered.

Above: Allude | Theory

Why a v-neck? They’re more flattering to my proportions (short neck, large bust). They allow for an opportunity to add visual interest by layering a blouse or tee underneath, and I find them more comfortable in fluctuating temperatures. They dress up, they dress down; I think they always look chic and elegant. In a neutral color like navy, grey, camel or black, they can be a timeless wardrobe piece.

One of the challenges I’ve had in the past is finding styles that aren’t too long or oversized, yet are cut with enough ease over the hips.

Wool & Cashmere

Merino v-neck sweater in Nile blue from Eileen Fisher. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’m a big fan of merino wool. It’s washable, lightweight, breathable, and travels well. I really like the shape and bracelet sleeves on this sweater. This Nile color is very pretty, but am also tempted by the Maple Oat which is a nice light neutral.

burgundy wool v-neck sweater from Ann Taylor. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This one has long sleeves, and is cut a bit slimmer. I like the split hems on the side. Budget-friendly, and available in four colors in Misses and Petites.

navy v-neck sweater from Everlane. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Hard to go wrong with Navy. Another easy-on-the-wallet option, also available in Black and Charcoal.

Merino wool v-neck grey tunic from Eileen Fisher. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I tried on this tunic, and find it’s one of those pieces that looks better in person than online. In my normal size, the fit wasn’t as oversized as it looks here, nor were the sleeves as long. (Plus option.)

Grey cashmere v-neck sweater from Equipment. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

It’s hard to beat cashmere for lightweight warmth and softness. I purchased a cashmere cardigan from Equipment a couple of years ago, and have been happy with the quality. This v-neck is a classic cut. More colors available here.

Cashmere v-neck sweater by Halogen. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This is a budget-friendly cashmere v-neck, also offered in Petites.

Plus size v-neck cashmere sweater. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Here’s a nice looking cashmere v-neck in Plus, also reasonably priced and offered in several colors.

Many women I know love Uniqlo’s cashmere and merino v-necks, but they’re usually too long for me.

Other Blends

V-neck sweater from T by Alexander Wang. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The fabric on this blush colored sweater is soft, light and swingy, and only 10% wool.

Tencel v-neck sweater from Eileen Fisher. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

If you need something completely wool-free, here’s a lightweight sweater in a tencel blend. Available in Petites too, and other colors. Plus option.

Cotton v-neck sweater from Karen Scott. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Here’s a 100% cotton sweater, offered in over a dozen colors and at a very budget-friendly price!

Are you a fan of the v-neck? Do you stick with neutrals or add a pop of color?

A Few More Options…

Stay in touch.

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  1. Ann Marie
    October 2, 2017 / 3:32 am

    Try Uniqlo. I got a light weight wool v-neck sweater there recently and it was only $29.99 I believe.

  2. Adele Miller
    October 2, 2017 / 3:51 am

    I love V-neck sweaters, as I don’t like a collar that is remotely close to my neck. Banana Republic has some nice lightweight, washable merino wool V-neck pullovers and cardigans this season, and there are frequent promotions for 40% off.

  3. Lisa
    October 2, 2017 / 5:27 am

    THANK YOU!!!! Have been searching for a V-neck sweater to match a sequin J Crew skirt I’d like to wear to my nephew’s rehearsal dinner in NOLA this fall. I’m short so I need a petite in order not to look like I’m wearing my husband’s sweater. Here’s the skirt https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/skirts/alinemidi/rosegold-sequin-skirt/F9233?color_name=rose-gold
    What do you think? I like a tonal look so will search out a neutral color.

    Also, https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/dresses/partydresses/sequin-midi-skirt-with-tie/G9687?color_name=silver
    Purchased in the dark green. I’m 62. 5’2″ with a bit of a pear shape. Too young? I bought some fun heels, J Crew Elsie embellished heels, if I wear the green skirt. What do you think? There are 70 people attending the dinner and it’s in a laid back venue so I don’t want a frou frou look. Just something fun. Any suggestions would be VERY appreciated. I can’t wear turtle or crew necks as I’m short waisted, busty and have a short neck.
    Also, bought this if the green skirt is too long. I was thinking of getting a matching cashmere cardigan or layering a v-neck over the top. I also like the idea of a short leather jacket.

    • Susan B
      October 2, 2017 / 6:30 am

      I love those skirts, so fun!!

      • Lisa
        October 2, 2017 / 7:28 am

        Susan, Do you have any styling suggestions if I can’t find a sweater I like?

    • Ann
      October 2, 2017 / 12:14 pm

      Gad! I love those sequins — both the skirt and the dress!

      • Lisa
        October 2, 2017 / 1:12 pm

        Thanks, Ann. The green pialettes are really pretty and not as shiny as the sequins on the pink. Kind of difficult trying to find a top or sweater to match. I’m thinking of wearing a fitted denim shirt to dress it down a bit.

    • Kelly
      October 7, 2017 / 1:00 pm

      The rose gold sequin skir would also look great with a traditional white button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Kind of a take on the crisp white shirt with ball gown thing.

  4. Susan
    October 2, 2017 / 5:53 am

    When it comes to sweaters I generally only wear v-necks. I, like you, have a short neck and large bust and v-necks are very complimentary. I have several merino wools sweaters that I’ve purchased from Uniglo and have been very happy with the quality.

  5. October 2, 2017 / 7:28 am

    I think the last link is wrong. It does not go to a budget friendly 100% cotton sweater, but a plus size E Fisher sweater with some silk.

    • Susan B
      October 2, 2017 / 8:00 am

      Sorry about that! Here’s the correct link and I’ll fix in the post.

  6. October 2, 2017 / 7:35 am

    I’m a V-neck fan as well, and I really like my Bompard navy and charcoal versions in the extra-fine weight, the Oversize version for a relaxed fit. Also have a few of their Classic V-neck cardigana which, buttoned up, work as a pullovers, frontwards OR backwards.

    • Susan B
      October 2, 2017 / 8:14 am

      I’ll have to give these a try again when I’m in Paris. My prior experience with Bompard sweaters was that they were cut long and narrow.

  7. Carolyn from Oregon
    October 2, 2017 / 7:55 am

    I have the full bust, short neck issues and also adore Eric Bompard sweaters. My arms are short so I appreciate their shorter sleeves. I am allergic to wool, especially around the neck but I find that I can actually wear a Bompard sweater next to my skin after several washings with Laundress cashmere shampoo. And they have great sales.

  8. Jill
    October 2, 2017 / 10:29 am

    Do you know of any V necked ribbed sweaters that have short sleeves or 3/4 sleeves and have no wool in them at all?

    • Susan B
      October 2, 2017 / 10:33 am

      Yes! This one from Lands’ End is really nice. 100% cotton.

  9. Jill
    October 2, 2017 / 10:38 am

    Thank you. They do have a good selection of colors.

  10. Paula Evans
    October 2, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    Thank you for all the suggestions. I’m thrilled that you included some “budget friendly” options. While I’m a huge fan of this site, so often the links end up being out of my price range. I love that you featured some sweaters I can afford. Merci.

  11. Nicole K.
    October 2, 2017 / 3:47 pm

    I’ve been very happy with my Everlane v-neck cashmere. Classic cut, though not lightweight. Love the selections Susan. Thanks for sharing your eye and expertise.

  12. October 2, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    Thanks, Susan, for the correct link. I can’t wear wool at all, so having other affordable choices is really great. And while I am at it, I’d like to say Thank You for such really helpful posts, especially packing tips. I now use a small carry on and have plenty of choices since they all coordinate. And, you will LOVE the Dior exhibit. My friend and I spent 4 hours there, and I would return if I were back in Paris in time. We also loved the Hockney retrospective at the Pompidou Centre.

  13. Chris
    October 2, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    A clothing consultant I’ve used locally touts what she calls your ‘skinny bits,’ your wrists, neckline, for example that are slender and should be emphasized. For that reason, she’s a big fan of v-neck sweaters and I agree. Plus it’s always nice to be able to showcase a necklace.

  14. October 3, 2017 / 3:08 am

    I’ve long preferred a v neck sweater, although as you say they can be hard to find (depending on what’s in). It might be time to replace my well loved but getting shabby black sweater, while there’s a reasonable choice. I’ve also had good wear out of my uniqlo ones over the last 3years. For the price, I’m extremely happy. I’m on the lookout for a dark green merino or cashmere one, mid to loose fit, if anyone has spied one. I like the shade of green everlane is offering, but turtle/crew necks do me no favours.

  15. Susan
    October 3, 2017 / 5:22 am

    I’ve also had a great deal of luck finding v-necks in the men’s section of whatever brick and mortar or online store I shop.

  16. October 3, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    I have only recently become a convert to any kind of v-neck, and love all cashmere styles! Howver, I do think one has to be careful at just how wide, or low, cut they are. For one thing, it’s chilly in winter! I almost always wear some kind of scarf with them as I’ve never liked too much neck or chest showing. Another look I really like is a v-neck sweater shorter than the underneath collared shirt. Is it just me? I think it looks so casual and I guess young? don’t know, but it’s something I wear a lot!

  17. cynthiahattersley
    October 4, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    I have the same issues. This was a great post. Would love to hear which of the above you actually purchased. I like the Nordstrom tunic but the colors other than black are not the best for me. I will be so happy when these jewel tones go out of favor…not a fan…

  18. kim
    October 14, 2017 / 9:20 am

    Beautiful choices! Can you check the link on the blush colored, 10% wool sweater?

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