The history of the V neck is one that has lived through many a manner of chic trends since its inception in the 1960s, though while the popularity of the “V” has waned, the question lingers…are V necks in style for guys?
A V neck will benefit shorter men as the vertical illusion of the V will make them appear less boxy whilst “elongating” their height. A V will also provide contrast for men who lack angular faces (round/wide faces) as well as muscle physiques. A V neck will not suit skinnier frames, however.
But there are nuances when it comes to wearing V necks, as there are a few ways one could get it wrong, unlike crew neck.
Are v necks attractive?
The V neck is one such piece that has had more turbulent years than it’s deserved. A formidable statement piece during it’s formative years (’60’s era), to becoming ultimately passe, and try-hard. Though like any such controversial piece, the V-neck has come back, and for good reason…because it works.
V-necks can be extremely attractive provided you be cautious of the fit and length of the V. Body types also play a role, as shorter individuals will benefit from a V neck, as it will make them look taller, and help give the face more angled structure if you lack it.
Whether it be through the public’s longing for more normcore dressing in an post modern world or through the endorsements of renowned “Hemsworth” titled celebrities & models – the v neck is back, and is quickly becoming a part of a classicist’s wardrobe.
Why the hate for V necks?
Like pair of good cuffed chinos, you risked “overshooting” the mark by showing off more than an inch or two of ankle, and at that point it becomes less about the style and more towards your obvious need to compensate for something (even if you aren’t) – it just objectively stands out in a “not so great way” this same reasoning can be applied to V necks.
With V necks being more adaptable and “customizable” per see – adding a V collar (of which there are many types) just means there are a lot more ways people can do it wrong – ultimately painting them and their V neck shirt in a negative light.
This can happen byways of picking deeper cut V’s (showing off more cleavage and sternum than a seasoned courtesan) to men unacquainted with their own fashion sense… and it reflecting through their saggy (even more elongated) worn out V neck.
Do v necks look good on guys?
Now let’s get down to the actual brass tax of how, why, and if, v necks look good on guys…
Short answer: Yes they do, yes many don’t like it, and yes many and criticize it harshly (i.e. Gentlemen’s Journal.) And while certain things just objectively don’t look good and/or weird and is a valid critique at times for certain things that just look too abhorrent – a V neck is different.
And a V neck is different because I’ve seen it work, on me, and others (on famous and not so famous people) enough times to realize this. Of course, wearing a v neck takes a little more finessing than it does to work a simple crew neck, but for most, that extra effort is worth it.
Why V necks can be an awesome piece of clothing
- They can accentuate your figuire/form.
A V neck provides an opening to help draw the viewer’s eye in towards your center and can give off a more vertical impression to your outfit, making it an apt choice for larger individuals more conscious of their form.
Also, like how opening up a button or two on a Henley can make you look broader up top, the same is naturally applied to a V neck (as it already has it’s buttoned “opened” up.)
Note: This only applies to men with frames ranging between athletic, muscular, and even large – as the V neck collar will give off the illusion that your shoulder area is wider than it actually is, and that your height is “longer” than it really is.
- They help shorter guys
Most men should opt to rock a slim fit or athletic build when it comes to their top options, as this will help frame your build and will compensate/and or assuage your form to highlight your strong points.
And likewise, this is the same reason that V necks are great for short guys, as they can elongate your overall look making you seem taller than you actually are, whilst providing a more structured upper body look.
- They help bigger lads
For bigger folk, you’re better off going “V” with your shirt collars, gentlemen. What you perhaps lack in “defined” structure per se, we can make up for by augmenting your appearance with more angles – so no worries on that front.
With a solid v neck, it will naturally accentuate your upper torso in the most flattering of lights, and help give off the illusion of wider shoulders.
And all this simply due to the angularity of your V neck collar, which visually will imbue your shoulders with a more wide and defined look.
Plus with the (slightly) top heavy look thanks to your sweet V neck, you’re waist naturally will look smaller as a result) – so win win.
Rogue tip: For tall dudes, with you already appearing “long”, it might be better to rock a crew neck, as wearing a v neck will simply elongate your already towering look. Though don’t think too much about this, as I constantly wear V necks as a 6’4″/194cm individual.
- They helped jacked dudes
My fellow gym rats, you vermin already put in the effort to frame your bodies through sheer hard work…and so I got good news for you…
For you chaps, any collar will do wonders. However, with you already on your way to inheriting Adonis-like shoulders, wearing a v neck will make your top half appear even wider! – Which I mean, who would complain about that?
Only mention the guys who look good with it, and why. Save the “who shouldn’t wear it for the “do’s and don’t” section.
How short should your V-neck be?
Now here is where positive impression for v necks tend to skew a little, as like I said, with more ways to customize, means more ways you could do it wrong. And there is definitely such a thing as “to deep of a v.”
When wearing a v neck t-shirt, you don’t want too deep of a v. No more than 3 inches (or 7.62cm) deep from your collarbone line, for V neck sweaters, let it sit in line with your armpits and/or cover the tip of your shirt collar.
I’m guilty of this as well, too deep of neckline and you risk looking like a douche. It can be 2021 or 2031…this will never change.
Do straight guys wear v necks?
We need to nip this perpetuating myth or any notions anyone has of this – right in the bud, right now.
Straight men can definitely wear V neck t-shirts, as V necks allow for more chest exposure, and accentuate more of your frame for the better (provided you have a decent build.) Just remember to not make the V neckline TOO long.
What do women think of men wearing v necks?
I’m just gonna say it, we really shouldn’t be letting what other people deem as acceptable to be the golden standard.
Public consensus can be insightful at times and used as a “barometer” to understand why some styles work/ don’t work.
Though fret not of being dubbed the controversial type, as for most, v necks will not be considered taboo, or weird, or anything of the sort. However, what will be forever prevalent (and say it with me now) is…individual preference.
- Some will think you’re a man’s man
Some will like the look, thinking it to ensure a sense of boldness within the wearer, due to the v neck naturally being viewed as a “risque” style choice by many.
- Some will think you’re a douche
The sheer look of the v neck – exposing the clavicle and collar bone, showing off the tail end of your mid peck…all these things will no doubt gift you with a peerage of “douchebaggery.”
What about V necks and chest hair?
Thoughts and judgments from other women/men aside – V neck and chest hair definitely can work, though as a general rule to pull it off best (in this day and age), you’ll likely need to do some manscaping, as well as pay attention the length of the V.
Below is a snippet from Reddit of women responding to this very question you could check out.
Below are some excerpts from that very same reddit thread:
2 buttons or more? You’re considered a creep…apparently.
On the other hand, some love the hairy v neck look.
Some prefer it trimmed, to a degree.
So as you can tell, it’s a mix bag with the women, however, in my experience, what’ll likely work best is neatly trimmed. Whether this be a neatly trimmed 1 inch, 3inch, or 5 inch Persian rug taped atop your chest…groomed is the way to go.
But you knew this already, as it’s the same for beards and facial hair, anything too extreme usually veers towards the side of being unkempt. It’s like getting a haircut – a “messy look” can be stylish, a look that’s just “messy” will rarely work the same way.
However if you like the way your furry bust trails the likes of Chewbacca and the 70’s, then keep your chest hair unchecked in all its glory.
Though in my opinion, a neat groomed layer of chest hair when wearing a V neck shirt would look best, be most presentable. and work in most situations.
Do’s and don’ts of wearing V necks -Rules
Do: Wear a V neck under a blazer
Whilst crew necks also look great (and I have too worn them under a blazer at times), a V neck will just add the touch bit more of gravitas and sophisticated style to your overall look.
Don’t: Wear one “loose” in any sense of the word
Fit is everything, for all clothes, but ESPECIALLY when it comes to your V neck. Well fitted on the body and with a plunging neckline that lays flat and fastened to your body, with a “depth” of no more than 3 inches or 7.62cm (doesn’t have to be EXACT but round this area of length.)
DO: Opt it for a layering piece
This one I never came to fully appreicate until I moved away from Asia, but a V neck piece can do wonders in colder climates, without adding too much bulk around your neck area. And as a layered base it can look slick as all hell when coupled with a vest.
Don’t: Layer under a V neck sweater
No gentlemen, just no…Contrast is key and you’re likely not being endorsed V neck company to do so, so avoid going overboard with this. With a v neck sweater opt for a crew neck t -shirt underneath. And please, if you wear something with a prominent collar, keep it tucked in please.
Do: Opt for colors
Don’t think just because you’re going “louder” with a V neck that you can’t spruce it up with some effusion of color combos in there, mix it up. I recommend black, white, and perhaps mahogany red, and the likes of olive green, and maybe some blue (obviously take into account your skin tone.)
Don’t: Wear V necks that are stretched out
Never ever indulge in v necks that are stretched out, ever. Your already at the mercy of gravity by tempting it with that 3-inch neckline. Any toll taken upon your V neckline will be way more noticeable than that of the same problem presented on a crew neck, and it makes sense.
When the time inevitably comes, please refrain from wearing your worn out old V neck, and replace it with a new one, stat.
Do: Do accessorize
Pair them in conjunction with other sartorial pieces like tailored pants and dark wash jeans.
Bonus: If you have some muscle AND a prominent collar bone – then you are a prime candidate to look amazing in a V neck…trust me.
Who shouldn’t wear V necks
Now of course who am I to tell you what you shouldn’t wear, so long as you are happy then carry on doing you, sir.
However, I would recommend that skinny lads not opt for V necks, as in this case, a V neck will only show off MORE of your thin frame, whereas you’d do better to provide some contrast – which in this means you’re better off opting for a boxy crew neck, that is also not too big or long.
V-neck vs. crew neck
The crew neck is the most casual and oldest of the two (having been developed in 1932). The original look of the V neckline is synonymous with the “shirt and tie” look, therefore the V neck, in general, is seen as slightly more formal than the crew neck.
The crew neck is everybody’s go-to piece of standard wardrobe, worldwide (try looking around.) It’s classic, clean, simple, and doesn’t attract too much attention. You just really can’t go wrong with it.
How I wear a V neck T-shirt
Now why Do I like V necks? A lot of people out there either love it, OR think that whatever fancy effects it provides the wearer are negligible at best. But I’ll tell you my style hack for wearing V neck t shirts that make me love wearing them so, and it’s so simple it’s nuts.
If you have some semblance of muscle, then this tip will work wonders for you.
Make sure your V neck T-shirt not only follows the the 2inch-3 inch neckline rule BUT also try and find a fit where the V neck collar rests secure around 1.2-2 inches around and away from your actual neck.
What this will do is not only make you look wider (due to exposing some more of your traps, but this will lessen the need for more V length, as the illusion from exposing your traps will be enough to make seem like your upper body is bigger than it really is.
Disclaimer: This is my own anecdotal advice based on my own findings, try this out and lemme know if it works!
Here is another example of how wearing a V neck can benefit you – by exposing more of your neck and traps, negating the need for a “deep” V neckline.
Granted this specimen of a man is hardly the general population, but you get what I mean – this style hack can work for regular men who have a little bit of muscle to work with (particularly if you have good trapezius muscles A.K.A. “traps” and/or a collar bone to compliment your V neck with your musculature frame.)
V Neck Reccomendations
Below are my best picks for V neck t shirts, and ones which I think will suit you well if you’re as into wearing V necks as I am, or if you’re simply daring to go bold and try something new.
Ultra Soft Premium Short Sleeve V Neck Tee by INTO THE AM (link to Amazon): Under $20
Men’s Muscle T-Shirts Stretch V Neck by COOFANDY (link to Amazon): Under $20
Slub Curved Hem V-Neck Tee (link to buckmason.com): Under $40
Soft Everyday Tee by BONOBOS (link to bonobos.com): Under $30
Men’s Long Sleeve V Neck Tee by Psycho Bunny (link to Amazon): Between $55-$75
You can check out more of my recommendations in regards to clothing, grooming, and accessories on my resource page right here.
Are we playing to win? Or are we playing not to lose?”
-Marco Bizzarri (CEO of GUCCI)
Trends from the higher-ups of society’s decision-makers will always remark disdain upon whatever isn’t currently “chic.” However, to let such trivial critique stop you from exploring the past’s style trends I think, would do more disservice to the world as a whole.
You’d do better to go against the grain of any such current status quo, and oppose those who judge you silly for longing to explore any such “taboo” past trends that you see fit – if you’re curious enough to do so.
As to “win” in life requires more than simple rule-following, it demands an ample of worldly curiosity, to be tenaciously applied dangerously.