It can be tricky to know how to style a men's sweater and shirt combo. On the one hand, a collared shirt under a sweater gives you a polished and put-together look. But on the other hand, it can also make you look old-fashioned and stuffy – two things that NO guy wants.
In this article, I'm breaking out several different ways to style a men's sweater and shirt combo so that you can look your best without resembling your old grandpa.
We'll be covering:
- What Collared Shirts Work Best With Men's Sweaters?
- Which Jumpers Are Best For A Sweater And Shirt Combo?
- 3 Ways To Style A shirt And Sweater Combo
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What Collared Shirts Work Best With Men's Sweaters?
When wearing a sweater with a shirt, the key to nailing a stylish and modern look is to pick the right shirt style. After all, some shirt styles are far more attractive than others, so choosing one that works well with your sweater is a must.
The shirt styles that work best with men's sweaters are:
- The Oxford shirt
- The chambray shirt
- The denim shirt
- The Formal Collared Polo
Let's take a closer look at each of these shirt styles so you can see why they work so well with sweaters.
The Oxford Shirt
One of the most popular shirt styles for men, the Oxford shirt is a wardrobe essential. It's made from sturdy cotton fabric and has typically features a button-down collar, making it the perfect shirt to wear with a sweater.
Not only does the Oxford shirt have a collar that won't get lost under your sweater, but it also looks great when worn with a sweater. The shirt's classic design makes it the perfect shirt to wear with a sweater, giving you a stylish and sophisticated look.
The Chambray Shirt
Another shirt style that works well with men's sweaters is the chambray shirt. Like the Oxford shirt, the chambray shirt is made from sturdy cotton fabric. But what sets the chambray shirt apart is its blue color.
The blue color of the chambray shirt compliments the colors of most men's sweaters, giving you a stylish and modern look. And like the Oxford shirt, the chambray shirt typically features a collar that won't get lost under your sweater.
The Denim Shirt
The denim shirt is another shirt style that looks great when worn with a men's sweater. The denim shirt has a casual look that works well with most sweaters, giving you a relaxed and stylish look.
And like the Oxford shirt and the chambray shirt, the denim shirt also has a sturdier collar design that won't hang loose and hide under the neckline of your sweater.
Denim shirts are strictly a casual garment. After all, you wouldn't wear a pair of jeans to the office, so don't wear a denim shirt with your sweater to an important meeting or date.
The Formal Collared Polo
The last shirt style that works well with men's sweaters is the formal collared polo. The formal collared polo shirt has a stylish and sophisticated look that makes it the perfect shirt to wear with a sweater.
The best thing about a formal collared polo is its versatility. They hold true to the casual nature of polo shirts in the body but elevate things a bit when it comes to the collar. Similar to a poplin shirt, a formal collared polo shirt has a collar that's designed to stay stiff and upright, making it the perfect shirt to wear with a sweater.
Which Jumpers Are Best For A Sweater And Shirt Combo?
Now that we've covered which shirt styles work best with men's sweaters, it's time to take a look at which men's sweaters are best for a sweater and shirt combo.
The best sweaters for a sweater and shirt combo are:
- The V-neck sweater
- The crewneck sweater
- The cardigan sweater
Let's take a closer look at each of these sweater styles so you can see why they work so well with shirts.
The V-Neck Sweater
The V-neck men's sweater is a classic sweater style that's been around for decades. It's made from a variety of different materials, including wool, cotton, and cashmere.
The V-neck sweater has a timeless look that compliments most shirt styles. And because the V-neck sweater exposes the neckline of your shirt, it's the perfect sweater to wear with a shirt and tie combo.
For this style of jumper, I'd avoid wearing a chambray or denim shirt. The V-neck sweater reveals a lot of the shirt beneath it, meaning that the shirt's collar and chest will be on full display. And because chambray and denim shirts have a casual look, the texture and blue tones could overwhelm your outfit by making it look too busy.
Instead, opt for a shirt in a solid color or with a subtle pattern. A shirt in light blue or white will complement the V-neck sweater and give you a stylish and sophisticated look.
The Crewneck Sweater
The crewneck sweater is another classic sweater style that looks great when worn with a shirt. Like the V-neck sweater, the crewneck sweater is made from a variety of different materials, including wool, cotton, and cashmere.
The crewneck sweater has a timeless look that compliments most shirt styles. And because the crewneck sweater covers the neckline of your shirt, it's more versatile in the styles of shirts that it pairs with. As less of the shirt shows, you can get away with wearing a shirt with a busier pattern or a more pronounced collar.
For this style of shirt, I would advise pairing it with either a formal collar polo shirt or an Oxford shirt. The sweater's clean lines will complement the shirt's collar and give you a stylish look.
The Cardigan Sweater
The last men's sweater style that works great with a shirt is the cardigan sweater. The cardigan sweater is the stand-out of the three sweater styles as it's an open garment that can be worn like a jacket (open or buttoned/zipped up).
As a result of this, it can meet the needs of both casual and formal environments depending on how you style it. This also means you can wear most shirt styles with this garment and still look well-styled and modern.
In formal environments, stick to wearing your cardigan sweater with an oxford shirt and tie. Doing this will keep the formality levels of your outfit high and ensure you look smart and stylish.
For a more casual sweater and shirt combo, consider pairing your cardigan sweater with a jean shirt. The cardigan's relaxed silhouette will complement the shirt's casual style perfectly. And when worn with a pair of chinos, this combo will give you a stylish and effortless look.
3 Ways To Style A Shirt And Men's Sweater Combo
Styling a shirt and sweater combo isn't rocket science. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to ensure your outfit looks stylish and modern.
In this section, I'm going to share with you three shirt and sweater combo looks that will have you looking your best this winter.
The Casual Look: Cardigan Sweater, Shirt & Jeans
This is the most common way to style a shirt and sweater combo and is perfect for casual environments, such as going to the movies or out to lunch with friends.
To achieve this look, start by pairing a cardigan sweater with a shirt and jeans. The shirt can be any style you want, but I would advise sticking to a shirt in a solid color or with a subtle pattern or texture (like denim). This will ensure your outfit doesn't look too ‘officewear'.
As for the jeans, I would recommend sticking to dark-wash jeans to complement the shirt and sweater. Double denim is never a good look, so make sure that the color of your denim shirt and jeans don't match.
Finish off the look with a pair of white dress sneakers for an informal finishing touch sure to bring your outfit to a stylish conclusion.
The Smart-Casual Look: Crew Neck Sweater, Shirt and Chinos
If you want to take your shirt and sweater combo up a notch, consider pairing your shirt with chinos instead of jeans. Doing this will immediately transform your outfit from casual to smart-casual.
For this look, start by pairing a crewneck sweater with a formal collar polo shirt and chinos (in a contrasting color to the sweater) just like you would with jeans. Tuck the polo shirt into the chinos to give your outfit a more polished look.
The Formal Look: V-Neck Sweater, Shirt, and Trousers
If you want to wear a shirt and sweater combo in a formal environment, consider pairing your shirt with trousers instead of jeans or chinos. Doing this will ensure your outfit looks sleek and stylish.
To achieve this look, start by pairing a V-neck sweater with an Oxford shirt, tie, and textured suit trousers (in a contrasting color to the sweater). The shirt should be tucked into the trousers as you would with a suit – and make sure you're wearing a clean black/brown belt to bring the whole look together.
As for shoes, I would recommend sticking to dress shoes like Oxfords or Derbys. These shoes will complement the formality of your outfit and ensure you look smart and put-together.
Want to learn more about which shirt collar is right for you? Check out my guide here.