Few garments in menswear are as universally derided as the poor V-neck T-shirt. Such a simple, seemingly inoffensive piece of clothing, yet it attracts such negative reactions.
People will tell you that they hate them; that they wouldn’t be seen dead in one. But could all of that be about to change? Could we be on the verge of the most unexpected sartorial comeback since flared jeans, fleece jackets or cargo pants?
There have been some unmistakable signs that V-neck tees may be on the rise. They’ve been showing up on the fringes of fashion for a while now, sneaking into the occasional runway show and infiltrating the odd Gen-Z fashion TikTok video. If experience has taught us anything, it’s that signs like these often point to a more widespread trend on the horizon. So, in anticipation of the V-neck T-shirt making a mainstream comeback, we thought we’d revisit it for your benefit.
We’re sick of hearing all the reasons not to wear a V-neck tee, so here are some cases for it. Keep reading to find out more about one of menswear’s most misunderstood pieces, including how to wear it and where to buy one.
Are V-Necks Cool Again?
Were they ever? Whether they’re ‘cool’ or not isn’t necessarily the point. What matters is that a V-neck can be a valuable addition to your wardrobe. It’s something a little different, and if you can pull it off, you’ll really stand out in a sea of boring old crew necks.
What’s certain is that there’s renewed interest in this throwback style. But getting it right is still a minefield.
What you definitely don’t want to do is reference those regrettable longline, deep V-necks of the early 2010s. Instead, keep the fit trim, the neckline conservative, colour palette subdued, and style it like you would any other plain tee.
That being said, be careful when layering. A V-neck can work well with other pieces that have plunging necklines, like blazers and cardigans, but stick to a round neck if you’re layering with a shirt.
V-Neck T-Shirt Buying Considerations
We’d suggest steering clear of anything oversized or boxy when it comes to V-neck T-shirts.
This is a style best served slim and fitted, so make sure to know your measurements or try one on before buying to be sure that the shoulders and hem fall where they should.
For maximum versatility, stick to plain coloured V-neck tees. This should be a relatively inconspicuous garment that you can roll out to enhance certain outfits.
It is not the main event, so save the bold colours and eye-catching patterns for your shirts or outerwear.
In a similar vein, we’d strongly advise giving heavily branded T-shirts a wide berth.
A quality T -shirt is a supporting character, not the main protagonist. Let it take a back seat while bigger and bolder pieces do the talking.
Deep V-necks had a moment in the early 2010s and we’re still reeling from it. Please, let’s never go back there. Instead, keep your neckline relatively shallow and subtle.
The Best V-Neck T-shirt Brands
British brand Sunspel’s tees aren’t cheap, but they’re some of the best in the game. They’re even James Bond-approved.
The brand’s Riviera V-neck T-shirt was designed for Daniel Craig’s Bond in Casino Royale, and you can buy the very same model for yourself.
It’s made from super-soft long-staple cotton and has a flattering slim fit.
The brand’s midweight V-neck is cut from an airy blend of Tencel and pima cotton that gives it a silky softness and natural drape and makes it perfect for warm-weather dressing or transitional layering.
Uniqlo is always a solid option when it comes to reasonably priced wardrobe basics, and T-shirts are some of the pieces it does best.
Here you can get a nice plain V-neck in a variety of different colours for less than a tenner a pop. So cheap you can afford to stock up.
If you’re looking for something cheaper still, H&M offers V-neck tees in a number of different fit and colour options with prices starting from £4.99.
You can choose from regular or slim fit, and they’re even available in multipacks to make stocking up as simple as possible.
Reiss is well known for its form-fitting cuts, clean silhouettes and quality. Luckily T-shirts are no exception to the rule.
The British brand has a few different V-neck options in subtle neutral colours with prices at around £30.
Shop here if you value a better fit than the usual high-street options offer, but don’t fancy paying super-premium prices.
When you think of Orlebar Brown, you probably think of tailored swim shorts before V-neck tees, but the British brand dabbles in casual classics too.
The label’s OB-V T-shirt features a swooping V-shaped neck, a trim fit and is available in a range of tasteful muted colours. The downside? It’ll set you back just shy of £100.
Those of a thrifty disposition may want to stop reading here. Make no mistake, Brunello Cucinelli’s V-neck tees are not exactly budget friendly. Still, if you’re feeling flush and want the best of the best, these are some of the most luxurious T-shirts money can buy.
Are they worth the quite frankly outrageous price tags? Honestly, probably not, but if you think you can find a higher quality option for less then we’ll take ten.