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Sweaters are a core component of a man’s casual and formal wardrobe.
You can wear a crew neck sweater casually with jeans or chinos. You can also dress up a v-neck sweater with a dress shirt and tie and pair it under a full suit. When it comes to men’s sweaters, the outfits and versatility is through the roof.
But you can only look good in a sweater if it fits you well.
So here is a complete guide on how a sweater should fit. We’ll cover crew neck sweaters, v-neck sweaters, quarter/half zip sweaters as well as cardigans.
How a Crew Neck Sweater Should Fit
Simply put, a crew neck sweater should look and fit similar to a long sleeve crew neck t-shirt but made in a thicker or warmer fabric and with a bit more room underneath.
This is because you can wear crew neck sweaters over collared shirts so you want a bit of room for layering.
Personally, when it comes to wearing a tie, I prefer a v-neck sweater over a crew neck because a v-neck is specifically designed to be worn with a collared shirt and tie. This makes the v-neck the perfect business casual sweater.
How Should a V-Neck Sweater Fit?
V-neck sweaters should fit exactly like a crew neck sweater keeping in mind that you should have enough room to layer underneath. This is because v-neck sweaters are typically worn over a collared shirt (dress shirt, button down) with or without a tie. The v-neck design allows for the tie to be seen clearly which makes v-neck sweaters more formal than crew neck sweaters.
The main thing to keep in mind with how a v-neck sweater fits is to make sure the “v-neck” isn’t too deep. An easy way to tell is to wear a buttoned shirt underneath and check how deep the v-neck goes compared to the buttons of the shirt. Ideally the “v-neck” should not go past the 3rd button of the shirt.
How a Cardigan Should Fit
Broadly speaking, cardigans can be divided into 2 types; dressy cardigans and thicker shawl collar cardigans.
‘Dressy’ cardigans are made from finer materials like pima cotton and merino wool and are perfect for layering over a collared shirt. These tend to fit slimmer like v-neck sweaters. The ‘v-neck’ of these cardigans should extend down to the 4th or 5th button of the shirt.
Shawl Collar Cardigan Fit
Cardigans made from thicker fabrics are great for the winter months and more business casual to casual outfits. Because of the thicker fabric, you can expect a slightly looser fit especially in the body and sleeves.
The main thing to remember with these cardigans is that they should still be well-fitted and not overly baggy or loose.
Quarter/Half Zip Sweaters
First let’s clarify the difference between a quarter zip vs half zip. Guess what? There’s no difference. Brands routinely use these names interchangeably so just ignore the difference.
Quarter/Half zip sweaters have become really common these days especially in business casual workplaces. They are an alternative to v-neck sweaters which means you can easily wear a collared shirt and tie underneath.
With a quarter/half zip sweater, keep in mind that if you plan on wearing it with business casual attire then it should be made in a finer fabric like pima cotton or merino wool and not a chunky heavy material.
The zipper should extend down to the 3rd or 4th button of the shirt you are wearing underneath and the length of the sweater should be around your belt.
Something to keep in mind…
Sweaters made from finer fabrics like pima cotton, cotton-silk blends, merino wool and cashmere are going to be thinner and more lightweight. These will be dressier because you can easily pair them overtop a dress shirt or button down collar shirt with or without a tie. You can also layer these sweaters underneath a sportcoat/blazer or suit.
I hope you enjoyed this in-depth guide on how a men’s sweater should fit. We covered crew neck, v-neck, quarter/half zip sweaters as well as cardigans. Let me know which sweater style is your favorite and how you like to style it.