Crew Neck Sweaters: Classic to Cool

Crew neck tops get a bad rap. The sad thing is — I am a total contributor to that bad rap. I, as a chesty gal, have been long taught to avoid crew neck styles for they make large chests look instantly like your boobs are at your waistline. Or worse, your boobs actually pull down the crew neck and make it into more of an oval-strained-scoop neck which isn’t flattering on anyone.

…Then I learned an awful lot about size and quality, and ten years later I am looking at them with a new perspective, and a better bra. I’m ready to give crew neck sweaters another go around, because you can have a lot of fun with them creating new looks with an old classic, not to mention the layer-ready warmth they provide makes putting together warm outfits a lot cuter.

Crew Neck Sweater White Yellow

Source: The Virtuous Style

Button-down shirts look amazing under them, and pretty much any color/pattern combo is going to look amazing if the fit is right. In fact, the gutsier the color/pattern mixing, the better, if you ask me!

And don’t forget – a crew neck is not a scoop neck. While they are similarly shaped, crew necks should be high & close against your neck, whereas scoop necks can be so low they they show some cleave. You should not be showing cleave in a crew neck. If you are, you have done something wrong so take it off and try again.

Crew neck sweater with skirt

Source: Fashion Your Seatbelts

Crew neck sweaters can also be worn by themselves, under things, over things… they’ve been around since forever because they go with everything forever. It’s just how the world works.

The styles I’m attracted to cover the entire spectrum of crew neck sweaters – plain, kitschy, traditional, contemporary… From fair isle to argyle, my sweater love knows no bounds. Plus, crew neck sweaters can fit into just about every style type: preppy (the obvious one), grunge, comfort-focused, punk rock, vintage-inspired, minimalist

In favor of my obsession with organization and efficiency, this list of irresistible, affordable crew neck sweaters goes from classic to contemporary. The prices, of course, are nothing panic-inducing. Enjoy upping your sweater game!

J Crew Sweaters

Merino Charley Sweater, $34.50 at J Crew Factory

This is about as standard as they come. Available in several colors, and no bells or whistles, really. Then again, the Merino wool that makes up the fabric of these crew neck sweaters is some of the nicest wool around and feels like your favorite t-shirt. And don’t think you can only wear it in the winter time! Wool is great for warmer temperatures, too.

Dex Zipper Sweater with Heart Elbow PatchesDEX Zip-Trimmed Heart Patch Sweater, was $48 now $21.59 at Lord & Taylor

What initially caught my attention about this crew neck sweater was the yarn used. I love the black and white marled look – it reminds me a little bit of TV snow – and suede elbow patches are kind of a weakness of mine. Asymmetrical zippers in the front are barely noticeable, but a cool detail nonetheless!

Tommy Hilfiger Fair Isle Sweater

Tommy Hilfiger Fair Isle Crew Neck Sweater, was $79.50 now $69.99 at Macy’s

This sweater is interesting because it toes the line between bold & traditional. Some people will see this and think, “How oldschool – my grandparents wore stuff like this” and others will remember that Fair Isle has been really huge for the last few years and still hasn’t gone out of style. I love the shoulder placement of this particular pattern – and the lack of wintry reindeers and snowflakes.

Bellfield Eyelash Sweater

Bellfield Eyelash Sweater, $66.33 at ASOS

This fresh-colored, marled sweater is specifically inspired by vintage outerwear, but the mustard yellow, aqua green, and navy blue accents are contemporary together. The sleeves on this are about 3/4, so it can go from season to season. I can’t get over how cozy it looks! The “Eyelash” part of the sweater comes from the hyper-soft texture of the knit.

H&M Goose Sweater

Jacquard-knit Goose Sweater, $34.95 at H&M

Now we make the leap from conventional to… is that a goose? Because yes, it is, and how can you resist it? Classic crew neck sweater shape and two different color palettes of goose to choose from.

ASOS Fries Sweater

Crew Neck Sweater with Chips, $56.85 at ASOS

…And now we have the other side of the “kitschy sweater” threshold, right into “obscure object sweater” which feature things like a container of fries with baby pink ribbing at the neck, hem, and cuffs. As someone who owns a crew neck sweatshirt with a burger on it – I would wear this.

Jones New York Leather Epaulette Pink Sweater

Crew Neck Pullover with Faux Leather Shoulders, was $49 now $34 at Jones New York

The introduction of faux leather should indicate that we are officially out of “conservative sweater” zone. In combination with this bright, cool fuchsia, the quilted leather patches at the shoulders look like rock & roll epaulettes.

Romeo & Juliet Faux Leather Sleeve Sweater

Romeo & Juliet Couture Faux Leather Sleeve Sweater, was $130 now $19.97 at Nordstrom Rack

It’s hard to get more current than conservative fabrics mixed with faux leather sleeves (hark back to last week’s Daily Deal for a wool-blend motorcycle jacket with faux leather sleeves – yum). This would be great with a button-down underneath. A little prep would lighten up this heavy rebel sweater. Or, throw on your leather pants and take it to the extreme. Whatever you do – own it!


Probably watching Netflix.

2 thoughts on “Crew Neck Sweaters: Classic to Cool

Comments are closed.