If you’re tired of wearing the same old shirt style and want to change up your look, you may be confused by all the different wording used to describe the shirt necklines. Additionally, you may be wondering if those necklines will look good on you or even feel comfortable. After all, if you’re accustomed to always wearing a crew neck T-shirt, will you feel comfortable in a V-neck tee? If you wear a boat neck shirt, can you wear a tank underneath it? Can you wear a necklace with any type of neckline, or are there some that you should avoid wearing jewelry with? The questions abound, and we’re here to help. Here’s our guide to the various necklines you’ll find at a typical clothing store and what to wear them with.
When you think of a crew neck shirt, try to envision the basic white men’s undershirt. It’s circular and pretty high up on the base of the neck, though not nearly as high as a mock turtleneck would be. There’s also about half an inch of material folded over and stitched into the neckline to create a polished finish. Although they’ve been commonly worn as undershirts by both men and women, they work perfectly fine on their own. You’ll often see them in solid colors, with basic white being the most popular because it’s so versatile. Some have a pocket on the left breast as well for a bit of added detail.
A cotton crew neck T-shirt will absorb perspiration and keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, when it can be used as a base layer. Other than wearing a crew neck on its own, they’re great for wearing under sweaters and cardigans, especially women’s wool sweaters that might be itchy without a shirt underneath.
While the crew neck was the first type of T-shirt introduced to the world, the V-neck followed in the 1960s as a more edgy type of T-shirt, showing more of the neckline. This is the complete opposite of the crew neck, since it basically forms a V shape that extends to the breast bone. Some people prefer V-necks because they elongate the face. Others like it because it shows the collarbone as well as creates a nice frame for a necklace. This style also looks great on its own tucked into a pair of women’s khaki pants or jeans.
The Henley shirt neckline is unique in that it looks like a crew neck shirt but has a handful of buttons at the top that you can unbutton to make it look more like a V-neck. Buttoned up, it looks more formal, and unbuttoned, it looks more casual. When unbuttoned, it looks great with a solid crew neck T-shirt or women’s tank top underneath. It also looks just fine on its own. Henleys tend to be long-sleeved as well as have a waffle-type fabric that’s textured instead of flat.
When talking about necklines, the easiest way to compare a scoop neck shirt to a V-neck shirt is to rename the scoop neck as a “U” neck. That’s because it reaches as far down as the V-neck, but is more of a semicircle at the neck. It is preferred by those who don’t like the confinement and tighter feeling at the neck that a crew neck offers and who want a different design than the typical V-neck. There’s nothing that can’t be worn with a scoop neck.
The boat neck shirt is a fun style for women to wear because it shows a bit of shoulder as it skims the collarbone, accentuating the shoulders in an elegant way. The only thing to be cautious of with boat neck shirts is that bra straps might show if the neckline is on the wider side. For these instances, it’s perfectly fine to wear a tank top or camisole underneath it. Boat neck shirts look great with khakis and jeans of course, but you can dress them up with a cute skirt, too.
Unlike the other shirts mentioned here, polo shirts have a collar. They’re sort of a combination of a Henley, a dress shirt, and a T-shirt. They’re typically made of a polyester blend and have a few buttons at the neck leading to a loose collar. They come in long sleeves or short, and they can be left tucked in or untucked. Women’s polo shirts can look quite sporty and often have a logo on the breast as well as a single pocket. Polo shirts are very popular for casual Fridays at work, as well as for playing golf and tennis.
When it comes to shopping for women’s tops, know that you have lots of different necklines to choose from when you want to change up your look.