Need some guidance on how to wear a pullover sweater? You’re in the right place.
Sweaters are a versatile and stylish addition to any guy’s wardrobe. They can be worn with many different garments to create a range of looks suitable for various occasions. So having even one sweater on hand — and knowing how to style it — opens the door to multiple outfits.
Read on to explore some easy and stylish ways to wear a sweater, get inspired by a few outfit ideas, and learn what type of sweater best suits your personal style.
Stylish ways to wear a pullover sweater
1. Sweater and suit
When you really need to make an impression, pair a soft, lightweight v-neck sweater with a shirt and tie. That whole combo will go underneath a slimmer fit suit. In this outfit, the sweater essentially stands in as a more casual alternative to a vest.
As always, stick, with coordinating colors. If you’re not sure how to do that, there’s an easy answer. Pick pieces that are the same color or slightly different shades of the same color — say, navy, tan, or gray. Monochrome or nearly monochrome outfits are always on point.
2. Sweater over a shirt
One classic and timeless way to wear a pullover sweater is to layer it over a collared shirt. You can choose a casual collared shirt or a dress shirt depending on the occasion. The combination of the sweater and the shirt is an elegant, sophisticated look.
You can use this combination with a crew neck or v-neck sweater. With the crew neck option, keeping the collar tucked underneath the sweater lends a clean and smart appearance. Leave the points of the collar out for a lower-maintenance vibe.
A v-neck sweater showcases more of the shirt collar, which is great for more casual occasions.
You can also experiment with tucking your shirt or leaving it untucked.
Anchor this outfit with dress shoes or nice, clean ankle boots.
3. Sweater with blazer
If the weather allows, you can also team your pullover sweater with a blazer or coat. This look works best with a neutral-toned, turtleneck sweater that’s form-fitting.
If you don’t have a turtleneck, try a crew neck sweater with a collared shirt underneath. Without the extra layer around your neck, crew neck sweaters under a blazer can have an old-school, macho vibe — which probably isn’t what you want.
On your bottom half, wear fitted, dark-wash jeans or trousers and leather (or faux leather) shoes or boots.
4. Sweater, jeans, and sneakers
For your casual days, combine a sweater, jeans, and sneakers. While this may seem like an obvious combination, you might benefit from some pointers to get the look right:
- Stick with jeans that are not distressed or overly embellished. Those styles are appropriate in some scenarios, but they’re more likely to miss the mark.
- Wear a t-shirt underneath your sweater. The neckline of the t-shirt can peek out at the top.
- Opt for fashion sneakers — not your trainers. Think Vans, Converse, and Veja. You’re looking for sleek shoes with flat soles.
- Make sure the sweater fits you appropriately. Too tight isn’t great and too loose is worse. If you’re not sure how to tell if the sweater fits, ask a friend for help.
5. Sweater and leather
If Daniel Craig wears it, it must be stylish, right? Mixing knit and leather in your outfit provides nice textural appeal. The key to this look is the fit and style of the jacket. It’s slim, fitting more like a shirt, and has no embellishments at all.
Also, the sweater doesn’t hang below the jacket’s hemline and he’s wearing a belt. While this looks like a casual combo, Craig has managed the details well. Overall, this is a clean and classy outfit.
Note that if you have a very hairy chest, a t-shirt beneath the sweater may be a nice addition.
6. Layer with a cardigan
Another way to style a pullover sweater is to layer it with a cardigan. This combination adds depth and texture to your outfit while providing extra warmth during colder months.
Wear a crew neck sweater underneath a button-down cardigan for a preppy and sophisticated look.
Choosing the right pullover sweater
To be clear, a pullover sweater has sleeves and doesn’t open in the front. That’s different from a sweater vest (no sleeves) or a cardigan (opens in the front). Within the category of pullover sweaters, you can choose a crewneck, v-neck, shawl collar, regular collar, or quarter-zip.
1. Crew neck sweater
A crew neck sweater is a classic and versatile option for any man’s wardrobe. It features a rounded neckline that sits comfortably on the collarbone.
You can wear a crew neck with many outfits, ranging from casual to semi-formal. They pair well with collared shirts, t-shirts, or can be worn on their own.
Opt for a crew neck sweater in a neutral color, such as black, gray, or navy, for a timeless and stylish look.
2. V-neck sweater
V-necks have the namesake v shape at the neck. The v can be deep or shallow. For a men’s sweater, shallower is better.
V-neck sweaters look especially sharp with shirts underneath. You can opt for a collared shirt, collared shirt and tie, or a simple t-shirt. A white shirt is the way to go if you’re not comfortable combining colors. If you prefer something more interesting, try a brighter color underneath a neutral-toned sweater.
3. Shawl collar sweater
A shawl collar sweater is a sophisticated option. It has a folded collar that wraps around the neck, for a refined and luxurious vibe.
Shawl collar sweaters can be worn with collared shirts for a dressier look or with t-shirts on more casual days. Choose a shawl collar sweater in a rich, textured fabric like wool for an elevated and stylish outfit.
4. Regular collar
Some lighter weight sweaters have a collar like you’d see on a polo shirt. Often there are no buttons, so the collar sits naturally open.
This style is easy to wear — simply pair it with jeans or a coordinating trouser as if it were a long-sleeved shirt. You might wear a t-shirt underneath the sweater if the knit is especially thin.
5. Quarter-zip sweater
Quarter-zip sweaters have a sporty vibe and wear well for upgraded casual occasions. They have a collar which typically stands up, like an open turtleneck or a popped collar.
Plan on teaming your quarter-zip sweater with a t-shirt or collared shirt underneath in a coordinating color. Here you can go for a high contrast color combination or monochrome. High contrast with a t-shirt is the more casual pairing, while dressier occasions demand a collared shirt in a similar tone to your sweater.
6. Turtleneck sweater
Men’s turtleneck sweaters have a European look to them, especially when paired with a blazer or structured jacket. If you want to step gently outside your normal outfit style, experiment with a turtleneck sweater.
You can find them in many colors and knit types. Start with a neutral color that you can pair with multiple pairs of pants you already own. And opt for a subtle knit. You can always move into more aggressively styled turtlenecks later as you gain confidence.
Pullover sweater outfits for easy style
A pullover sweater is a piece you must have item in your wardrobe. It offers versatility, comfort, and style. Even better, you can wear it for many occasions with just a few tweaks.
Whether you choose to wear a sweater over a shirt, experiment with different collar styles, or layer it with other pieces, you have tons of options.
By selecting the right pullover sweater and styling it right, you can create a variety of fashionable and sophisticated looks. So go ahead: Embrace knits into your wardrobe and elevate your style game.