This is definitely a forward-thinking look that toes the line of confidence and arrogance. Some people might hate the look on principle, but what a better way to change their minds than to pull off wearing a suit with a high quality T-shirt.
Rocking a suit with a V-Neck is the holy grail of casual-formal, and it’s one of the hardest to pull off. A lot of guys make the mistake of thinking they can pair any T-shirt with any suit jacket. They gravitate towards the wrong kinds of shoes. And they think the tuck or not to tuck question is up for debate.
Gentlemen, if there’s anything that separates the boys from the men when it comes to fashion, it’s knowing when to honor tradition and when to break from it. A suit with a V-neck look is inherently breaking tradition, so you have to know what elements need to come with this break in tradition, and which ones you can leave behind.
Related: Classic T-Shirts to Wear With Jeans.
Step 1 - The T-shirt
They say that the most important part of Sushi is the rice. Not just rice, but masterfully prepared by someone who has spent years perfecting the art of making rice before being allowed to even touch fish.
Similarly, the most important part of the suit and V-Neck look is the T-Shirt. Not just a T-shirt, but ideally a high quality cotton T-shirt that’s been brought to you by a company that ensures every link of its supply chain is ethical and sustainable.
Any and all of these T-shirts will fit that criteria.
For a more nighttime casual sophisticated look, black or navy blue can be good options to pair with darker suits, but in any case you want to avoid bright colors. Think subtle, suave, and quiet confidence.
All-black outfits are usually safe but having a pure black style without any color contrast may make you look like a hitman. Instead, a stark white T-shirt and white shoes paired with a stark black suit and matching trousers makes a statement sophisticated fashionable appearance.
Quality is extremely important - nothing makes a suit-and-v combo fail quicker than a shirt that looks like it just came out of a hamper. If you’re going to wear white, it better have a sheen. That sheen won’t come from bleaching your T-shirts--it comes from high thread counts of high quality cotton T-shirts. There’s nothing you can do to make your old white T-shirts work with this look except replace them.
The length and fit of your T-shirts are also important - you’re looking for a shirt that hugs your shoulders tighter than usual, and that goes about to your waistline. The ideal V-neck to pair with a suit is slightly smaller than your usual wear-by-itself shirt size.This is so the shirt can hug tightly to your body to give you a more toned and masculine fit.
The last thing you want is a floppy suit with V-neck drape over you. You want something form-fitting because the way you wear something says a lot about you. A form-fitting outfit tells people that you have your priorities straight and you know what you are doing.
STEP 2 - SHOES TO PAIR WITH YOUR SUIT AND V-NECK
The shoes are the second most important part of the ensemble. To really make a suit and V-neck work, you’re dancing a fine line between formal and informal, and the shoes need to reflect that.
You essentially have three best choices:
- Loafers: Either colors that match your pants, or offer a wooded accent to your outfit (brown, light orange, etc. when paired with black or white clothes). Loafers are the best choice, especially when paired with ultra-casual pants, like chinos.
- Sneakers: If you’re feeling adventurous, sneakers can completely rock a suit and V Neck look. A simple pair of white shoes - think Adidas or Veja - paired with a black or navy suit can make the entire outfit pop.
- Oxfords: A clean, brown pair of Oxfords pairs exceptionally well with colorful or light-colored suit combinations. For example, try dark brown oxfords, a light navy suit, and a clean white V Neck. That’s as timeless as it gets - just be careful pairing Oxfords with overly dark ensembles.
Classic Tip: Keep in mind that colors play a huge role when it comes to shoes. You don’t want to wear bright colored shoes that stand out from your outfit, unless this style fits with your personality and working environment..
Step 3: The Suit
Oddly enough, the suit is the “least” important part of this outfit.
Follow all the usual rules - sleeve length just hugging your wrist, chest sized just wide enough that it doesn’t pinch around the buttons, pants that rest comfortably on the nape of your shoes. Keep the colors simple and classic and make sure that they complement your T-shirt and your shoes.
The make and texture of the blazer can vary, but avoid tweed blazers if you’re wearing off-white or textured T-Shirts, and avoid overly silky solids if pairing with shoes and T-shirts with bold colors.
Accessories like sunglasses, pocket protectors, or colorful socks are allowed with discretion - and it depends on the context. Colorful socks can make your outfit pop at a cocktail party but definitely won’t work too well at an office formal.
Classic Tip: In general, follow the simple adage: less is more. If your outfit looks great without adding a piece, don’t add that piece. A classic, high-quality T-Shirt alone can go a long way.
Adding too many accessories tends to take away the elegance and concept of a suit. The idea is to keep it simple and sophisticated. After all, simplicity goes a long way.
Why should you consider a suit with a V-neck?
First of all, why not? You never know until you try. But there are plenty of other reasons that make the suit with a V-neck look worth experimenting with:
Ties are uncomfortable
There’s a lot of dos and don'ts when it comes to ties, but in any case, it’s easier to breathe without them.
Simply losing the tie can imply there’s something missing from your outfit. But going full-on with the T-shirt says you’re being intentional about your look and you know what you’re doing.
You want to loosen up your style, not your elegance. A high quality T-shirt can replace a shirt and tie just right for many semi-formal events.
Bring something new to the table
Usually everyone comes to a formal gathering like cocktail parties and weddings with a suit, tie and button up shirt. Grandpa might still come with the same pair of black shoes he always does--and that’s okay because we all love grandpa--and as much as everyone might love you too, you are not grandpa. Go with the brown shoes--unless you’re wearing a Tux of course.
And also go with something that makes you stand out. For business, it’s hard to argue with playing it safe, but when you’re supposed to cut loose a little, cut loose a little! With the suit and V-neck combo, you’re pioneering a look that’s sure to inspire new looks in your family and with your friends.
Dress To Impress With Your Outfit and Values
Single guys, this outfit is not only a great way to stand out, but a great conversation starter. With a Classic T-shirt, you have more to talk about than just the quality of your shirt, but your reasons for wearing it.
You might not want to get too deep into the issues of sustainable fashion in your conversation like we do in these blogs, but saying a little about sustainable fashion and why it’s important to you will go a long way.
If someone challenges your outfit, you can politely justify it by saying something with a relaxed, confident smile like “it’s important to me to support ethical brands, and Classic T-shirt Company also makes really comfortable tees that match my favorite suit.”
There’s nothing more attractive than a man with integrity. Always stand up for your values and what you believe in.
In addition to the fashion benefits, a suit with a V-neck can be very comfortable in warmer months and climates, especially when you pair cotton with cotton. Back when a suit was all you could wear to work, it was common for men to have winter suits made of wool, and summer suits made of cotton.
Cotton was the go-to for summer wear because despite long sleeves, high quality cotton fabrics can create ventilation systems for your skin, which helps your body stay cooler. Read more about why cotton is so comfortable.
It goes without saying the suit should be high quality, but the quality of your T-shirt is equally important especially when it’s visible.
What not to do with a suit and V-neck
Now that you know what to do, let’s dive into what not to do so you don’t make the same mistakes that other guys have made:
Horrible color coordination
Before walking out the door in your suit and V-neck, please check yourself before potentially wrecking yourself. Some people will disapprove of the outfit on principle, so make sure you get the opinion of a friend with a forward-thinking fashion sense. But at the very least you want to avoid mistakes like wearing a bright orange V-neck with a brown suit--like the Cleveland Browns, that's not likely to be a winning outfit.
Low quality T-shirt
As we’ve mentioned, the quality of the V-neck or T-shirt is very important. People make the mistake of purchasing a low quality shirt where the material and color looks dull and worn out. The best solution is to find a brand that specializes in T-shirts so you get quality and wide variety of selections. The price might be higher upfront, but it’s worth the investment for many reasons--including saving you money over time.
Wrong type of shoes
The wrong type of shoes can make you look tacky and odd. Hopefully we don’t need to say this more than once but if you wear flip flops with the suit and V-neck combo, you are asking for fashion suicide.
However, the right style of sneakers or loefer can make you look suave, casual, and sophisticated. But when in doubt, stick to a brown dress shoe.
Some people feel comfortable wearing baggy T-shirts and jeans, but that will not be a good look in a suit and V-neck combination. You’d look like a boy in an oversized hand-me-down suit.
Even when you wear V-necks as standalone pieces, it’s still essential to make sure it is form fitting to your body. A well-fitted suit should showcase your muscles and accentuate your body structure.
TRY A SUIT WITH A V-NECK
The suit and V-neck is becoming another timeless classic look to pull off with T-shirts. As more and more men understand how to pull off the outfit, it’s becoming more versatile. It’s not just the type of thing celebrities wear on the red carpet to get attention--it’s an outfit for a confident man who wants to command attention.
The more you wear these types of outfits and develop your own style, and you can get creative and build a totally unique suit combo that works for you.
Ultimately, it’s the man that makes the outfit, and nothing betrays an outfit (especially one as bold as a suit combination) worse than low confidence. Keep your head up, shoulders back, and your T-shirts high quality, and you’ll be well on your way, good sir.