What to wear under a jacket in winter

That time of the year when the morning pairing becomes a bit more intricate has arrived. During cold winter weeks, a classic suit & shirt look is not enough to keep you warm.

Although there are natural wool or cashmere fabrics that are incredibly thermoregulating, the best choice is to opt for layering. Wearing a sweater under your jacket can help you feel comfortable all day, and it’s a chance to characterise your style.

The question now is: which sweater should I wear under my jacket? Is it better to wear a crew-neck sweater (or even a v-neck) or a chic turtleneck sweater? Is it better to combine them with a t-shirt or a dress shirt? And above all, which occasions are better for which sweaters?

To help you make the right choice, here’s a list of the most worn men’s sweaters, with some of our tips on how to wear them. This should allow you to get a sharp look for your work time or weekends.

Different types of sweaters

Crew neck sweater

Grey crew neck sweater
Crew neck sweater by Lanieri

Thanks to its minimal design, crew neck sweater enhance most body types and offer top-notch comfort, regardless of what type you end up buying. It is a basic yet classic garment, to be worn during all casual occasions: that’s why we should all have at least one crew neck sweater in our wardrobe.

V-neck sweater

Grey V-neck sweater
V-neck sweater by Lanieri

This sweater has a collar shaped like a V, hence the name. There are many advantages to wearing a V-neck sweater. Not only is it very versatile and trendy, but it can elongate your body and make you look taller.

They can be made out of many different fabrics and colors, and they really should be considered a basic when it comes to what’s in your closet because they can be worn in so many different circumstances.

The best choice for business occasions is between blue, gray and black (to be matched with a shirt and jacket), while shades like green, red and burgundy are perfect for leisure time.

Turtleneck sweater

White turtleneck sweater
Turtleneck sweater by Lanieri

Turtleneck sweaters are extremely popular and with good reason. Not only do they come in a variety of fabrics and colors, but they can also be appropriate for both casual and business occasions.

If you wear them under a jacket or a blazer, you can wear them almost anywhere – assuming you avoid extreme combinations. Also in this case the shade of the sweater has to be combined with the suit or jacket colour. Safe options are black, blue, gray and dark green.

Cardigan sweater

Grey cardigan sweater
Cardigan sweater by Lanieri

This is your basic sweater with long sleeves and buttons down the front. Something you can wear wherever you are, throughout the year. It is collarless, and it can have a round neck or a V-neck design.

The plain color version (blue, gray, green) is the most versatile option and allows you to combine it with dress shirts, t-shirts and jackets of different colors. Printed and knitted ones are a very casual chic alternative.

Mock turtleneck sweater

A little less versatile version of a turtleneck sweater, but extremely trendy. The difference between mock turtleneck and turtleneck is all in the collar, the first is shorter and is not turned over. The more contemporary design makes mock turtleneck less appropriate for business occasions, while it is a must for leisure time.

Different designs

Plain knit

Sweater's plain knit
Sweater’s plain knit

Knit sweaters come without embroidery on both the front and back, but may have various motifs and can come in many colours. Solids are the only option allowed in formal contexts and the most loved by minimal design fans. Wearing a plain sweater is the simplest way to mix combinations without making style mistakes.

Cable knit

Sweater's cable knit
Sweater’s cable knit

For extra warmth, cable knit sweaters are the way to go. They feature a distinctive cable pattern on the front and/or back that not only adds texture to an outfit but also offers a rugged and relaxed look that’s perfect for most casual or casual business situations.

Lightweight cable-knit sweaters with a more snug fit and a small, flat design are perfect for less formal business occasions. On the other hand, thicker sweaters with a bigger design are suitable for casual looks.

Ribbed knit

Sweater's ribbed knit
Sweater’s ribbed knit

For a more subtle look than cable knit, you could opt instead for a ribbed sweater, which will give you all the right texture without the excess bulk. Ribbed knits feature a ‘cord’ pattern and you can find them in chunky and slim fits alike. Also in this case you must know how to combine shirt + jacket + sweater the proper way, especially when creating business looks.

Which sweater to wear under the jacket

Jacket and crew neck sweater

Jacket and crew neck sweater
Jacket and crew neck sweater

Thanks to its versatile and minimal design, the crew neck sweater is certainly the most common choice when it comes to wearing a jacket in winter. You can easily combine them when you’re in the office, as well as in your free time.

Jacket and V-neck sweater

The V-neck sweater has slipped down men’s trend rankings in recent years, but it is still a good option for formal looks, just like cardigans.

Jacket and turtleneck or mock turtleneck 

Jacket and turtleneck or mock turtleneck
Jacket and turtleneck or mock turtleneck 

The turtleneck sweater is perfect when worn with a jacket or blazer (especially if it’s double-breasted) and doesn’t need to be paired with a shirt. This little thing makes it the fastest morning choice, especially when it comes to composing business looks. Wearing a turtleneck sweater under your jacket you’ll be comfortable and chic at work and even after 6 pm.

Jacket and cardigan

The cardigan is a business-friendly sweater, whose v-neck allows you to comfortably wear  shirts and ties. Cardigan can also be chosen for casual looks, combining it with an extra-fine sweater or a t-shirt.

What to wear under a sweater

Sweater and shirt

When it comes to business looks, choosing a shirt is not optional. In order of formality, a cardigan, a sweater with a v-neck or a crew neck, combined with a dress shirt with a straight point or a cutaway collar are the best options.

If you are wondering how to combine a man’s shirt and sweater, first of all, understand your attitude. If you are not so close with style affairs, we recommend working with tone-on-tone colours, but if you are comfortable with matching, you can definitely dare.

Sweater and polo shirt

A polo shirt should not be worn under a sweater because the collar doesn’t have enough structure. This goes for all types of sweaters – crew neck, v-neck, and shawl collar sweaters.

Sweater and t-shirt

If you’re planning to go for a turtleneck sweater you’ll surely end up wearing a t-shirt, even if you are creating business outfits. If you want something to enjoy your casual time, you can just wear a t-shirt under a crew neck sweater. In both cases, be careful that the color of your shirt is not visible between the sweater’s texture. The best thing is to always wear T-shirts and tone-on-tone sweaters.