March 18, 2013
When I was ironing yesterday, I realized, again, that my black v-neck sweater is perhaps the most frequently worn item in my closet in the cold weather. While mine is cashmere, if I had to replace it, I’d probably opt for a very “flat” merino wool, or maybe Eileen Fisher’s cotton/silk blend…Mine is big enough to layer, but not so huge that it looks sloppy on it’s own. The v is low enough that a tee shirt peeks out when it’s underneath, but if I wear the sweater alone I’m not risking a career-limiting move.
At it’s most simple, the sweater, alone with a pair of simple jeans or khakis, is perfect:
Sweater – J. Crew, scarf – Tory Burch, jeans – Ralph Lauren, loafers – Stuart Weitzman, scarf – futabaya, khakis – Vince, oxfords – Repetto
And with a plain white cotton shirt, or silk blouse, anyone can wear it to work:
Sweater – J. Crew, white cotton shirt – Equipment, grey wool pants – Reiss, shoes – Salvatore Ferragamo, white silk blouse – Chloe, tweed skirt – Paule Ka, black tights – Missoni, pumps – Eickhoff
A tee shirt underneath is a great way to segue toward summer with white jeans:
Sweater – J. Crew, tee shirt – Proenza Schouler, white jeans – J. Crew, loafers – Elizabeth & James, blue tee shirt – Iris & Ink, blue flats – Kenneth Cole Reaction
With any other blouse, this sweater can give you a long monochromatic line with a dash of color or pattern near your face (and maybe some fun shoes…):
Sweater – J. Crew, dotted blouse – J. Crew, black pants – Stella McCartney, striped flats – Marc Jacobs, pink cotton blouse – Hugo, black skirt – Diane von Furstenberg, pumps – Jimmy Choo
This kind of sweater is very handy for toning down a busy patterned pant, or for serving as a backdrop for some amazing accessories:
Sweater – J. Crew, necklace – Kenneth Jay Lane, clutch – Talullah Tu, flowered pants – Paul Smith, pumps – Christian Louboutin, earrings – Yael & Tal, scarf – Yuh Okano, tweed pants – Dolce & Gabbana, silver loafers – J. W. Anderson
This simplicity is particularly useful if you have a major statement skirt that is best balanced by something simple, but still gorgeous:
Sweater – J. Crew, necklace – Fossil, geometric print skirt – Peter Pilotto, pumps – Salvatore Ferragamo, lace bracelet – Aurelie Bidermann, lace trim leather skirt – Jason Wu, slingbacks – Miu Miu
You and your amazing accessories and amazing clothes. Have a great week!
Dear Kare – these aren't ALL my clothes. I have things that I wear in similar ways, but I'd be bankrupt if I bought all of this. Well, maybe not bankrupt, but certainly dealing with an irate husband!
have a great week,
Sue - Over 60 and Over Here! says
Dear Janice, I do hope that you will do a version with a navy, dark brown or other neutral v-neck sweater as I no longer wear plain black near my face (at 65 I don't want to look too haggard!) I do love these outfits though, but know they will look better on others!
Camel in up for tomorrow, and I think navy, grey, and brown will round out this week in v-neck style. Thanks for asking!
Love the v-neck cashmere sweater–it's one of my most-worn items. Can't wait to see the rest of the combinations you think up!
I saw another video about Hermes, this was interviews with employees and clips of them working their craft. I may never be able to afford anything fom them, but oh how I appreciate the love they have for their craft. The video is called Hearts and Crafts. One clip shows some of the time and skill set that goes into making a scarf. WOW!!
@ Kare: The secondhand market can make them much more affordable; LuxuryScarves.com is one reputable vendor; there are others.
Another great capsule Janice. I look forward to the navy and grey options as well – I have all of these (as well as emerald and cobalt) in v-neck sweaters or cardigans :)
Sitting here mulling as to what to wear, and you came through again! Those Ferragamo flats are beautiful.
Love this post! My go to sweater is a bittersweet chocolate brown v-neck cashmere sweater that I bought before t-shirts and sweaters became soooooo long that a petite woman has a difficult time wearing them. Love all of the different ideas here! As always, an inspiration. And .. apologies… Minnesota seems to be sending more bad weather towards Chicago. More weeks wearing that lovely sweater! Susan
I need to find a sweater like this. I've found that a v neck is the most flattering on me. Thanks for showing us all the options.
Thank you for the idea of pairing a simple v-neck with a dressier or patterned bottom. I am closet purging again and have many skirts left over from my working days that are languishing without a suitable way to simplify them for everyday. I don't "dress up" much anymore, but could pair a tee, a v-neck sweater and some casual shoes/sandals to do errands, lunch with friends, etc. It's been so much fun learning to view my clothes in different ways. I was always so rigid with dress clothing, casual clothing, coordinated outfits. Breaking them up is like doing a puzzle with fun results.
Great ideas for a winter into spring transition (albeit a short one here in E.TX)- your combinations are classy even when casual – I appreciate your talent, and utilize many of your ideas to refresh my wardrobe with minimal expense.
Jean S says
Great post. I also am weeding black out of my wardrobe…with my coloring, black makes me look like a zombie. But I can easily translate to navy.
Ellen L. Stanclift says
You have read my mind. This is my go to item for everything. I'll throw it over my shoulders in spring and cool summer nights or in overly air conditioned rooms. I wear it constantly all winter long. It dresses up. It dresses down. It's the best investment I've ever made, clothing-wise, in addition to my good Trench coat.
Speaking of which…I'd love to see an outerwear line up of the must haves!
Have a beautiful week, Janice, and know that your inspiration with the project 333 and core wardrobe has totally saved me. We've had to move out of our two walk in closet, large master bedroom and into my husband's small study, during massive home renovations. We're are now sharing one small closet and each have one small chest of drawers. And we're making it work just fine.
So, yay, Janice! I would have been a mess otherwise!
Lee Carroll says
My v-neck sweaters both pullover and the button down variety are the most vesatile and useful clothing item in my closet. I'm pleased to know that they are important to you also. You have given me some new ideas in ways to use them, thank you again. I'm in the process of clearing out and organizing my closet with your helpful posts it is easier to decide what is workable and what is not.
Fabulous posting. Perhaps the one that is most applicable to how I dress in all the time I've been reading your blog. THANK YOU ! !
I wear my black v-neck cashmere sweater all the time. It just can't be beat. I have a cotton version for spring and fall. In fact last week to transition into spring, I wore my white jeans, black v-neck and a colorful scarf.
Thanks for this. I always think that v-neck is more casual than round neck, so often put one on and then take it off because i want to look more dressed up – whatever that is these days. You have given me a lot of good ideas. My v-necks thank you!
Janice, do you iron your sweaters????
I machine wash them (front load, delicate cycle) hang them to dry, and then press the because they're usually wicked fluffy, and sometimes will have dreaded "shoulder nipples" from the hangers… My cashmere sweaters last around 10 years, being washed weekly for half the year.
I see your ten and raise you, Janice; I'm on 20+ years for some of mine. Yours is more or less my method but I wash them in lingerie bags, use baby shampoo/cold water, and always dry flat, on a towel.
Edith Scheie says
Janice, I worship at your altar.
Apart from more neutrals, could you do something with a strong colour accent in the sweater? I have a green v-neck cashmere sweater (the kind of green is hard to describe – the nearest I can get is a medium aquamarine in the HTML colour charts at http://html-color-codes.info/color-names/) which in theory is a good colour for me, but I keep looking at it and putting it back in the drawer becaues I can't figure out how to wear it…….
I'd love to work on some bright colors – the whole v-neck sweater thing just fascinates me, and I have a really LONG attention span for it! And thanks a ton for the link – I'm going to be referring to it a lot.
This is my desert-island garment. I prefer no shirt underneath, showing a gorgeous necklace or scarf. And that Jason Wu skirt- whoo-hoo!
πουλόβερ τιμές says
I really like your blog. You share with us some great dressing ideas, you definitely helped me out a lot of time and money to try and figure out what would work for me. Thank you so much for posting this!