The Ultimate Guide to T-Shirt Necklines

The Ultimate Guide to T-Shirt Necklines

When you think about t-shirts, the standard crewneck style is probably the first thing that pops into your mind. If you dig a bit deeper, you may also think of V-neck styles. What you may not instantly realize, though, is that those are just two of the many different necklines that can be found on t-shirts. While they are the most common options, they certainly are not the only ones out there. In fact, there are all sorts of different styles that can be worn to achieve just about any type of look you can think of.

T-shirts are versatile wardrobe staples, and when you stock up on styles with different necklines, it’s possible to put together outfits for every occasion. By simply changing up the neckline, you can transform a look from casual to formal and create outfits that are appropriate for work, running errands, spending time with friends or enjoying an evening out with someone special.

If you are currently stuck in a rut and wearing the same styles exclusively, this guide to t-shirt necklines will help you branch out into other styles with a full understanding of which looks are best for a wide range of situations.


Also known as a round neck, crewneck is the classic t-shirt style that everyone is familiar with. It is simple and timeless and works for just about everyone. This style features a round neckline and no collar and was originally developed as an undergarment that would absorb sweat. The style was adopted by the U.S. Navy and was known as the “Gob Shirt.”

Today, crewnecks are worn for just about everything. They can be worn on their own or layered underneath other garments. They can even be worn over a long-sleeved t-shirt to create a casual layered look.

When to Wear a Crewneck Tee

T-shirts with crewnecks tend to draw attention to your face and shoulders. They work especially well for anyone with a long neck and wide shoulders. For women, they work best for those with small to medium busts.

When to Wear a Crewneck Tee

Because of its simple design, the crewneck is appropriate for a wide range of situations. It can be worn on its own with a pair of jeans for a casual look or paired with a blazer and dress pants to wear to work or on an evening out.


The V-neck is the second most popular option and is available for both men and women. This style has only been around since the 1960s and has recently grown in popularity among men. The “V” comes in various depths, so it’s possible to find styles that are flattering for nearly every body type. It is important to note, however, that you need to be mindful of the depth of the V and choose one that isn’t too deep.

When to Wear a V-Neck Tee

V-neck t-shirts are a bit dressier than crewneck tees, so they are a great choice when you are putting together an outfit for work or for an evening out. Modest V-necks are most suitable for the office, while plunging necklines are more appropriate for date night or an evening out with friends.

V-necks are suitable for most body types, and they work well for women with small to large busts. They look great regardless of whether you have narrow or wide shoulders, too. They tend to look best on those who are petite or have curvy or athletic builds because they do a great job of balancing and elongating your silhouette. Keep in mind, though, that if you already have a rather long neck, you may want to wear a camisole underneath your V-neck for a more balanced look.

When to Wear a -Neck Tee

This type of shirt is great for layering, too. They work well as a base layer under crewneck sweatshirts because you don’t need to worry about it peeking out of the sweater’s neckline. A V-neck tee looks good with a vest or blazer, too. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t wear this type of shirt underneath another shirt that has a V-neck.

Boat Neck

A boat neck shirt is similar to a crewneck, but it is wider. This rounded neckline extends further to each side and tends to fall just below the collarbone. It is a bit “fancier” than a standard crewneck but offers more modesty than a deep V-neck. This style is also very comfortable and is appropriate for nearly every setting.

When to Wear a Boat Neck Tee

Boat necklines are most flattering on women with small to medium busts and slender shoulders. They tend to draw the eye upward toward the shoulders, so they do an excellent job of balancing fuller midsections. This makes these shirts great for people with pear or apple shapes.

This neckline is popular for wear-to-work styles because it creates visual interest but still provides a high level of coverage. This style is also easy to accessorize. By adding a long necklace with an oversized pendant or layering necklaces of varying lengths, you can add some fun to your look and create a style that is uniquely your own.

Scoop Neck

Scoop necklines are round but deeper and wider than crew necklines. They are universally flattering and can be worn in many different settings, especially when paired with the right accessories. Scoop neck tees are available in several different styles, so whether you are looking for a tank top, a short-sleeved tee or a long-sleeved tee, there are options that will fit your preferences.

When to Wear a Scoop Neck Tee

Scoop neck tees are versatile enough to wear for just about any occasion. Wear a fitted one with a nice pair of dress pants and a blazer to create a look that is perfect for the office. If you are going for a more casual summertime look, try pairing a scoop neck tank top with your favorite flowy shirt and a pair of sandals. This style also looks great with jeans or even a pair of yoga pants. There is virtually no wrong way to wear this neckline.

When to Wear a Scoop Neck Tee

The scoop neck is also flattering on all body types. It works well for small to large busts and narrow to broad shoulders. Because it has an elongating effect, it works especially well for those who are petite or have short necks. When it comes to accessories, light, layered necklaces work well if you are going for a soft, professional look. A bold pendant on a long chain works well if you want to add a touch of drama to your look.


Button-up shirts are as timeless and classic as crewneck tees but tend to have a much more professional and sophisticated look. Worn by both men and women, these shirts tend to work well on all body types. While long-sleeved styles are the most common–especially in professional settings–they are also available with short sleeves.

button up shirt

When to Wear a Button-Up Shirt

Button-up dress shirts are the quintessential top for the office. They can be worn on their own, under a blazer or over a t-shirt. During the winter months, it is also common to see button-up shirts layered underneath sweaters. While often regarded as men’s dress shirts, there are also plenty of button-up shirts that are tailored for women.

Among women, this type of shirt tends to work best if you have a small to medium bust. If you have a larger bust, though, you can still wear a button-up. You just may need to size up or choose one that’s made from a flowy fabric so that it won’t gape across the chest.

Button-ups work regardless of how slim or wide your shoulders are, and they are appropriate for all body types. They can be dressed up for work by adding delicate jewelry, a blazer or a sweater. If you are going for a more casual look, try wearing a button-up shirt open with your favorite t-shirt underneath. Wearing the shirt untucked instead of tucked results in a more laid-back look, too.


When you want the look of a collared shirt but you don’t want to wear a traditional button-up, a polo shirt is a good alternative. The polo shirt has been around since the late 19th century and became a staple of “business casual” wardrobes in the 1990s. Often paired with khaki pants, these shirts offer the structure of a collared shirt and the comfort of a t-shirt. They’re also very versatile and perfect to wear in all sorts of settings.

When to Wear a Polo Shirt

Polos are appropriate for both men and women and are generally worn with the top button left undone. When you are going for a more formal look, choose a pique polo and wear it tucked in. Woven and knit polos are generally more appropriate for casual wear and can be left untucked. These shirts come in many different colors and styles. Short sleeves are the most popular option, but long-sleeve polo shirts are a great choice when you need a bit of extra warmth. Long-sleeved styles look great under vests, too.

The polo is also the shirt of choice for certain sports, such as golf and tennis. If you are planning on wearing your polo for this type of activity, choose one that is made from performance fabric. Performance polos are designed to breathe and wick moisture away from your body, so they do a great job of keeping you cool and comfortable. Many also have features that allow them to move with you instead of restricting your range of motion.

When to Wear a Polo Shirt

Polo shirts work on all body types. Just make sure to choose one that fits you properly. It should fit close to your body without being overly snug. The sleeve should hit between your shoulder and elbow and should not be skin-tight. The bottom hem should hit just above your hips.

General Tips for Styling T-Shirts

T-shirts come in all sorts of different styles, and the neckline you choose can have a huge impact on your overall look. Despite which neckline you are wearing, though, there are certain styling tips that will help ensure you always look great.

For starters, make sure your shirts fit properly. It sounds obvious, but many people wear t-shirts that don’t fit as they should and their entire look suffers as a result. When shopping for shirts, you should typically choose ones that fit close to your body without being too snug. There should be a bit of breathing room, but you shouldn’t look like you are swathed in layers of fabric. Most styles should hit at or above the hip, and the sleeves should fall somewhere between your shoulder and elbow. The mid-bicep area is usually appropriate for men’s shirts, while women’s sleeves can be a bit longer.

With most styles, the neckline should sit flat against your chest. It shouldn’t gape or fit too loosely. T-shirts with necklines that have become stretched out should be retired from daily wear and saved for lounging and casual wear.

Choose styles that flatter your body type, and add accessories to complete your look. Generally, statement necklaces and bold pendants work well with simple necklines, such as crewnecks and scoop necks. If your shirt has a neckline that creates visual interest–such as a V-neck or a scoop neck–consider wearing a dainty necklace to balance your overall appearance.


T-shirts are some of the most versatile garments to keep in your wardrobe. They can be worn on their own or underneath blazers and jackets. A t-shirt is also a perfect base layer to wear with a plain hoodie or a quarter-zip sweatshirt. Experiment with different styles and various necklines and you are sure to find options that you love. At ShirtMax, we carry t-shirts for men and women with nearly any type of neckline you can think of. Check out our full selection of high-quality wholesale shirts today to find what your wardrobe is currently lacking.