#OOTD: How to Style a Crewneck Sweater

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for these features regularly.

If you’re like me, perhaps you’ve looked at a crewneck sweater before and not been too impressed with the silhouette or styling potential. But designers and brands have been changing that perception for a while now, as we’ve seen in this Style Upgrade piece. In dressier iterations (like the extra fine merino sweater you’ll see below), it can definitely offer both visual interest and unique styling potential — particularly when paired with a Bond-inspired tab collar shirt. Throw in other style essentials like a knit tie and slim chinos, and you’re set for at least one work outfit this week — and the week after that. And after that. You get the picture, yeah? Plus, a well-fitting slim crewneck and some slim denim top a hooded sweatshirt and sweats on any casual day (i.e. that 9 a.m. class). So it’s a win-win no matter where you go. Get some inspiration from the below, and check out The Style Guide on Facebook for more daily #menswear musings.

Taking a crewneck sweater and dressing it up with a unique tie, suede chukkas and essential chinos.

Taking a crewneck sweater and dressing it up with a unique tie, suede chukkas and essential chinos.

The Crewneck: UNIQLO Extra Fine Merino Crewneck Sweater, $39.90 — A steal of a price for a basic crewneck that’s well-reviewed and well-liked.

The Shirt: Paul Frederick Trim-Fit Tab Collar Dress Shirt, $69.50 — A well-priced carbon copy (nearly) of James Bond’s style in a tailored fit. Give it a whirl if you’ve been looking into this style.

The Coat: Land’s End Herringbone Wool Pea Coat, $249 — This coat’s a bit of an investment (look for a cheaper one here), but it’s a refined classic worth the price.

The Tie: 15Ties Wild n’ Wooly Tie, $15 — A cheeky name for a tie that packs a lot of unique style and a subdued pattern into one piece for just $15. A well-priced alternative to The Tie Bar.

The Pants: JackThreads Skinny Chino, $49 — These guys are a four-season staple in a sharp color and a trim fit ,a lthough they also offer slim-fit chinos. Don’t sleep on JackThreads!

The Boots: Thursday Boot Company Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka, $149 — Rich brown suede and a grippy studded rubber sole give these boots solid traction and style. Catch the full review here.

The Socks: Tommy John Performance Dress Socks, $16 — Arch support, ventilation and cushioning combine in a subdued, multi-purpose sock.

The Belt: Land’s End Dress Braid Belt in Brown, $49 — The slightly-higher priced uncle of the much-recommended Target Merona Braided Leather Belt. Keep an eye on Land’s End in the fashion game this year.

The Watch: Timex Waterbury Watch, $80 — Super affordable, super simple and in a classic 40mm case diameter.

Did you pick up any styling tips along the way? Ready (or not ready?) to try out that tab-collar shirt? Follow along with more #OOTD posts on my Instagram and as always, here at the blog. We’ll have an Online Shopping Picks piece covering the best Oxford cloth buttondown shirts coming tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Stay stylish,


Style Pick of the Week: Reigning Champ Crewneck Sweatshirt

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

Slim-cut, a classic color and plenty of styling options -- the navy crewneck sweatshirt from Reigning Champ.

Slim-cut, a classic color and plenty of styling options — the navy crewneck sweatshirt from Reigning Champ.

As with reaching for a pair of sturdy winter boots or a warm peacoat, there are some style moves that you just have to make in the winter time — mostly out of the increasingly cold weather, but also out of a desire to stay comfortable (and look good!). As far as style essentials go, the crewneck sweatshirt fits into that category. It’s a silhouette that’s really made a comeback into the style mainstream over the past few years going from a long-lost, poor-fitting piece (i.e. Jim Belushi’s crewneck sweater) to a silhouette that designers have turned to when seeking sportswear inspiration. Credit should go to a designer like Todd Snyder and his collaboration with Champion, and credit should also go to our brethren to the north, and the subject of this week’s Style Pick — Reigning Champ. The Canadian-based brand is focused on crafting timeless style staples — like basic tees and varsity jackets — alongside its impressive collection of sportswear-inspired pieces, like its Navy Crewneck Sweatshirt. You very well might recognize the brand from its partnerships with everyone from East Dane to Club Monaco, and the fact that they’re sold in those higher-end retailers is reflective enough of their quality and style — and that’s why you should consider picking one up, good sir.

A view from the back of the Reigning Champ crewneck sweatshirt, featuring raglan should stitching.

A view from the back of the Reigning Champ crewneck sweatshirt, featuring raglan shoulder stitching.

While it is just a crewneck sweatshirt after all, the timeless craftsmanship and neutral color give it lots of styling potential. A navy crewneck hits the sweet spot between dressed-down and business casual — it can be paired with slim tan chinos, captoe sneakers and a chambray shirt (as in this post), and you can even swap out those sneaks for chukka boots and a knit tie. David Beckham even pairs darker navy sweatshirts with blue denim. Of course, a simple navy crew meshes just as well with slim sweatpants and black sneakers on the weekends, too. And coming from Reigning Champ, you know you’ll get exactly what you pay for (from personal experience, the brand’s sweatshirts fit slim, and the fabric is soft & wears nicely). To boot, the Canadian exchange rate puts the Navy Crewneck Sweatshirt at a shade under $90, far less expensive than Todd Snyder’s more Wish List-worthy crewnecks — still pricey, but more agreeable. This Reigning Champ piece doesn’t have the collar or front raglan-sleeve stitching that one might expect from a typical crewneck, but that helps dress it up a bit, while the ribbed side panels, cuffs and hem add some visual interest. For one simple navy crewneck sweatshirt, there’s a lot of upside — and even more potential to wear it a few different ways.

Do you have a navy crewneck in your arsenal? Would you pick up this piece from Reigning Champ?