History Lessons 02 / The V NECK

Anyone else get woken up at 4am by the birds? While the early morning wake-up calls may not be appreciated, the longer days, warmer evenings and rambling roses certainly are.

At this time of year, our thoughts are on catching up with friends over a glass of wine, long walks and maybe even sitting on the beach. The sporting calendar is also starting to ramp up. The cricket season is in full swing, Wimbledon is finally here and many of us have ventured back out onto the golf course.

All this got us thinking about that sporting style icon - the V neck jumper - which it turns out, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

OK, admittedly, no one can say for sure when the first V neck jumper was knitted, but we do know that it started to gain popularity in 1921, when it was worn by Edward VIII. He favoured Fairisle V necks both on and off the golf course – a style which was quickly adopted throughout the British Isles by both men and women.

The above article is taken from the magazine 'Man and his Clothes' which in 1930 was commenting on the the ensemble worn by Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor) to play golf. His plus four suit was in a red and black check for matches he played at Le Touquet, his pullover was tucked in (a style many people had condemned as 'cheap' apparently) and his stockings were in light fawn with over checking. 

To start with, the V neck was mainly used for sport. The neckline lets in a bit more air than other styles and means it’s easy to whip off when you’ve warmed up. Tennis, cricket, golf, sailing… they’re all synonymous with the V neck jumper.   

By the 1940s, V necks had become an everyday fashion staple, particularly for men. They were often worn over shirts and ties, adding a slightly more casual feel to formal workwear.

But it was the 1960s when the style really came into its own. Beloved by trend-setting Mods, the V neck became a regular on the big screen – worn by everyone from Michael Caine to Steve McQueen. Even that epitome of cool – James Bond – sported one in the 1964 classic Goldfinger.   

In fact, it’s hard to think of an era that hasn’t embraced the V neck. From Tom Selleck in Magnum PI to Taylor Swift, many a celeb has relied on the humble V neck. There’s a reason it never goes out of style.

The V neck is one of the most versatile knits we make at Navygrey, proving the perfect partner for everything from your favourite jeans to summer-lovin’ maxi skirts.

When it comes to our own V NECK here at Navygrey. We were inspired by the traditional cut of the man's jumper, but reimagined it for today's modern woman Considered details such as the set-in sleeve, wide trim deep V, French shoulder seams and longline rib cuffs elevate the style beyond the classroom staple. 

Currently available in Navy, Grey (very low stock) and Blush. And we’re just about to launch a summer white version - ideal for those beachy evenings we’re all craving... How will you wear yours?

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All inspirational archive imagery courtesy of Alamy.