What makes the best Summer T-shirts? Part 3: Shapes

SANVT Journal

In the third and final article in the series on what makes the best Summer Tees, SANVT considers the form of the Tee and its impact in hot conditions.

When should one wear a crewneck Tee – and when should one wear a V-neck? How loose fitting should a Tee of either type be? These are not uncommon questions but they take on extra meaning in summer. The shape and form of the Tee can have an impact on how comfortable a T-shirt is in the heat.

Best T-shirt shapes and fits for summer – with a focus on crewneck vs. V-neck Tees

  • V-neck vs. crewneck in heat: no major differences here but the V-neck might offer a very slight bonus when it comes to breathability
  • V-neck vs. crewneck for summer style: a matter of personal taste; both can work. The crew is more timeless but the V is better under other garments
  • Fit: definitely go with a looser fit in the summer, regardless of the type of Tee you choose to wear
  • Taste: this is the bottom line here; go with what you think looks great

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Crewneck vs. V-neck in the summer heat?

There are two types of Tees to consider in summer, the classic crewneck and the slightly-less versatile V-neck. If this needs any explanation: the crewneck features a round neck and the V-neck features a (you guessed it) v-shaped neck.

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First question: does a V-neck or crewneck fell cooler in the heat? Well, there’s not a lot of science or research on this (unlike colours and fabrics, featured in our previous two posts). But a V-neck can offer a bit of extra breathability from the more open neckline – especially if worn under a shirt or sweater at a more formal summer outing.

That said, a nicely fitting crewneck in a breathable fabric like cotton will do an excellent job too. Just make sure that the neckline isn’t too tight.

Crewneck vs. V-neck: breathability & GSM

An underrated factor to consider when selecting a V-neck or crewneck t-shirt - or indeed when purchasing any kind of garment - is GSM. This is a measure that describes how thick the fabric is and it stands for Grams per Square Metre. Generally speaking, an item with a lower GSM will be more breathable and bearable in the heat. And vice versa, a higher GSM ‘heavyweight’ tee will be better for colder conditions.

So, when seeking out a V-neck or crewneck - do bear in mind that not all tees of either kind are made equally. Especially when you’re comparing different brands. Typically the GSM reading should be on the product label or website.

For summer, a GSM range of 160-185 GSM is about right. SANVT’s V-neck tee is at the upper end of the spectrum at 185 GSM - and the same goes for our ‘perfect’ crewneck. But we also have lightweight and heavyweight versions of the crewneck to suit different conditions - at 160 and 235 GSM, respectively.

For more on the matter, here’s our detailed GSM guide.

Crewneck vs. V-neck: summer style considerations

So, if there are no major differences to comfort in the heat, the main consideration here is summer style. Here are a few key points on this:

  • A crewneck is more classic and timeless, it’ll always look good and in place, especially in the summer.
  • A V-neck in the summer is also more than acceptable. And in more informal settings the V’s laid-back look can fit in perfectly.
  • A V-neck is also more suitable when used as an undershirt.
  • But a very deep V-neck is also somewhat out of fashion. Definitely don’t go too deep to show chest hair!
  • Those with long necks might find a crewneck more flattering, as V-necks tend to extend neck length.
  • The collar shape can also counterbalance the face shape. E.g. if you have a triangular face, a crewneck might be better.

All considered, when it comes to style, both can work – and work well. Go with what you like and bear in mind some of the points above, also summarized below in an infographic.

When to wear a v-neck vs crew neck t-shirt SANVT

Loose vs. tight fitting Tees

In this department we can be a bit more definitive with our recommendations. For summer it is advisable to have a loose and wider t-shirt fit. Not only is this ‘boxy’ look (see photo below) more modern, it’s also cooler and more comfortable. The fabric will stick to sweaty skin and feel uncomfortable if the Tee’s too tight.

This type of fit can work with either crewneck or V-neck styles.

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In this area we’d say go with what you like best but just keep the fit a bit looser than normal. And if you prefer a V-neck style then you might (although only just might) feel a little cooler too.

SANVT has both styles available, both a lightweight summer T-shirt with a crewneck and also a tee with a subtle V on the V-neck. If you’re looking for even more information on the best summer T-shirts, you can take a look at the previous two articles in the series.

Title photo by courtesy of Mads Keilberg 

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