It’s getting colder outside, so you’ll probably need a shirt and jumper combo or two to get you through the season. The good news is that I haven’t just got one or two, but 18 outfits to give you inspiration for your next pairing.
Some on the list are your usual ‘expected’ combinations (everyone needs a refresher, right?), but others a bit more out there and unique, while still being easily wearable and stylish.
Read on for 18 solid shirt and sweater combinations, the rules you can follow to make your own, and what pairings you should never attempt.
White Shirt and Navy Jumper Combo
It’s the obvious one, I know – but I must reiterate the versatility of this beast, the classic navy on white pairing. It’s appropriate from date night, to the office, to Christmas dinner at Gran’s, without looking a step out of place.
But as with all things, the fit of the shirt and jumper are paramount – here, a gently tapered sweater midsection and arms, and enough length in the shirt to show half an inch of cuff, pulls the basic look together, and should be observed in an any combination you attempt.
On top of this, within this pairing, and most of the rest on the list, you can also switch up the styles of the shirt and pullover:
- In this instance, I’m rocking a V-neck collar jumper, with an oxford button down collar shirt.
- Alternatively, you could invest in a crew ’round neck’ sweater, or a more formal dress shirt.
Though the ultimate combination is the same, they give off slightly different vibes – the v neck and dress shirt here are more formal, compared to the alternate more casual round neck and oxford button down.
Navy Sweater and Light Blue Shirt
Just as versatile as the above, this navy and light blue combination is a handsome blend of the same palette. It’s slightly more unique than the above, but equally as easy to wear.
Consider pulling this out when you’re bored of white and navy, but still want to be super safe.
As a bonus tip, combine the jumper and shirt with navy chinos, to produce a mostly monochromatic and streamlined look, that will ironically ‘set you apart’, and radiate class.
White Shirt and Red Jumper
Getting slightly more adventurous now, we’ve swapped out the navy V-neck sweater for a red version – and it sure as heck packs a bit more of a punch.
The colour alone attracts more attention than the navy, but is still muted enough to remain safely classy – it’s just a brighter version of the navy and white combination. Because of this ability to still work safely, and match easily with different colour shirts, I’d still consider the red jumper a ‘neutral’ base piece.
I’ve paired all of these looks with neutral grey chinos – in my opinion, this goes great with this look specifically.
However, if you want to take this look to the next level, you should consider introducing a pair of brown or berry trousers, to really play off of and draw out the reds in the outfit.
However, this next outfit changes things up even further…
Pink Dress Shirt and Red V-Neck Jumper
Wowzers – we’re descending down the shirt and jumper rabbit hole a bit further with this one.
As mentioned earlier, this specific look is inherently more formal due to the dress shirt which features a smoother texture (twill weave), a stiffer collar, and no collar buttons.
But the elephant in the room is definitely the contrast between the jumper and shirt colors, which merge together perfectly to, in my opinion, create a more cohesive and complementary look that with just a white shirt.
Unlike the recommendation in the last look, I would avoid pairing this with other brown or red items, as, with the shirt, it could be too overpowering – unless you’re very confident, and have got your color mix just right.
Natural Round Neck Sweater and White Shirt Combination
Moving to another safe, but ‘different’ combination here, with this natural crew neck cable knit sweater, paired with a white oxford button down collar shirt.
Again, the neutral ‘natural’ colour of the jumper provides as perfect of a neutral base as navy and red, but introduces a colour pallet that fewer people have access to, or feel comfortable wearing.
For this reason, this will allow you to ‘stand out’, without coming across as obnoxious or loud.
However, this combo is more casual than the last four, due to its rounded crew neck, and cable knit. Though you could still get away with it, this makes it potentially less versatile for events more on the more ‘formal’ side – so, if you’re looking to wear a shirt and jumper combo to an interview, I would stick to a jumper without both of these features, and stick to something with more formal ‘detailing’, such as a smooth fabric weave, and a V-neck collar.
Furthermore, though this colour looks fine against my skin tone, colours like this look incredible on someone with brown, or black-brown skin. The good news is, I’ve written a whole article that guides you through what colours to wear for your skin tone, so you can learn how to complement your natural complexion, and maximise your impact.
Natural Crew Neck Jumper and Navy Dress Shirt
I love this next one, it’s incredible; the same natural cable knit jumper, but this time paired with a formal navy shirt.
For me, the thing that makes this look so good is the colour contrast.
It works because, like most of the items that have appeared on this list so far, both of the colours are easily matched and neutral. In fact, this is almost a mirror image of the first ‘white shirt and navy jumper combo’, which just shows how well those colours work.
In this case, the navy shirt is of medium formality, as the colour is more playful, but the style is more formal and conservative.
Yellow Crew Neck Sweater and White Button Down Shirt
I think if we bring out any more combinations like this, I’m going to go blind.
And that’s due to this fantastic golden yellow color, which I especially love seeing in the fall or autumn; though it’s the exact same style jumper as the look before the last, the color speaks volumes, and gets complements.
In my opinion, it’s not that ‘extravagant’ and loud, though I can understand why some would be put off, and potentially not brave enough to wear it.
However, paired with brown and red items, such as a pair of berry chinos, or brown shoes, you don’t exacerbate and emphasise the colour, but allow it to blend into the outfit, and help create a cohesive look.
This jumper can be paired with different color shirts, and those more formal than the button down in this outfit – however, a white shirt doesn’t clash with the yellow, and the oxford fabric of the shirt is casual like the jumper knit and color brightness; so, it’s a perfect match.
But given that this combo less formal in color and style last two looks, I’d recommend against wearing it to any formal events.
Gingham Lilac Shirt and Navy V Neck Jumper Combo
Returning back to the navy V-neck now, but switching the shirt up a bit further, and introducing some alternate colours and patterns.
The main piece here is the poplin gingham button down shirt, which is admittedly a lot more adventurous than the aforementioned navy jumper pairings.
Despite perhaps tending slightly to a typically feminine pallet, the colour still works for masculine looks, especially when paired with a great complementary colour such as navy.
If you prefer, a solid lilac shirt would be slightly more formal than the photographed gingham pattern, which adds a bit more visual interest to the shirt and jumper combo. Despite this, it’s still formal and versatile enough for most situations, especially if you’re comfortable wearing lilac.
Pink Shirt and Navy Sweater Outfit
A bit of a bolder look for the navy V-neck jumper now, as we pair it with the same pink shirt that was seen in the previous red jumper look – the only difference here is that there’s a greater contrast with the base colour, which gives off a different vibe.
Though the combination definitely works, the shirt doesn’t have the red jumper to equalize and help balance it, making this combo more ‘in your face’. This is a good combination to pull out if you’re looking for something a little different, but you don’t have access to any other jumper, other than navy.
Lilac Gingham Shirt and Red Sweater
Any sort of lilac and red pairing works really well, and this outfit is no exception.
Though I feel that a darker shade of red jumper, or a slightly darker lilac, would have a more flattering contrast, these shades work decently together to produce a lighter, brighter, and more uplifting look. I would recommend this combination for more dandy style personalities, who are used to mixing different colours.
Mustard V Neck Sweater and White Shirt Outfit
So, I mentioned earlier that I wouldn’t recommend the golden yellow crew neck for formal events – this mustard brown v neck is, in my opinion, the best alternative to maintain higher formality and respect.
Again, the white shirt wears perfectly with this colour, and allows the jumper to work for itself. Though it is harder to match than a navy, red, or natural jumper, this brown-mustard tone is still moderately neutral, and will match well with any navy or brown items elsewhere.
Navy Dress Shirt and Mustard Jumper
Pulling in the navy shirt again, but this time pairing it with the above mustard V-neck jumper, to produce this interesting sweater and shirt combo.
Thinking about it in your head, you might not consider the colours to go together, but in actuality, it’s a decent match – probably not as robust and versatile as some of the others, but decent.
So, if you’re in need of something a bit alternative, this is a good match for you.
Natural Round Neck Cable Knit Jumper and Sky Blue Shirt
Back to the natural jumper, this time, with a sky blue shirt. And, it’s no surprise that it works – we’ve just put two versatile and easily matched pieces together.
I personally feel that the blue and the natural provide less of a contrast than a harsh white, which makes this sweater and shirt outfit more ‘blended’ and smooth.
Natural Cable Knit Sweater and Large Sky Gingham Shirt Combo
This look is very similar to the one above, but introduces a large gingham pattern to the blue shirt, which brings down the formality of the combination even further, and matches the casual nature of the round neck jumper and shirt.
I feel the varying colours of the shirt work well to provide a bridge between some of the previous looks – you have the lighter squares which work like the above ‘white shirt and natural jumper combo’, and the darker squares that emulate the previous pairing with the navy shirt – it’s a good mix.
Sky Gingham Shirt and Navy V Neck Jumper
It’s no surprise that the exact same large gingham shirt matches well with the navy V-neck too.
However, there is more of a contrast as the shirt is more casual, lighter and busy, compared to the sleeker and sophisticated V-neck.
Red Jumper and Plain Button Down Sky Shirt Outfit
One combination that we haven’t yet mentioned is the sky blue shirt with the red jumper – again, another classic, and a cousin of the ‘white shirt and red jumper’ combo.
The two shades work well to bring each other out – however, for some reason, I get slight ‘school boy’ vibe from this pairing. None the less, it’s a good alternative to a white shirt, that keeps things fresh and classy. However, we can really switch things up with this next look.
Windowpane Red Shirt and Red V Neck Sweater Combo
Red on red action – fantastic – one of my favourites.
If you’ve read any of my other articles, you’ll know that I’m a fan of pairing items of the same hues together, like in this red V-neck jumper, and red windowpane shirt combo.
Though they’re both of similar shades, the white windowpane works to add interest, visually separate the items, and help frame the face. On top of this, the colours being so similar is advantageous in this case, as it allows a smoother transition from the jumper into the shirt.
This is a really classy combination that I would recommend to give a shot if you have suitable pieces. If you don’t have a patterned red shirt, as I appreciate it is a bit of an unusual item, you could substitute it with a shirt of a different shade of red to the jumper – it could be pink, as was mentioned earlier, or a darker maroon – in any case, you need to have some sort of contrast to break it up. Here, we have the windowpane, which does the trick.
Red Sweater With Sky Gingham Shirt Outfit
Similarly to the ‘sky shirt and red jumper combination’ mentioned above, we’ve again got the blue gingham, but this time we’ve paired it with the red V-neck.
It’s more casual and adventurous than the solid sky shirt, but still a good combination that you can definitely bring into your rotation.
If preferred, you don’t have to wear large gingham – you could easily introduce a smaller gingham pattern, which actually makes the shirt more formal, and potentially a better match with the formality of the V-neck.
Okay, you’re here for shirt and sweater combinations, I know – but, I feel certain types of jumpers can be worn with just an undershirt (or ‘vest’, in the UK) to give a more casual look.
As an example, the cotton cable knit sweaters featured in this article are easily worn without a shirt, and look just as acceptable.
However, the more formal woollen ones, especially the V-necks, should be worn with a proper collared shirt, to match the formality, and give the jumper shape.
When making a shirt and jumper outfit, there are four things you need to take into account to create a balanced and cohesive look:
- The style and colour of the jumper.
- The style and colour of the shirt.
All of these items affect the formality of the combo, and their suitability to work with the other piece.
Shirt and Jumper Style
The ‘style’ refers to how the items are constructed, and the details they have. This affects the formality of the outfit.
For example, a white shirt can have an ‘oxford’ weave, or a ’twill’ weave, and have, or not have, buttons on the collar. Depending on these factors, the formality of the item is affected.
Generally, you should try and match the jumper and shirt formality, to produce a congruent look. For example, a casual golden cable knit sweater would go best with a casual oxford button down shirt, as they are both on the less formal side of the spectrum.
In contrast, a more formal v neck pullover and a twill dress shirt is also an equally appropriate pairing, as they are both on the more formal side.
You need to judge what event your going to, and what formality level you need to be at, and pair your shirt and jumper appropriately.
It’s worth noting that with shirt and jumper combinations specifically, there isn’t a huge problem if you miss judge the formality levels or mix the items, as wearing a jumper and shirt is an inherently more formal combination – however, if you want to make sure you are as appropriately dressed for a situation as possible, you should stick to this guidance.
Generally, the more ‘simple’ an item is, the more formal – so, a shirt without collar buttons, and with a smooth texture, is more formal than a shirt with buttons, and a rough texture.
Sweater and Shirt Color
The color of the pieces affects the formality and visual appeal of the outfit.
Generally, the lighter and brighter the color is, the less formal – so, if you’re going to a formal interview, I would avoid bright and bold jumpers.
Interestingly, for shirts, it is the other way around – light shirts, such as white and light blue, are the most formal.
On top of this, the colors in the jumper and shirt shouldn’t clash. Here is a good quick video explaining this in further detail, but as a quick recommendation from me:
- Neutral colors as disussed earlier (navy, burgundy, natural) will usually make for a robust base jumper color.
- You can’t go wrong with a white shirt.
- If you want to mix jumper and shirt colors, try and keep them within the same family. For example, a red jumper, with a pink shirt.
Though you generally have a lot of freedom when making shirt and sweater combos, there are a couple of pairings that I would categorically stay away from.
Turtleneck With a Shirt
I wouldn’t imagine anyone actually trying this out, but I’ve seen other people give this advice, so it could possibly be happening somewhere – don’t wear anything under a turtleneck sweater. There’s no point to it, as the jumper completely covers your neck, and arms. As mentioned above, the only layer you should consider wearing is an undershirt or thermal, to help keep you even warmer in the winter.
Double Cuff Shirt
I’ve seen the jumper and double (French) cuff shirt combination pulled off a few times, but it just doesn’t make sense. The double cuff is fastened by cufflinks, which often produces a bulkier cuff fastening, compared to the sleek barrel button design – so, when a jumper is worn on top of it, it stretches the jumper cuff around the shirt.
Over time, this could morph the jumper cuff permanently, and will mostly always result in an unflattering gap around the cuffs. The fix for this is just to wear button cuff shirts with your sweaters.
So, now you know 18 jumper and shirt combinations, and how to make your own – you’re now fully equipped for the cooler months. As a quick summary, remember:
- You can’t go wrong with a navy sweater, or a white shirt.
- Red and ‘natural’ coloured jumpers are also very versatile, and you should invest in them.
- Try and match the formality of your shirt and jumper combo.
- Ensure the colours in your combination don’t clash.
- Don’t wear shirts that take cufflinks with jumpers.