This autumn’s penchant for the trusty V-neck puts discharged to the idea that high fashion is all about frivolousness. From Michael Douglas in Focal Instinct to Miuccia Prada’s classic, it’s time for a neckline increase

No sweat … (left to right) Michael Douglas in Basic Instinct, and mannequins for Zara, Lemaire and Prada.
Composite: Guardian, Getty

From Prada to Louis Vuitton: how the V-neck jumper went haute

This autumn’s bent for the trusty V-neck puts paid to the idea that euphoric fashion is all about frivolousness. From Michael Douglas in Central Instinct to Miuccia Prada’s classic, it’s time for a neckline quickening

Despite the continuing boom in the sales of men’s fashion, outfits that enter into the picture on the catwalk are often still derided as unwearable silliness or uncalled-for tosh. However, this coming season one trend that is arguably far from loony is the return of the simple V-neck sweater. This comeback is admittedly on the refined side – many men will, no doubt, say they have under no circumstances stopped wearing one – and yet the V-neck’s fashionable status has been on the winding down for several winters, ditched in favour of the sleeker roll-neck, mock-neck or team.

One of the many V-necks on the Louis Vuitton catwalk, Paris forge week, 2017. Photograph: Dominique Charriau/Getty Images

The V-neck’s returning was anointed this January in Milan by Mrs Prada. The opening look of her autumn/winter 2017 conduct featured a very simple, almost school-uniform-like grey V-neck sweater all in over a classic blue Oxford shirt, semi tucked into a up of sandy-coloured cord trousers. The only flashy thing in the look was a furry belt. Ten other V-necks appeared in the illustrate, and, with the exception of one that looked a bit like a still vim painting, they were mostly plain, and often dog-tired with nothing underneath. Prada, herself, took her bow weary what appeared to be the exact same sweater as the model of “look 1”. Backstage, the conniver, considered to wield much power when it comes to background the fashion agenda, talked about a mood of “simplicity” and “Aristotelianism entelechy”.

Prada is not alone in championing this neck-line revival. Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton escorted 14 variations on this theme as part of a collection that highlighted the sell-out Supreme collaboration. Jones’s lovely deep V-necks were pleasingly haggard with half-tucked-in opened shirts – shirt tails fall luxuriously out from the sweaters’ hems. Meanwhile, super fashionable Parisian label Lemaire also offered the look on the runway – dog-tired with nothing underneath and tucked into simple, stretch trousers.

Miuccia Prada in her V-neck, Milan men’s fashion week, 2017. Photograph: Champion Boyko/Getty Images

For some, the notion of a fine norm V-neck will only ever mean one thing: Michael Douglas in Principal Instinct cavorting about a nightclub dance floor with femme fatale Sharon Stone. I distinguish, it’s hardly a ringing endorsement. So, if this particular silver shelter V-neck moment is putting you off, immediately Google James Stewart in Hitchcock’s Instability. Stewart’s take on the look has an air of retro suave – the V is cut quite lofty, the white shirt beneath is worn opened. It looks both harm and relaxed. Better still are vintage images of Yves Klein. His V-neck is, genuinely, paint splattered, and the shoved-up sleeves and popped shirt collar ration out the whole thing an air of breezy effortlessness.

On the high street, Zara is approval the look, and features them in its men’s autumn/winter ad campaign. V-necks in tan, pink and lilac are drawn with checked overcoats and (again) un-tucked shirts. Reiss has a artless version in Bordeaux – a great alternative to black – for £85, while Topman’s moorland fine gauge black V-neck is a snip at £20. Uniqlo, a chronic favourite destination for affordable and decent knitwear, is also contribution this neckline in a variety of shades including beige, brown and burgundy.

James Stewart in Wooziness, 1958. Photograph: Snap Stills/Rex/Shutterstock

Perhaps the easiest and most patent way to sport a V-neck is with a simple, white crew-neck T-shirt. Jason Bateman’s pass character Marty Byrde in the Netflix drama Ozark has a closet full of fine gauge knits and when he sports a V-neck, this is word for word his approach. Similarly, a simple Oxford shirt opened at the neck à la Prada is scarcely a complex option. Personally, my favourite takeaway from the Vuitton steer was the layering of a simple grandad-collared shirt underneath – this looks solely good with a slightly deeper V. Alternatively, a mock-necked T-shirt or, when it understands colder, a roll-neck sweater will offer a stricter and multitudinous minimal finish. And, of course, for the bold there is always the bare-chest draw – embarrassing dance routines are naturally optional.