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A crewneck, also written "crew neck," is a type of collarless shirt or sweater with a round neckline that fits around the base of the wearer’s neck. The fabric that makes the neckline on a crewneck is typically ribbed and sewn onto the shirt or sweater as a separate piece. The name comes from the types of shirts traditionally worn by oarsmen. The word “crewneck” can be used as a noun to describe a garment with this type of neck.
Not all round-necked shirts, sweaters, and blouses are crewnecks. Generally, a crewneck fits snugly around the neck. Other types of round necklines include scoop necks, ballet necks, and roll necks. Scoop necks are generally found on women’s tops, where the front of the neckline plunges lower down the chest. Ballet necks are also a more feminine cut, in which the neckline is wider and exposes part of the shoulders, back, and collarbone. Roll neck sweaters can be worn by men and women, with a neckline similar to a crewneck but with a little extra fabric rolled over the outside.
There are a few variations on crewneck shirts. For example, a Henley shirt is a round neck collarless shirt with two to five buttons on a placket down the front. With the buttons fastened, a Henley shirt resembles a crewneck. Another common variation is the mock neck, also called a mock turtleneck. A mock neck is round and extends about an inch (2.2cm) higher on the neck than a crewneck, much like a turtleneck but without the roll or fold in the fabric.
Two popular examples of crewneck shirts are the T-shirt and men’s sleeved undershirts. Tank tops can also be crewnecks, usually resembling sleeveless T-shirts. Crewnecks are very versatile because they suit both men and women in a variety of body types. They fit comfortably around most neck sizes because of the ribbing on the neckline’s fabric.
An advantage of a crewneck is that it can be layered with another type of shirt or sweater such as a v-neck, button-down, or cardigan. Crewnecks can be casual, sporty, or formal, depending on what they’re made of and how they’re worn. Cotton T-shirts, long-sleeved tees, and Henleys can be worn as everyday casual fashion or for outdoor activities and sports. A wool crewneck sweater can be worn with a collared shirt and even a tie for a more serious, businesslike appearance.