How to Wear a Quarter-Zip in 8 Campus-Friendly Outfits

Looks coming to a campus near you soon.

It’s starting to reach that time of year when campuses around the country will start to fill up with people wearing quarter-zip sweaters. This makes a lot of sense, as these flexible pieces are perfect to wear during times when the weather is warm but not hot weather.

But that’s not the only reason to wear one. Quarter-zip sweaters are also interesting because they allow you to show off what you’re wearing under the sweater in a way similar to a v-neck without being quite as formal. And you can wear them with everything from t-shirts to a shirt and tie. In this article, we’ll show you exactly what you can wear with a quarter-zip sweater.

What Exactly is a Quarter-Zip Sweater?

A quarter-zip sweater is a sweater with a zip that goes from around the chest to the neckline. It typically has a high, turtleneck-style neckline, although they can be collared or even crew neck. The most common versions of these sweaters are made from wool or cotton, although you can also get them made from fleece or jersey-style materials.

How to Wear a Quarter-Zip: 8 Outfits for Men

With a Button-Down Shirt

Half-Zip Button Down Shirt
The Brdwlk

This is a classic way to wear a quarter zip. The preppy style of the OCBD and the quarter-zip shirt is a match made in heaven. And the fact that the shirt buttons down means that the collar won’t flap around outside the zip. I like to wear this style with the top button of the shirt undone.

With a Shirt and Tie

Half-Zip Shirt Tie
The Brdwlk

If you want to go a little smarter, consider wearing the above look with a tie and a shirt. Pair it with some smart slacks, chinos, or even dark blue jeans. The tie means that shoes will work better than sneakers. If it’s cold out, consider wearing a blazer over the top of the sweater.

With a Henley Shirt

Half-Zip Sweater Henley Shirt
The Brdwlk

A henley shirt is an interesting piece to wear with a half-zip sweater. You still get the ability to unbutton the shirt, but there’s no collar. It’s a little less formal than the above outfits. I like to roll up the sleeves and have a little of the henley shirt showing at the wrist.

With a T-shirt and Jeans

Half Zip T-Shirt Jeans
The Brdwlk

Half-zip sweaters have a reputation of being quite preppy and smart, but you can certainly still wear them with more casual pieces. Pairing your half zip with a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers is an easy and relaxed outfit. This goes especially well with more casual styles of quarter zip like fleeces or sporty ones made from jersey material.

Under a Jacket

Beige Chinos White Sweater Black Denim Jacket
The Brdwlk

Forget about what to wear under your quarter zip sweater, the real question is what should you wear over it? And the answer, in this case at least, is a casual jacket. The one in the image is a black denim jacket, but most types of jackets will work well.

With a Check Shirt

Half Zip Check Shirt
The Brdwlk

I like this look because the pattern of the check shirt adds a bit more to the outfit than a plain shirt does. I chose checks because that’s what I have on hand, but you could easily try other types of patterns too.

With a Bretton Shirt

Half Zip Breton Shirt
The Brdwlk

A Breton shirt looks great with the right color half-zip sweater because the stripes help the outfit stand out. Wear it with dark jeans or navy chinos. Add boat or canvas shoes on your feet.


Half Zip Sweater
The Brdwlk

If none of the options above take your fancy, you can always just zip up your half-zip sweater and not worry about what your wear underneath. It’s warmer this way anyway.

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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's a menswear writer who has spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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