There is one piece of clothing that transcends all seasons and casual wear. The henley is the everyman’s shirt worn by Hollywood studs and average men alike. It is a collarless shirt with buttoning placket (or fly) in the front that fastens anywhere from one to five buttons. Short or long sleeved, the henley comes in a variety of colors and materials adaptable to each season. So why do men love this average shirt?
First, the henley is the epitome of men’s style. Consider the simplicity of fashion icon James Dean. His classic T-shirt and jeans style rebelled against the preppy clothes dominating his fashion and solidified the casual, masculine image. Dean’s “less-is-more” style is perfectly captured by the henley due to its uniquely simple appearance that pairs well with anything from jeans to chinos.
Likewise, the henley style is not attached to a single formal occasion and can substitute for a polo, T-shirt, or sweater depending on the material, length, and color. The henley is a step above the traditional T-shirt and lends casual sophistication to your wardrobe. For example, consider pairing a neutral colored long-sleeve henley underneath a seasonal sports jacket paired with chinos. Come spring, a colorful short-sleeve henley paired with a nice pair of slacks is a great look for the office or a night out. From gym shorts to office wear, there is no end to the appropriate pairings for the henley.
Despite the economic and fashionable qualities of the henley, the most attractive quality about the piece is how it looks on you. The traditionally close-fit, woven style of this athletic shirt harkens back to boatman’s beginnings but now politely fits the most modestly shaped men. It’s likely the primary reason Hollywood’s leading men wear swoon over the piece. You just look good.