enley shirts are one of the few items that, to me, don’t really have a specific season they’re best worn in because there’s so many different versions for men. Other shirts, like T-Shirts
, Polo Shirts
and Dress Shirts
don’t really have this problem since they’re pretty standard across the board no matter the season.
I love henleys, because they look sexy and masculine, especially when the top 1 or 2 buttons are undone to draw the eyes to your chest and shoulders to show off your physique in a flattering way. Hence, the image below.
BUT, and this is a big mistake I see a lot of men making – they’re not for every everyone. More on that shortly.
Let’s get into what to look for in your henleys based on the time of year.
Generally, henleys will be made out of cotton, so there’s really not much choice outside of that, but you still need to consider fabric weights depending on the time of year. The main thing to know is that lighter weights should be worn in warmer months or in warmer climates and thicker, heavier fabrics in cooler months or climates. You can get them in everything from a lightweight summer weave, where it feels like a t-shirt, to thicker, quilted versions which will keep you warm during the cooler months.
You don’t have to worry too much when buying them because, based on the time of year, the brands will carry the appropriate weights. But I still want you to be aware of it just in case.
Like all your clothing, including henleys, they should have a trim fit throughout the body and arms – no matter your body type. You never want it too loose anywhere because that’s when you’ll look sloppy and not put together. You shouldn’t be able to pinch more than 1-2 inches of fabric on one side of your stomach and no more than an inch around the bicep.
The image below highlights the proper fit around the torso and sleeves.
I mentioned earlier that henleys aren’t for everyone, so let’s get into that right now since we’re talking about fit.
For Thin Gentleman
If you’re a thin guy, no matter your height, if you want to wear a henley, you absolutely need to nail the fit, especially if you’re going to wear a long sleeve version. If the fit is too loose, it’ll make you look thinner and more frail than you are – not good!
I only like long sleeve henleys on thinner men if they’re layered underneath a jacket, like the below right image. When worn on their own, it really spotlights and elongates your thinner torso, like image on the left. So if you’re a thinner guy and want to wear a henley on its own, then wear a short sleeve version since it’ll look similar to your t-shirts.
If you’re a rotund gentleman (aka you’re not in the greatest shape and have a belly), you cannot wear a henley shirt, period. Allow me to show you why and explain. See exhibit A:
Because of the button placket on the front, coupled with the lack of a collar, a henley will shine a massive spotlight on your bigger neck and torso. This is when a polo shirt is perfect and should be used instead, because a polo shirt’s collar will visually keep your torso balanced and in proportion, so your top half doesn’t look so big compared to your bottom half. The image below of James Corden shows a guy with the exact same body type as the image above, but in a polo shirt. Talk about a night and day difference…
Best Ways To Wear A Henley Shirt
Think of your short sleeve henley as a t-shirt, they’re interchangeable in the same outfits, so that means they can be worn on their own or underneath a jacket.
J. Crew Slim Broken-In Short Sleeve Henley
J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in Rasalas
Allen Edmonds Hampton Ave Tan Leather Belt
I would pair this look with white sneakers – Nike Tennis Classic Sneakers
For a long sleeve, you would normally wear these during the cooler months as a layering piece, so I styled Dorian in a long sleeve henley shirt underneath a bomber jacket, dark wash jeans, and sneakers.
Burberry Lightweight Lambskin Bomber Jacket
J. Crew Wallace & Barnes Wool Henley Sweater
Diesel Buster 0607A Jeans
Allen Edmonds Decatur Ave Black Dress Belt
Johnston & Murphy Conard Cap Toe Black Chukka
IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch
Ray Ban RB4258 Sunglasses
During the warmer months you can wear them with the sleeves pushed up. As I mentioned in one of my other videos, women LOVE to see sleeves rolled/pushed up around your forearms.
My Favorite Henley Shirts
Here are some great short sleeve and long sleeve (lightweight and heavyweight) henley options that I love.
Short Sleeve Henleys
$125 – Rag & Bone Classic Short-Sleeve Henley
$35 – J. Crew Slim Broken-In Short Sleeve Henley (White, Navy, Heather Grey, Black)
Long Sleeve Henleys
$250 – Rag & Bone Giles Merino Wool-Blend Heavyweight Long Sleeve Henley Shirt
$40 – J. Crew Slim Broken-in Lightweight Long Sleeve Henley
$15 – H&M Jersey Lightweight Long Sleeve Henley