Henley Shirts

Henley 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.

Intro - Short Sleeve Sexy henley

Fabric

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.

Henley Fabric Ashley Weston 2

Fit

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.

Fit - Perfect fitting henley shirt

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.

Henley Fit Ashley Weston

Bigger Gentleman

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:

Fit - Big Guy - Bad Example of henley

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…

Fit - Big Guy - Good Example - Polo Shirt1

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.

How To Wear Henley - Short Sleeve

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.

Mens-Henley-Shirt-Long-Short-Ashley-Weston-2

Mens-Henley-Shirt-Long-Short-Ashley-Weston-3

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.

How To Wear Henleys - Henley Sleeves Pushed Up On 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

Short Sleeve Henley 1 Ashley Weston

$125 – Rag & Bone Classic Short-Sleeve Henley
$35 – J. Crew Slim Broken-In Short Sleeve Henley (White, Navy, Heather Grey, Black)

Long Sleeve Henleys

Rag & Bone Long Sleeve Henley Ashley Weston

$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 

Top 10 Men’s Spring Essentials

There’s only a few weeks of Winter left, so pretty soon we’re all going to have to start thinking about transitioning to our Spring wardrobe. So in addition to your year-round Men’s Essential staples that are already in your closet, Jordan O’Brien from The Gentlemans Cove and I each came up with a list of 10 Spring Essentials that every man should own.

 

 

My Top 10 Men’s Spring Essentials

1. Lightweight, Spring Suit

Whether you go with a linen, cotton, seersucker, or lightweight wool suit, these options will make a statement and keep you cool throughout the Spring and Summer months.

Lightweight Suit Ashley Weston

$650 – J. Crew Ludlow Geyser Grey Italian Wool Suit
$500 – Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Navy Windowpane Suit 
$300 – TopMan Dark Brown / Burgundy Suit 
$105 – H&M Dark Green Cotton Stretch Suit

2. Linen or Lightweight Blazer

These lightweight blazers are perfect for casual Fridays at work or heading to lunch or dinner with friends. They’re a great way to insert a stylish statement while keeping cool. Linen will wrinkle a bit, but that’s part of its character so embrace it.

Lightweight Blazer Ashley Weston 1

$400 – Suitsupply Havana Green Check Sportcoat
$358 – Brooks Brothers Windowpane Linen Sportcoat
$168 – J.Crew Unstructured Ludlow Cotton-Linen Blazer
$99 – H&M Linen-Blend Navy Blazer  

3. Gingham Button Up Shirt

I love gingham shirts for the Spring because they can be worn dressed up with a suit or blazer or dressed down on their own or underneath a sweater. I included some great lavender, navy, and light grey gingham options below.

Gingham Button Up Ashley Weston

$450 – Ralph Lauren Purple Label Aston Gingham Dress Shirt 
$88 – J.Crew Ludlow Navy Gingham Shirt
$80 – Banana Republic Grant Fit Silver Gingham Shirt
$55 – The Tie Bar Grey Gingham Shirt

4. Silk Knit Tie

There’s no other brand that I love more than The Tie Bar. The quality, construction, and color/pattern choice can’t be beat by any other brand. Like I’ve always said, they’re not paying me to say this.

Silk Knit Tie Ashley Weston

$25 – The Tie Bar Scramble Knit Blue Polkas
$25 – The Tie Bar Knit Strip Brown
$25 – The Tie Bar Knitted Wine
$25 – The Tie Bar Midnight Navy

5. Polo Shirt

Polo shirts instantly make an outfit look more put together and Spring is the perfect time to start wearing them. I like John Varvatos, but be careful if you’re not in shape or have erect nipples because their silkier shirts will highlight these areas. The fit on Theory and Fred Perry polos is excellent and H&M is my go-to when I’m more price-conscious. You’ll need to replace those roughly every 8 weeks though due to fading.

Polo-Shirt-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Clothing-Fit-Guide $198 – John Varvatos Collection ‘Hampton’ Silk & Cotton Polo Shirt
$95 – Theory Cotton Polo
$85 – Fred Perry Navy/White Tipped Polo Shirt
$13 – H&M Polo Shirts

6. Short Sleeve Button Up Shirt

Not only do short sleeve button-up shirts look stylish, but every man (regardless of age or body type) can wear these. There’s currently so many great options from J.Crew and come March/April, Topman will have an equally great selection.

Short Sleeve Button Up Ashley Weston $480 – Prada Slim Fit Star Print Cotton Poplin Shirt
$128 – Todd Snyder Short Sleeve Floral Print Shirt
$60 – J.Crew Short-Sleeve Shirt in Jungle Print
$60 – J.Crew Short-Sleeve Oxford Shirt in Blue
$60 – J. Crew Short-Sleeve Shirt in Striped Heather Poplin 
$55 – TopMan Blue Abstract Print Short Sleeve Casual Shirt

7. Suede Bomber Jacket

I’ve maintained in some of my other videos and articles that you should save your suede for Spring. Well, it’s time to break out those items. I love the options below – you can choose from navy, light grey, and brown suede jackets. The A.P.C. jacket is a BIFL piece and will never go out of style.

Suede Bomber Jacket Ashley Weston$1,455- A.P.C. Louis W Suede Bomber Jacket
$1,085 – Hackett Mayfair Suede Bomber Jacket
$160 – TopMan Light Grey Faux Suede Formal Bomber Jacket
$160 – TopMan Faux Suede Formal Bomber Jacket

8. Penny Loafers

Finally we’re entering ankle season, which means penny loafers can finally be worn. I love Ferragamo’s loafers (I got a pair for my fiance Dorian 2 or 3 years ago) and they’re totally worth the price because they definitely hold up and still look great after years and years of wear.

Ferragamo Penny Loafer 2 Ashley Weston$760 – Ferragamo Penny Loafer Shoe
$195 – Jack Erwin Archie Penny Loafer Hazelnut
$185 – Johnston & Murphy Stratton Penny

9. Suede Monkstraps

Suede monkstraps, whether you get a dark brown, grey, or navy pair, can just take an outfit to another level. It’s such a stylish touch to any outfit and can be worn with a suit, chinos, or jeans. Make sure to Scotch Guard them before you wear them for the first time – always gotta protect your suede items!

BB Suede Monk Straps Ashley Weston$698 – Brooks Brothers Navy Suede Double Monk Strap
$398 – Brooks Brothers Suede Double Monk Strap Shoes
$275 – Crosby Square Conley Double Monk Strap Shoe (Espresso and Navy)
$80 – H&M Suede Monkstrap Shoes

10. Chinos

Chinos should only be worn in Spring, Summer, and early Fall and that’s it. They’re a great alternative for those days when you don’t feel like wearing jeans and when you want to just feel cool and comfortable.

Chinos Ashley Weston$575 – Maison Margiela Cotton-Twill Chinos
$75 – J.Crew Broken-In Chino in 484 Fit
$30 – Uniqlo Slim Fit Chinos
$30 – H&M Chinos Skinny Fit

Jordan’s 10 Men’s Spring Essentials

1. Huaraches

These as well as other great alternatives were included in my Summer Essentials E-Book. A lot of Jordan’s picks I actually included in that e-book so be sure to check it out if you haven’t already 🙂

Huaraches Ashley Weston $165 – Vintage Artisan Classico Brown
$88 – Chamula D.F. Dk. (Brown or Navy)
$88 – Chamula Cancun with Natural Crepe Sole

2. Linen Suit

Linen, as well as the other lightweight fabrics I also included in my list, is very breathable and will keep you cool during the warmer months. Here are some of my favorite items currently available.

Linen Suit Ashley Weston$2,000 – Burberry Slim Fit Wool Silk Linen Three-Piece Part-Canvas Suit
$349 – Brooks Brothers Milano Fit Check Linen Suit
$99 – H&M Linen-Blend Suit Jacket
$50 – H&M Linen-Blend Suit Pant 

3. Panama Hat / Straw Fedora

Whether you need some extra sun protection or want to look stylish while staying cool, straw hats are super breathable and lightweight. Every year I get J.Crew’s panama hat, but it only lasts the season before it starts to fall apart. I’m currently eyeing Loro Piana, Brooks Brothers and Stetson’s hats because I know I can count on the quality and construction.

Panama Hat Ashley Weston 1$735 – Loro Piana Laurence Straw Panama Hat
$298 – Brooks Brothers Straw Fedora
$287 – Lock and Co Napoli Hat
$105 – Stetson Men’s Centerdent Fine Panama Hat
$65 – J. Crew Paulmann panama hat with striped band

4. Basic Striped T-Shirt

Striped t-shirts are super easy to insert into your current wardrobe. They look great with your suits, blazers, bomber jackets or just on their own.

Stripe Tshirt Ashley Weston$90 – Todd Snyder Slim-Fit Striped Cotton T-Shirt
$88 – Todd Snyder Fine Stripe Button Pocket T-Shirt in Maroon
$60 – J. Crew Wallace & Barnes Indigo T-Shirt in Stripe
$45 – J. Crew Garment-Dyted T-Shirt in Microstripe
$35 – TopMan Selected Homme Navy and Off White Stripe T-Shirt

5. Long Sleeve Henley Shirt

I like long sleeve henleys when they’re worn as a layering piece, so underneath a casual button down shirt paired with some dark wash jeans and boots or sneakers. If you’re a slim or wider gentleman, I highly advise against wearing henleys on their own because they emphasize your body size even more (and not in a good way).

Long Sleeve Henley Shirt Ashley Weston$150 – Rag & Bone Slim-Fit Mélange Cotton-Blend Jersey Henley T-Shirt
$59 – L.L. Bean Signature Slub Henley
$39.50 – J.Crew Slim Broken-In Henley

6. Denim Jacket

If you’re new to wearing denim jackets, I suggest going with a black or dark grey version because it’ll be a lot easier to wear, especially if you wear jeans a lot because you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a Canadian tuxedo.

Denim Jacket Ashley Weston$295 – Rag & Bone Standard Issue Washed-Denim Jacket
$195 – All Saints Mens Hockett Denim Jacket
$90 – Levi’s The Trucker Jacket (in rinse or lamar black stretch)
$40 – H&M Denim Jacket

7. Lightweight Jacket

On those windy or rainy days, having a lightweight jacket that can combat the elements while looking stylish is always what I strive to find.

Casual Jacket Ashley Weston$280 – Saturdays Travis Windbreaker (Sage or Clay)
$200 – J. Crew Field Mechanic Jacket
$160 – Under Armour Sportswear Meters Panelled Shell Hooded Jacket
$40 – Uniqlo Lightweight Packable Hooded Jacket

8. White Sneakers

I have a whole video and article dedicated to white sneakers because I truly believe every man, regardless of age or body type, should own a pair.

White-Sneakers-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-EssentialsHeader$100 – Nike Tennis Classic Ultra
$75 – Adidas Originals Stan Smith Sneaker
$65 – Converse ‘Jack Purcell’ Classic Low Top Sneaker

9. Classic Timeless Pair of Sunglasses

Be sure to check out my Sunglasses story for specific options I recommend based on your face shape.

Rayban Wayfarer Ashley Weston$325 – Oliver Peoples L.A. Coen Sun
$140 – Ray Ban RB2132 58 New Wayfarer
$95 – Warby Parker Barkley Sunglasses
$95 – Warby Parker Beckett Sunglasses

10. NATO Strap

Interchanging your watch straps is an easy way to insert some fun and personality into your outfit.

NATO Strap Watches Ashley Weston

Here’s a great place for straps that I love – these are my favorite for Spring:
$8 – Navy Perlon Nato Strap
$8 – Navy and Grey Nato Strap
$8 – Dark Brown Perlon Strap
$8 – Grey Perlon Strap
$9 – Black, Red, And Green “JAMES BOND” PVD Nato Strap

As far as watches go, see my Watch article/video.

Plain T-Shirts

A plain, short sleeved t-shirt is an essential because they’re super comfortable, timeless, and everyone wears them. Now whether you need a crew neck or v-neck t-shirt is dependent on a few factors that I’ll get into later on in this article.

If you’re like most of my clients, you’re probably wearing a t-shirt or polo shirt most of the time, so let’s make sure you look amazing in them. Before we get into that, though, I have a few bones to pick with men in regards to their t-shirts. They completely crap the bed in a few ways:

  1. Their shirts are full of logos.
  2. They don’t fit properly.
  3. The fabric is too thin, shiny, or worn out.
  4. A horrible combination of the above.

Types of T-Shirts For Men

A t-shirt is defined as:

A lightweight shirt without buttons, with short sleeves and no collar. Often made of cotton and frequently bears a picture or slogan.

Before we get into the finer points of t-shirts, let’s talk about the two different types, first. Before I started in the fashion industry, I didn’t know that there were only really two types of t-shirts. So let’s quickly get this out of the way.

Crew Neck

T-Shirts-V-Neck-Crew-Neck-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials-2

These t-shirts have round collars that fit closely to the neck like the image above. You probably have these in your closet right now. They are great base items for layering or worn on their own. They work on most body types. See the below section about fit for more details.

V-Neck

T-Shirts-V-Neck-Crew-Neck-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

If your powers of deduction are strong, you’ll already know that the v-neck t-shirt is named as such because the neck is in the shape of a “v”. They also work on most body types. See the below section about fit for more details.

Long Sleeves

Long-sleeved shirts are not technially t-shirts. I put this here, because when I was first starting out, I swore that long-sleeved shirts, like Henleys, were also t-shirts. But, they’re not. Also, in my professional opinion you shouldn’t really own any long sleeve shirts. Henleys would be the only exception, but they only look good on certain body types. I’ll do an article about Henley shirts at a later time. But I don’t consider them a wardrobe essential.

If you need long sleeves, throw on a Oxford Button Down Dress Shirt, V-Neck Sweater Harrington Jacket or Blazer instead.

Logos & Designer T-Shirts

DesignerTShirt

I discussed my hatred of logos in my polo shirt article. And it definitely applies to t-shirts. Maybe more-so.

No self-respecting man should ever wear t-shirts with logos plastered all over them. We have enough billboards and advertisements in our lives, don’t turn your body into another one. Sports teams and concert/band tees are fine if worn to an event where it’s appropriate. But the worst is when I see guys wearing “designer” t-shirts. It just screams sucker, amateur and douche. Just don’t do it. If you own any of these, either throw them out right now orariGTFO

How T-Shirts Should Fit

See the T-Shirt Fit Guide for details. But I’ll quickly mention here, too, that no matter your age or body type, a t-shirt (any shirt, for that matter) should have a trim fit and lightly hug your body.

That doesn’t mean it should be skin tight, but it also doesn’t mean it should be baggy, either. A lot of my clients with larger builds tend to think that their shirts need to be baggy to hide their imperfections, but it actually works counter to that. It’ll highlight your imperfections if you attempt to hide them under larger swaths of fabric. And if you’re thinner, a larger shirt won’t add any bulk to your frame, it’ll just make you look even skinnier.

Fabric Choice

I can’t tell you how many nipples and belly buttons I see walking around town because guys are wearing undershirts or flimsy shirts with really thin or delicate fabrics as regular t-shirts.

Too Thin

I see a lot of guys wearing what looks like white undershirts because the fabric is so thin. I’ve honestly been searching for months for good white shirts that don’t show skin through. See my recommendations below.  Thin shirts/undershirts are not the same as regular t-shirts. Undershirts, true to their name, should only be worn underneath another shirt – usually an Oxford Button Down Dress Shirt or a Semi-Spread Collar Dress Shirt. They’re thin and soft because they’re purpose-built to go underneath something else.

Silky or Shiny appearance

The quickest way to look like a creepy uncle is to wear a shiny or silky t-shirt. You should only wear cotton and matte (not shiny) t-shirts. Nothing else.

Distressed or Worn out

Your t-shirts shouldn’t look like the garment equivalent of those terrible worn-out baseball caps. A t-shirt should look clean, comfortable and relatively new. Once they’ve got holes or they’re faded, even a little bit, they need to be replaced. Such is the nature of being a well-dressed gentleman. There’s nothing worse than old, stretched-out, or faded looking shirts, unless you’re deliberately going for that look.

You’ll get more usage out of your t-shirts if you wash in cold water and hang dry them. But once they’re stretched out or faded, it’s time to donate and replace them.

The Best T-Shirts For Men

Choosing the best t-shirts comes down to your body type, preference and the colors. I’ll reiterate again, because my older clients like to give me this excuse before they see the light: AGE DOESN’T FACTOR INTO WHAT SHIRTS YOU SHOULD GET – AT ALL.

Should I have V-Necks or Crew Necks?

Between the two, I would say it all depends on your preference. Some of my clients are adamant about their love or hate for one or the other. But if you don’t have a preference, I’d suggest getting one set of each. That way, you have the option to switch it up.

As for which ones you should get, there’s 3 points to consider:

  1. If you have a longer neck, go with crew necks. A v-neck would visually lengthen your neck and make it look longer. Unless you can find shorter v-necks with a shorter “v” like the white shirt on my model below.
  2. If you have a shorter neck, go with v-necks. It’ll make your neck appear a little longer.
  3. If your neck is average, the t-shirt world is your oyster and you can have whatever you want!

What colors should I have?

Every man should have these colors to start since they’ll go with everything else in your Essential Wardrobe.

  • White
  • Heather gray
  • Navy
  • Black

As for how many of each you should have, I suggest getting at least 2 of each, that way you can easily get through a week without needing to do laundry.

Best T-Shirts For Men

Designer Options

The fabrics of these options are really amazing and super comfortable. The James Perse ones are a personal favorite and I use them on a lot of my clients. I wish I could make all my clothes out of some of these materials. See my note in the section below, before making your decision. All of these shirts come in the colors I recommended above.

Ralph Lauren Cotton Jersey Crewneck T-Shirt 

James Perse Melange Cotton Linen V-Neck

Rag Bone Navy Classic T-Shirt

James Perse Grey Crew Neck T-Shirt

Brunello Cucinelli Cotton Crewnect White T-Shirt 

Budget-Friendly Options

I’d probably default to these options over the designer ones because I find very minute differences between them. The biggest factors would be fit and slightly better fabrics. I don’t find the added costs are worth what you get in return, especially because t-shirts will need to be replaced much quicker than other items in your wardrobe. All of these shirts come in the colors I recommended above. I especially love the RibbedTee shirts and the American Apparel Summer Shirts.

All Saints White Figure Crew T-Shirt

Alternative Apparel Black Plain T-Shirt

Armani Exchange Pima Crew 

RibbedTee White Rex Cotton Modal Tee V-Neck 1-Pack

J.Crew Broken-in V-Neck T-Shirt

3 Best Ways to Wear Your V-Neck and Crew Neck T-Shirts

Alternative Apparel Black Plain T-Shirt

Burberry Slim Fit Wool Trousers

Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Oxford 

Tom Ford Black Snowdon Sunglasses

IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

Rag & Bone Duncan Shawl Cardigan

RibbedTee White Rex Cotton Modal Tee V-Neck 1-Pack

Diesel Buster 0607A Jeans

Allen Edmonds First Avenue Dress Boots

John Varvatos Lafayette Sunglasses

IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

Brooks Brothers Camel Suede Barracuda Jacket

RibbedTee White Rex Cotton Modal Tee V-Neck 1-Pack

SIimon Miller M001 Gunnison Slim-Fit Selvedge Denim Jeans

Nike Tennis Classic Sneakers

Tom Ford Black Snowdon Sunglasses

IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

Men’s T-Shirt Outfit Ideas & Inspiration

The Polo Shirt

A Polo Shirt is a great, versatile item that I put all my clients in at some point of us working together. They’re timeless and a cornerstone of any good spring or summer outfit. I often recommend wearing them in place of t-shirts, as they give a casual outfit a bit of polish – which is never a bad thing. No matter your age or body type, every guy needs a few polo shirts in his wardrobe.

A good polo shirt will:

  1. Fit like a glove.
  2. Enhance the good parts of your physique and hide the imperfections.
  3. Make you look more polished and put together.
  4. Layer incredibly well.
  5. Only have short sleeves – long sleeved polos have no place in your wardrobe.

Fabric

Fabric choice is the biggest thing to consider when choosing a polo shirt and heavily dependent on your body type. The fabric you choose will determine how good (or bad) you look in a polo shirt.

Piqué Cotton

Piqué cotton polo shirts are made with cotton yarn and have thin ribbing visible in the garment. The texture is soft, and if you look closely you can see the tightly raised cords that give a waffle-like appearance.

Piqué polos are best for heavier-set men with wider physiques because the textured fabric hugs the body without conforming to the less flattering areas of the chest and stomach. When I’m working with a client who’s worried about his belly being accentuated, I always go with pique cotton. Think of the fabric as airbrushing your torso and hiding the problem areas.

Check out how much more flattering the piqué cotton polo is on the same guy compared to a cotton/silk blend polo. I bet his hands are covering his belly button divot in the cotton polo shirt picture, too. It’s an old photographer’s trick. Notice his chest area looks a little more smoothed out? Please don’t think I’m recommending this polo, it’s pretty bad (that’s a horrible sleeve length) but it highlights the “airbrushing” effect that piqué cotton has very nicely.

Pique Cotton Vs Cotton or Silk Blended Polos Ashley Weston

Cotton & Cotton Blended Polos

If you’re in decent shape, skip the piqué polos and grab a few cotton/cotton-silk blended polo shirts. The material looks better on your body type and is softer and more comfortable than pique cotton. These polos have a sleek, modern look that are great on their own or underneath a jacket. Beware, it’ll shine a spotlight on your body’s imperfections if you’re not in good shape!

SilkBLendPolo - Ashley Weston

Colors, Patterns, Piping, Etc.

Avoid any patterns or collar/sleeve piping and stick with the basic (and best) colors to begin. Grab a few white, black, navy, and charcoal/gray colored polos. They’ll give you the most versatility with the rest of your Essential Wardrobe and will work with any skin tone and body type.

If you’ve got the basic colors already, definitely get some brighter colors that compliment your skin tone and/or throw some stripes in there, too. I would universally avoid plaids or any other wackier patterns, it’s just too much and looks tacky.

To Tuck or Not To Tuck

If you’re wearing a polo shirt without a jacket, then don’t tuck your shirt into your pants. I know golfers do this, but you’re not on a golf course and it looks horrible tucked in.

If you’re wearing a jacket, then loosely tuck in the front part of the shirt by your belt buckle like in my 3 ways to wear images below. The shirt should still cover the top half of your belt buckle – you don’t want to completely see the buckle. I love doing this on my clients because it breaks up the outfit when you see a little of the belt buckle and gives it a little polish without overdoing it.

Leggo my Logo

Please don’t get a shirt with a huge logo all over it. Just. Don’t. Logos that are small and the same color of the rest of the shirt are passable, but if you have the option, go logo-less.

How Should A Polo Shirt Fit?

Check out my Men’s Polo Shirt Fit Guide for details.

The Best Polo Shirts for Men

Designer Options

For a pique polo, I recommend the Sunspel Riviera Polo Shirt. This shirt was made for Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale. A black or navy polo pairs well with either dark wash jeans or grey wool trousers. For a silk/cotton blend polo shirt, I love John Varvatos and Burberry. The shirt’s impressive construction and fit is well worth the price.

John Varvatos Hampton Polo 

Sunspel Charcoal Jersey Polo Shirt

Ermenegildo Zegna Mercerized Cotton Polo Shirt 

Burberry Navy Silk Cotton Polo

Theory Black Boyd Polo

Budget-Friendly Options

I’m a big fan of H&M’s cotton polo shirts. Actually, I would probably get those over the designer options a majority of the time. They won’t last forever, but they’re cheap enough to replace every season or two. They have a clean design with a great fit and a price that you can’t beat. The model in the first picture below is wearing the H&M Polo.

H&M Polo Shirt 

Uniqlo Navy Dry Pique Short Sleeve Polo Shirt

J.Crew Black Pique Cotton Polo

3 Ways to Wear a Polo Shirt

(Sunglass lenses sold separately)

H&M Polo Shirt

J.Crew Broken-In Chino in 484 Fit

Vans Authentic Sneakers

True Vintage Revival Glasses 

Polo-Shirt-Outfit-2-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

The jacket and chinos are actually from Dsquared2, but they’re for an upcoming season and not available in stores at the time of writing. So I added the best substitutes below.

Philipp Plein Coat So Cool

Ermenegildo Zegna Mercerized Cotton Polo Shirt

Brooks Brothers Slim Fit Dark Khaki Garment-Dyed Chinos

Nike Tennis Classic Sneakers

Allen Edmonds Black Poplar Belt

IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

John Varvatos Lafayette Sunglasses

 

Polo-Shirt-Outfit-3-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

Burberry Modern Fit Wool Part Canvas Jacket 

Burberry Silk Cotton Polo Shirt 

Levis Chino 511 Slim Fit Jeans 

Salvatore Ferragamo Penny Loafer Shoe

Allen Edmonds Brown Poplar Dress Belt

Piaget Altiplano Watch

John Varvatos Lafayette Sunglasses

Outfit Inspiration

 

The White Sneaker

White Sneakers AKA Tennis Shoes are like jeans – everyone has them, but not everyone has the right ones or knows what to do with them.

Sneakers look good with any casual outfit (no suits, PLEASE!) and your color choice and how you care for them will have a big impact on whether you’ll look sharp, or just… blah. 

Have questions? Curious what others think?

Join us in the comments section of the video above.

 

Why White Sneakers?

If you’re reticent about white sneakers, I get it. My clients are a little freaked out by them in the beginning, too. But the reason I prefer white is they look super sharp and literally go with everything you’d wear casually. A pair of white sneakers instantly elevates an outfit to be a little sharper than it would be with other casual shoes. In my book, that’s a good thing.

As a woman, when I see a sharp-looking guy, I want to learn more about him. It’s impressive and intriguing. I’ve been busted for staring a few times because of this 🙂

If you really, really don’t want to get white shoes, go for a navy color then. They’ll still go with a lot of the other essentials on my list, but not as well as white.

High Tops or Low Tops?

For a foundational piece like this, leave the high tops for later. They’re not appropriate in many occasions where low tops are. High tops are definitely more sporty looking and with pants will bunch up around the ankles and can create a lot of stacking.

Canvas vs. Leather

This is when I’ll leave it up to your preference. Either one will work for the same occasions and outfits. Some people prefer natural fibers over leather. I prefer leather because it doesn’t stain as easily and they’re easier to keep clean, but they’re also (slightly) more costly. It’s entirely up to you. I’ll provide both options below.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

I’m always shocked to learn that most guys don’t know that women look at 3 things, in this order, when first meeting a man:

  1. Your face/head (duh!)
  2. Your fingernails
  3. Your shoes

Dirty or worn out shoes are a major turn off. Spend 30 seconds and take wet cloth or a Magic Eraser sponge and give your shoes a quick wipe down. I personally love using Jason Markk’s cleaning kit – check out my video about How To Clean Dirty Sneakers. A little effort goes a long way and will keep your shoes looking good for much longer.

The Best White Sneakers For Men

Designer Options

$495 – Givenchy Urban Street Leather Sneaker – all white (for white with a touch of blue on the heel, get these)
$495 – Saint Laurent SL/01 leather sneakers
$370 – Acne Studios Adrian leather sneakers
$410 – Common Projects Original Achilles leather sneakers

Budget-Friendly Options

$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Canvas Sneaker (leather option buy here)
$55 – Vans Old Skool Sneakers – in True White
$60 – Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers

3 Ways To Wear

$200 – Topman Khaki Suede Bomber Jacket (the burgundy is no longer available, but I love this green suede version)
$10 – H&M Crew-neck T-shirt in black
$165 – J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in slate resin (Love that the color, stitching, and hardware are similar color)
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Canvas Sneaker (leather option buy here)

$13 – H&M Polo Shirt Slim Fit in black (**THESE ARE THE BEST POLO SHIRTS!!!!)
$40 – Uniqlo Slim Fit Chino Pants in navy (Fit is awesome and they’ll hem your pants for free)
$55 – Vans Old Skool Sneakers – in True White

Burberry London  Slim Fit Travel Tailoring Wool Jacket
$78 – J.Crew Cotton Cashmere Slim Fit Cardigan in heather charcoal
$69 – Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Milano Fit Button-Down Collared Dress Shirt
$170 – Diesel Buster 0607A Tapered Jeans (I’ve bought my fiance 3 pairs of these – they’re that good!)
$73 – Brooks Brothers Leather Formal/Casual Belt in brown
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Canvas Sneaker (leather option buy here)

White Sneaker Outfit Inspiration/How To Wear White Sneakers

Gap Striped T-Shirt, AllSaints Jeans, Nike for J.Crew Killshot 2 Sneakers

Overall, this outfit is simple and great. I love the color pairings. The red and gray striped t-shirt looks great with his olive complexion. If he were paler, the red tones would bring out the pinkness in his skin. Jeans are great – length shows the right amount of ankle, slim fit, and perfect looking cuff. Sneakers are nice and clean with shoelaces that aren’t too long and floppy.

My Critique

  • The T-shirt is too big:
    • Shoulder seams are past his natural shoulders.
    • Sleeves are too long.
    • Baggy through the torso and it looks a little long.

How A T-Shirt Should Fit

Check out my t-shirt fit guide for the proper fit, but briefly, a t-shirt should fit like this:

  • Shoulder seams should follow your natural shoulders.
  • Sleeves should just cover your bicep and hug your arm and not flare out.
  • The body of the shirt should lightly hug your torso and end just past your belt buckle.

How To Fix

Try sizing the t-shirt down one size, but if the Gap shirt doesn’t fit correctly try the below brands:

Get His Outfit