Your Complete Guide to Henley Knits

Ever wondered what the “dressy” version of T-shirts was? For many people, it’s the polo. For others, anything with a collar goes beyond the point of relaxation.

Fortunately, there is a casual alternative that lies somewhere between the plain collar of the T-shirt and the polo that seems to hit the right note of casual, stylish, and comfortable: the “Henley.”

Think of the Henley as a T-shirt with a few buttons to add some subtle contrast to the collar without actually making you feel like you’re wearing a “collared shirt.” They’re a great way to stand out from a crowd of T-shirt wearers without going too far in the “overdressed” direction. And once you know what to shop for, you’ll be able to pick out a Henley knit from our knit shirt collection you’ll find yourself wearing just about every single week.

2 Button Waffle Henley in Grey Heather

The grey heather version of our classic 2-button waffle Henley knit makes for a perfect demonstration of what makes a Henley a Henley.

The most obvious? The collar. Everything about a Henley knit resembles a tee except for the buttons under the collar. Typically, the best way to don a Henley in a casual situation is to unbutton at least the top collar; keeping them both buttoned tends to look a little “dressier,” and, in some situations, stuffier.

Other than that, think of this 2 Button Waffle Henley knit as a T-shirt. Like a T-shirt, you probably wouldn’t wear it over a collared shirt like a button down. But you would wear it under other layers, including a coat, when the weather gets a little cool. The chief advantage here? The Henley shirt serves the same essential function as a T-shirt…only it looks different. It’s not the same thing everybody else is wearing.

But what if you want to mix up the color a little bit?

2 Button Waffle Henley – Desert Sand

The gradient coloring is the definitive difference between this and the grey heather Henley. The “Desert sand” makes its most striking appearance at the top, near the collar, and again at the bottom of the hem. This adds a subtle pop of color that works great as a feature piece if you’re pairing this with a casual pair of jeans or chinos. And, like T-shirts, it’s fine for layering if you want to add something on top as well.

Not your favorite color? That’s fine. There are a few similar options to select from, including:

Do Henley’s come in different appearances than this? Yes. You’ll see all sorts of options, including up to five buttons and even beyond—though if you go any far beyond that, you’re dealing with a button-down. Our classic 2-button look doesn’t draw too much attention to itself; it lets the vivid colors do that. Instead, you’re left with a smart, casual alternative to the T-shirt that will have your wardrobe looking different—but not too different—from everyone else’s.

February 03, 2016 by Vintage 1946
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