If casual is the name of the game, no piece of clothing is quite as iconic as the T-shirt. Whether it’s a plain white T-shirt, a graphic T, or a V-neck, I’m sure we all have a bunch of these bad boys stacked in our closet somewhere. I personally love T-shirts, and wear them as often as I can.
Unfortunately for me, often is not very often at all, as I’m finding that I hardly wear T-shirts when going out. In my opinion, they are too casual for the office, they aren’t very evening-appropriate, and they can be a bit boring (or too rambunctious if it’s a graphic T). For these reasons, I usually opt for a casual button down or polo in most informal settings.
Despite this, we all know how much more comfortable a T-shirt can be than a button-down. They’re so easy to put on and take off, and can oftentimes feel like a second skin, due to their lightweight and soft nature. Oh the dilemma, what can we do about this situation?
Enter the Henley. A stylish offshoot of the long sleeve or short sleeve T.
Henleys are my go-to shirts when I just want to feel comfortable. They look a bit more sophisticated than a regular t-shirt or long-sleeve shirt, and can work extremely well with a variety of outfits. Slap a sports coat or jacket on top, and you’ve got the casual chic thing going on. Maybe wrap a cardigan and scarf around the henley on a crisp day, and you’re not only fashionable, but comfortable and warm too.
I would recommend getting a couple henleys if you can, both in long sleeve and short sleeve forms. Now, this isn’t a piece I would invest heavily in. I personally own a couple cheap Old Navy henleys and they look and feel great. Sure they probably won’t hold up for ten years, but these types of pieces are meant to be replaced once in a while. It’s okay to treat them the same as your regular crew neck undershirts.
Also, I’d recommend staying away from any graphics on the shirts themselves. Stick with solid colors or subtle patterns, like thin stripes. We want to remain simple on this piece as much as possible.
Here are some of my recommendations:
~$10: Old Navy or Uniqlo Henley (none online, but in store there’s plenty)
~$20-$40: Gap Marled Henley
~$40-$75: Vince Henley
~$75+: Todd Snyder Classic Henley
If you don’t own one, I would highly recommend going out and buying yourself a couple henleys. The “comfort” part of your psyche will thank you immensely while the “fashion” part of your psyche will nod in approval.