Style Essentials: The Thin White Henley

The most masculine shirt is also the most versatile.

Get the look
H&M, $14 (in store)Look 1
Shirt: Tommy Hilfiger Outlet
Chinos: Gap, $50Look 2
Shawl-collar cardigan: (similar) Old Navy, $32
Cords: Target, $25
Shoes: Keds, $40
Car: Chevrolet, $9,800

Look 3
Jeans: Levi's Shrink to Fit, $40
Boots: Red Wing, $240

It's funny what a few buttons can do for a long sleeve t-shirt.

Just like the right sportcoat, a thin white henley is a neutral modifier. Worn instead of a t-shirt on a casual day, a henley will have you looking more sophisticated without making you appear dressed up. Similarly, a thin white henley worn with a cardigan creates a look that is more rugged and less dressy than a sweater worn with the standard button up shirt.

A henley is the perfect fall layering item. Wear it with a flannel shirt and chinos and you've got a versatile getup ready for both backyard brews with your bros and hanging with your girlfriend's parents.

Unlike its thermal cousin, a thin henley won't be too bulky or warm in moderate temperatures while layered with other items.

How to Wear It

Never button it up all the way, similar to a polo. I like to leave the top one or two buttons undone so it starts to fold over on itself.

If you're wearing it with another shirt with long sleeves, consider rolling up the outer sleeves, similar to Look 1.

Wear it solo, but add some dimension with your pants and shoe choices. In look 3, the rugged feel of the Red Wing boots complements the henley in a way sneakers wouldn't. Similarly, the cardigan and corduroys in Look 2 are dressed down by the henley for a complete, put-together style.

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.