Style Essentials: The Thin White Henley

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, $50

Look 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.

Other Options

Some Famous Gents

white henley celebrity

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • JB32nd

    Can’t pull it off. As much as I’d like, I can’t. I’ve got dark colored chest hair and they (along with my nipples) show thru. Not a cool look for me. I’ve tried to pull it off several times and no dice.

  • Jake

    Not really a fan of look one, (not sure you need the over shirt), but all in all a good suggestion. Really makes you seem put together if everything fits well.

  • Zsimmons1

    Hey Andrew – whats the belt in “Look 3” thats looks like it matching the red wings?

  • Matt

    Your Corvette is looking sharp Snavely!

  • John Pierce

    I have issues with henleys shrinking – any advice?

  • Jake

    Why do we look to ACTORS to show us what a man is? They ACT.

    • John

      They or their stylists know how to project an image. When we talk about style we’re talking about marketing and when we talk about personal style, that’s branding. What do these guys’ branding say about them? Ask any woman about Daniel Craig.

  • Whimely

    Andy, you and Daniel Craig both have fantastic shawl collar sweaters. Its like leather dress shoes. A beginner only needs these two (navy and grey) and he’s set for sweater for fall (or all year round in New Zealand)

  • Adam

    Any suggestions for a white henley for those who live nowhere near an H&M?

  • Brock M

    Before I even scrolled down I thought “I bet there’s a photo of Gossling” in this post. He pulls off the henley very well (and most other clothes for that matter). My question is – who makes Henleys with arms that are relatively short?

  • Patrick H.

    Can’t really tell — is Look 2 a black or brown cardigan?

    • Andrew

      It’s a dark gray

  • Evan85

    Are… are you hotwiring that car?

  • kevin

    try target or marshalls

  • Ms. Livengood

    Not saying hair is a bad thing, but you could still use it as more of an undershirt.