Though it’s named for (and popularized by) English rowers in the town of Henley-on-Thames in the 1800s, you probably regard the Henley in the same way women do—it’s the Ryan Gosling shirt. Other leading men that your girlfriend swoons over have also sported them, including Chris Pratt in Jurassic World and even Han Solo in the original Star Wars.
But why do countless big screen badasses wear them? Henleys are decidedly casual, but something about them makes you look fashionable without broadcasting the words “I’m trying too hard.” Henleys make you look approachable but mysterious. They make you look like you could take a woman out to dinner and then fix the car if it breaks down on the way home. Essentially, Henleys are irresistible to the fairer sex. Don one of the 15 high-quality ones we’ve rounded up and hit the road.
Everlane The Henley Tee
Cheap enough to buy in every color (white, gray, black, and navy), but sleek enough to wear somewhere other than your living room, The Henley Tee from Everlane is about to become your favorite wardrobe staple.
Howler Brothers Howler Henley
Texas-based Howler Brothers takes its name from the Howler monkey, the loudest animal in North America, but their signature Howler Henley is more quiet than loud, and you’ll be glad it is. This basic shirt is ultra-versatile, made out of cozy waffle-knit cotton, and is available in blue, green, and gray.
Saturdays NYC Max Henley
Made out of extra soft, heavy-weight cotton, the Max Henley from Saturdays NYC has the broken-in comfort of a shirt you’ve had for years, but the look of something more fashionable than the beloved worn-in sweatshirt that your girlfriend has been trying to throw away for years. Available in navy, white, and gray, the shirt has contrasting cuffs, collar, and hem for extra flair.
Knickerbocker Mfg. Co. L/S Vintage Wash Henley
New York-based Knickerbocker Mfg. Co. has a ton of classic, vintage inspired pieces on offer, and this L/S Vintage Wash Henley is one of their best offerings. Inspired by military-issued Henleys, this guy is pre-shrunk and pre-washed to ensure a broken-in fit that will make you want to live in it.
Buck Mason Army Venice Wash Henley
Los Angeles-based Buck Mason specializes in creating simple essential apparel for the modern day man, and this Army Venice Wash Henley certainly falls into that category. Pre-washed to give you a soft feel, it features pearl buttons and a sturdy collar that won’t flop down (a real problem with Henleys—seriously).
Wellen Brosnan Henley
San Francisco-based Wellen specializes in making clothes to be worn at the beach or at least in close proximity to it, and this Brosnan Henley is the type of shirt you’ll want to slip on after a long day in the sand after the sun goes down.
Best Made Co. Jersey Henley
Best Made Co. specializes in creating rugged gear that actually looks nice (have you checked out their axes), but they’ve also started expanding to include basic wardrobe staples that are well-made, and this Jersey Henley falls squarely into that category. Made from Tanguis cotton sourced from Peru, the shirt is available in navy or gray.
Mollusk Striped Henley
With a name like Mollusk, you’ve got to be a brand dedicated to the sea, and California-based Mollusk takes that very seriously. That’s why their signature Henley is decidedly nautical—navy with white horizontal stripes and ribbed cuffs. Wear it to the yacht club—you’ll look completely appropriate for the setting, and all of the suckers sporting collared shirts will be instantly jealous.
Western Rise Hartsel Henley
Colorado-based Western Rise designs and creates products specifically for outdoor enthusiasts, and with the Hartsel Henley, they don’t disappoint. While most (if not all) Henleys are crafted out of cotton, this one is made out of Ultra DryRise advanced hydrophobic wicking fabric, which is a technical way of saying you can get caught in a rainstorm wearing this and not get soaked. While being water-resistant, it’s also breathable, and has a zippered chest pocket to keep your valuables safe.
Aether L/S Slub Henley
LA-based Aether was founded by outdoorsy urban professionals with the desire to make high-performance clothing versatile enough for their everyday lives, and this L/S Slub Henley hits it right on the mark. Crafted from ultra-soft Supima cotton, the shirt sports a tapered cut to ensure a fitted look rather than a boxy one, and is available in a variety of colors.
Dyer & Jenkins Hemp Henley
Hemp isn’t just for your stoner cousin anymore—this Hemp Henley from Dyer & Jenkins is made from a blend of hemp and organic cotton, and it looks seriously sophisticated while still giving off a casual vibe. Available in a variety of colors, you can also buy a short-sleeved version if you want to show off the guns like Gosling.
Olivers Apparel Henley
San Francisco-based OLIVERS is a relatively new brand, but they do performance gear really, really well, and while they’re known for their All-Over Shorts, they focused above the belt to give us the Henley Base. Crafted out of four-way stretch, moisture-wicking Swiss fabric, the shirt (available in gray or black) is made to work out in, but looks good enough that you can chase that work-out with a night out and nobody will notice you’re wearing workout gear.
Outerknown Pescadero Henley
Launched by World Surf League Champion Kelly Slater, Outerknown is a brand that creates quality menswear pieces while using sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices, and this Pescadero Henley is no exception. Crafted out of 100% organic Pima cotton sourced from Peru, it’s the softest shirt you’ll ever own.
Triple Aught Design Huntsman Henley
San Francisco-based Triple Aught design takes its name from an engineering term—000 or “triple aught” is shorthand for a thousandth of an inch, which refers to the high standard of precision and attention to detail needed when building something great. Of course, the brand has built something great with the Huntsman Henley, which is made with performance level Merino wool to help keep you warm and dry at the same time.
Apolis Transit Issue Henley
You might balk at paying over $100 for a shirt that you can’t wear to work (maybe on Fridays if your office is ultra casual), but hear us out. Apolis’ Transit Issue Henley is crafted out of ultra-fine Merino wool from New Zealand, then knit in an Italian mill that’s been around since 1865. Hell, this shirt is more well-traveled than you are. Fancy, right? Fancy enough to drop enough cash to buy it? Yes.
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