what is a henley shirt by tapered menswear

What is a Henley Shirt?

If you’re yet to add a Henley shirt to your wardrobe, then listen up because we have all the reasons as to why you should. For one thing, henley shirts are the perfect alternative to a T-shirt- great if you are looking to shake up your casual style.

But what is a Henley Shirt? A henley can be long-sleeved as well as short sleeved and have a scoop neckline and the short downward row of buttons in the centre. While the cotton material keeps temperatures from rising in the summer, long sleeved Henley’s are suitable for layering during the cold winter months too. 

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What is a Henley Neckline?

The henley itself is an iconic piece of clothing (even if people don’t know the name) mainly because of its unique neckline. You can identify one by its rounded scoop neckline and the short downward row of buttons in the centre. Basically, a polo without the collar.

Men all over the world have been loving the henley shirt for decades and while you might think that would mean it has had its day, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In 2022 and beyond, the henley continues to prove itself as a classic wardrobe staple and one that shows no signs of going anywhere, anytime soon.

 Tapered Fit Henley Shirts

So if you are someone who has flirted with the idea of buying a henley shirt or just want to level up from your usual t-shirts, then let this be your guide. By the end, you’ll be ready to expand your day-to-day outfits. 

At Tapered Menswear, we are also very excited to have added the henley shirt to our collection so that you can really get your capsule wardrobe down to a T. Or should that be a henley.

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Why is a Shirt Called a Henley?

Henley shirts were originally founded in the small English Town of Henley- On- Thames, when, during the inaugural Henley Regatta in 1839, the shirt became the official uniform for the rowing crew. Made from cotton, it was ideal for the rowers who were often working up a sweat, keeping them cool during hot summer days on the river.

The shirt was also entirely practical for work and sporting pursuits-particularly rowing- due to the lack of collar. This meant that there was no unnecessary fabric flapping in the wind. The short row of buttons were equally an important feature too as they could be done up or undone to keep the wearer from over-heating or from getting cold.

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While the henley shirt became synonymous for work and sport after the first Henley regatta, it took a whole century and a bit for the shirt to actually enter mainstream fashion. It was in the end brought to the masses by no other than Ralph Lauren.

The designer (most famous for his polo shirts) discovered a vintage Henley in the 1970s and decided that the old English rower’s outfit would make a the perfect piece of clothing for the modern guy. Lauren then reimagined the henley by stamping his own famous logo on to it before putting it out onto the market as a luxury piece of casual clothing.

henley shirt by Tapered Menswear

Over the last 50 years, the henley has won over both luxury and affordable menswear, so that any man, of any age, can find the right henley for him. Since its Lauren overhaul the henley has become a core comfy casual in the wardrobes of men right around the world. Certainly having travelled a long way away from Henley- on- Thames.

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Are Henley Shirts Still in Style?

Trends come and go in fashion but real style stands the test of time. This can definitely be said of the Henley shirt, which in today’s market is still a sought after piece of casual clothing for the modern gent. It is also one that has become a truly age-defying style.

The Henley continues to influence menswear in part, due to its sleek design but also its functionality. And yes, the two can certainly coincide, as is apparent with the henley itself. This is because the henley, which is usually made from cotton, offers the wearer comfort while also looking fashionable. 

Today’s Henley shirts can be worn untucked with a pair of jeans and trainers for the ultimate laid-back vibe. Dressing your henley doesn’t differ too much from how you would style a t-shirt either.

white henley shirt

Think jeans or relaxed trousers with a casual jacket on top for cooler day. The only difference between a T-shirt and a henley is that the henley gives you that something extra. If you are bored of t-shirts and want a steady alternative, the henley can give you that.

The thing with T-shirts is, they have simply become the automatic go-to for many men. Switching between your T-shirts and henley shirts therefore can be a fantastic way to inject some more variety into your casual wear.

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With WFH and even some work places embracing more casual dress codes, henley shirts can be a good way to dress down without looking scruffy. 

Many men simply love henley shirts because of how flattering they look. The neckline and the overall fit of a well-made henley will show off the shoulders and chest impeccably. So if you’ve got muscle, this is could well be the shirt for you!

Should You Button a Henley?

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you decide to button up your Henley. A lot of men prefer the look of a Henley buttoned up and that’s complete down to personal preference.

One of the advantages of buttoning up your henley is that it can look smarter. So if you are wanting to keep your look more understated or even just to keep your neck warm on wintery days, then there’s no reason why you can’t button up.

If you ask us our personal preference to this question though, we’re going to tell you that a henley looks its most stylish when unbuttoned, or with at least one button undone.

Buttoning a white henley

By unbuttoning at least one button, you’ll get a much more chilled out look. Great, if you want to keep those relaxed vibes flowing. And hey, if you decide to unbutton all of the buttons, you’ll most definitely have that edgier style going on.

Henley fans such as Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans and Bradley Cooper are all partial to an unbuttoned Henley shirt, and for good reason. They all look cool and confident.

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Paired with a pair of slim or loose fitting jeans and Timberland style boots and you’ve got yourself a rugged casual fit that demonstrates your impeccable dress sense. In the colder months you can additionally wear an unbuttoned shirt over your henley for a stylish layered look or really bulk up with a heavier jacket/coat. 

Henley Brand

Henley shirts are undoubtedly available all over the place, but that doesn’t mean they’re all worth the hype. Most off-the-rack henley shirts will be made with one body type and one type alone in mind- the slim, ‘average’ build.

So what about those with a bulkier build? Or bodybuilders? Where do they go to buy a henley that is form-fitting and stylish at the same time? 

If you didn’t already know, Tapered Menswear has created the best slim-fitting Henley shirt out there, even if we do say so ourselves. Our form-fitting henley’s have the classic DNA of the henley shirt, mixed with the cut and overall look that men are wanting from their clothes today.

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Our henley’s are perfect for men of all shapes and sizes but particularly bodybuilders who want to show off their toned physique. A Tapered henley has the fit you are looking for due to its tapered cut around the torso.

This means no more unnecessary fabric pooling around the waist and swamping your body. The shirt is also form fitting to the chest, biceps and shoulders too so that you always get the sleekest look possible. In other words our henley’s are not tight, nor loose.

Tapered Menswear white henley

Your body is shown off in all the right ways- almost like the shirt has been personally tailored to you! 

All of our henleys are expertly crafted to give you high-quality wear that goes the distance. Making Tapered Menswear the right choice if you are looking for staple pieces that last for years.

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Likewise, our premium quality cotton, moulds and stretches to your body while retaining its shape. It also keeps you cool and comfortable at all times, available in 3 colours white, navy and black.

Henley’s are hot right now, so if you are ready to invest in a style staple that will give your casual wardrobe the makeover it needs, then check out Tapered Menswear. The only decision you’ll have to make is whether to go for navy, black or white.