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How To Wear a Henley: Men’s Style Guide

With winter right around the corner, you may be thinking that it's about time to sacrifice style in the name of comfort and warmth. Perhaps you've never considered what it looks like to layer well. Let us introduce you to one of the most essential layering or standalone pieces: the henley.
The henley may be one of the most versatile additions to your closet. They pair well with an array of layering pieces making them perfect for the colder months. Let's explore more about the henley and the best ways to style it.

The History of the Henley

The henley coined its name from a town called Henley in England. The town was famous for hosting the Royal Regatta, a rowing event that is held annually. The shirts worn by the rowers, collarless with buttons, became what we now know as the henley.

What Is a Henley?

Henleys are a versatile piece making them perfect for any occasion. Henleys typically have two or more buttons at the collar which are said to add visual interest, making it different from any other shirt. A henley can be short or long-sleeve with the distinguishing characteristic being its buttons and lack of a collar.
At Public Rec, we offer two styles: the Go-To Short Sleeve Henley and the Go-To Long Sleeve Henley. They are classic styles made with a technical fabric that's built to last. Made from 69% cotton, it's lightweight enough for layering and comfortable enough for everyday wear.
The Go-To Long Sleeve Henley is your perfect piece for fall or winter. With six color choices and endless pairing options, this piece will give your closet extensive variety while providing practical warmth.

What Time of Year Should You Wear a Henley?

The beauty of the henley is that it can be worn every season. Because there is so much variety of style, you can find the perfect henley for any weather. Pay close attention to the fabric weight when shopping for your henley. Opt for lightweight henleys in the summer and heavy-weight in the winter.

Buttoned vs. Unbuttoned

Now to the question: to button or not to button? Buttoning your henley comes down to preference. However, a henley typically looks best with the top one or two buttons undone. Some suggest treating the top button of your henley as you would the top button on your dress shirt---never button it.

Tucked or Untucked

Whether or not to tuck in a henley is a great fashion debate. Shirts are typically tucked in because the length requires that they be. Henleys and t-shirts look best left untucked because of their flat hem. When you are shopping for your henleys, pay close attention to where the shirt falls. If you need to tuck it in, it may be too long for you.
Now that we have some essential information about the do's and don'ts of the henley, we can look at some pairing options.

Option #1: As a Standalone

Henleys are a t-shirt's more sophisticated cousin, meaning it has just enough visual appeal to be worn on its own. Pair it with your favorite blue jeans for a casual afternoon out or with joggers for an effortless athleisure outfit. Check out our All Day Every Day Jogger to complete this look.

Options #2: Under a Flannel or Button-Up

Flannels are a fall favorite for their cozy fabric and rugged look. Worn on top of a henley, this pairing can make a perfectly layered outfit for those brisk fall days. For the colder months, try opting for a heavy-weight henley.

Option #3: With a Suit

A henley might not be your first thought when thinking about what to pair with a suit. But if you're looking for a way to dress down your suit yet still be runway-ready, a henley is a great way to do that. It is dressier than a t-shirt without being as formal as a dress shirt.

Option #4: Under a Blazer

Maybe the occasion doesn't call for a suit but you still want a look that exudes professionalism. Pulling a blazer over your henley will give you an ensemble that is ready for a day in the office or a night out.

Option #5: With a Denim Jacket

Pairing your denim jacket with a henley is a great way to complete a casual look. The denim jacket adds that extra layer of warmth while bringing different textures to your attire. Pair this with black jeans or khaki-colored pants.


What is a henley? A henley is a collarless shirt with two or more buttons. It can be short-sleeve or long-sleeve and is typically made from cotton.
What time of year can I wear a henley? Henleys can be found in lightweight or heavyweight cotton, short and long-sleeve styles, making them the best shirt for any season.
What can I pair with a henley? Henleys look great under flannels, hoodies, blazers, or suit jackets. It can be dressed up or worn as a casual piece.
Should I button up my henley? This is entirely based on preference. The popular look is to leave the top button or top two buttons undone.
Should I tuck in my henley? Since henleys have a straight hem, as opposed to one with a tail such as a dress shirt, they look best untucked.


There is so much more to the henley than what meets the eye. With buttons that add dimension and visual interest, it is a staple piece for every man's closet. The henley can be dressed up with a blazer or suit and worn for casual wear with a denim jacket or flannel. The variety of colors offered for flannels also makes it a great piece to wear on its own as well.
Since henleys come in various fabric weights, they are great to have in your closet throughout the year. They look best untucked with the top few buttons undone. Grab one of our Go-To Henleys and try out one of these pairings.
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