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The SPY team has reviewed countless products for our tech, fitness and style guides. But there’s one category we’ve invested more time into testing than any other, and that’s our search for the world’s best t-shirt brands. After exhaustively reviewing dozens of t-shirt brands, we believe we know this product category better than anyone. And that includes the best henley shirts.
If you’re a modern man, your wardrobe should feature at least a few of the best henley t-shirts. Your favorite celeb loves them (see: Ryan, either Gosling or Reynolds). They convey rugged appeal, toughness and a sense of edgy-yet-classic cool. When worn with all the buttons buttoned, henleys also look slightly more dressed up than a simple tee, especially when paired with chinos or khaki shorts.
Henley shirts offer a nice change of pace from a plain crewneck tee (although you surely need those in your rotation, too). The henley shirt also comes in several knit designs like ribbed or waffle, which makes the fabric more breathable and more absorbent than traditionally knit henley shirts.
After testing so many t-shirts, we’ve gathered our favorite henleys for you based on style, overall fit, comfort and longevity. Below, you’ll find the top long-sleeve and short-sleeve henley shirts available for purchase right now.
1. Buck Mason Pima Short-Sleeve Curved Hem Henley Shirt
Buck Mason’s old-school sensibilities shine through in producing this rugged henley, which looks just like timeless sporting options worn in days gone by. The cuffed sleeves are a neat style detail that ensures a snug fit, while the curved hem is flattering on lots of different body types. Plus, the Pima cotton fabric is super-soft and comfortable on your skin, while the four-button placket is visually interesting and allows you to customize your fit. These are so well-made (we should know, we’ve tested Buck Mason tees extensively!) that you’ll want to snag at least one.
2. Cuts Clothing Curved Hem Henley T-Shirts
Cuts is a favorite for a reason when it comes to guys who need a basics upgrade. Its tees and henleys always fit extremely well. We love this henley shirt because its fabric is soft and stretchy and its color options are unparalleled. The short-sleeve option is a nice change of pace from the brand’s fan-favorite long-sleeve henleys, too. The curved hem is also a great styling detail that flatters even guys who fall under the “Big and Tall” end of the spectrum because it elongates the torso. This rugged yet soft henley is a winner all around.
Full Review: Cuts Clothing Tees Are Worth the Splurge
3. Fresh Clean Tees Short-Sleeve Henley Shirts
When you find one of the best men’s henley shirts for under $30 (scratch that — under $25!), you should certainly jump on it. However, the key to buying a henley or four from Fresh Clean Tees is the fact that you’re still getting plenty of high-quality design and bang for your buck at a low, low price. Take your pick from 10 vibrant, versatile color options (including a goes-with-anything black or white option), then revel in the super-breezy, comfortable yet substantial fabric, the kind that won’t droop or sag with all-day wear. At that price, we’re of the mind you should certainly pick up more than one.
Full Review: We’re Obsessed With Fresh Clean Tees
4. Faherty Short-Sleeve Heathered Henley
BEST UP-AND-COMING BRAND
Fabric is critical when it comes to any purchase of a henley shirt, and Faherty knows this all too well — in the best way possible. The key here is the fact that they’ve taken their knowledge of fabric across the board, from rugged-yet-soft flannel shirts and long-sleeve henleys, and turned it into a seriously soft take on the henley shirt. The slub texture and cotton-poly blend look great when worn casually with a denim jacket — while also breathing easy — yet this is the kind of henley shirt you should feel free to wear all on its own. Note the contrasting placket, which provides a subtle accent.
5. Vuori Ever Short-Sleeve Henley
Henley shirts are more than just a standout casual style move. They can also be worn in plenty of different ways and for plenty of different pursuits. Be it casual weekend coffee runs, day hikes, road trips or high-low layering with a lightweight summer blazer, the best short-sleeve henley shirts are the ones you can wear multiple ways. Performance menswear brand Vuori uses soft cotton, plus elastane and sustainable fibers, to deliver a versatile and rugged henley meant to go from day to night with ease.
6. Carhartt Men’s Henley T-Shirt
This T-shirt from Carhartt is built to last, whether you’re hard at work or hardly working. It has a looser fit for comfort and it’s available in a range of colors. The tee has a large pocket featuring Carhartt’s “C” logo. These tend to run large, and they’re made from 95% cotton and 5% polyester.
7. Tom Ford Slim-Fit Cotton-Jersey Henley T-Shirt
The henley shirt gets an impossibly cool, laidback yet seriously luxurious upgrade via the menswear expert that is Tom Ford. Even when reworking timeless picks like denim, Tom Ford’s touch always shines through, and that’s certainly the case with this splurge-worthy henley. The soft cotton jersey feels great and looks even better, with a flattering fit and a split hem. Wear it with Tom Ford jeans to drive home the idea of simple-yet-stylish casual looks on the daily.
8. J.Crew Garment-Dyed Slub Cotton Henley
We think we’ve done quite a bit of work rounding up the best henley shirts in all areas, so to call a henley “most comfortable” is high praise. But J.Crew takes the cake quite handily here, using a garment-dying process to give this henley a lived-in feel right out of the box. It retails for under $50 no matter the versatile, eye-catching color you select, and a range of both Classic and Tall options gives you the ability to dial in the perfect fit. Did we mention this henley is super-soft and light to the touch? Because it really, truly feels great.
Full Review: J.Crew’s Tees Are a Modern Wardrobe Staple
9. L.L. Bean Carefree Unshrinkable Henley
Have you been working out lately and are finally ready to show off your biceps? Well, you’ll find this henley from L.L. Bean fitting and flattering for your ripped arms. It’s made of 100% cotton that resists everything like wrinkles, shrinking and fading. You can get this bad boy in seven colors and it comes in regular or tall sizing.
10. Marine Layer Heather Slub Henley
BEST SLUB HENLEY
Slub cotton is a fabric commonly found in henleys and soft tees, prized for both its durability and its softness. It adds visual texture to even simple styles, and when done by Marine Layer, it adds a cool and almost vintage-like effect to the henley shirt. This is one to bring on all your summer vacations with chino shorts and boat shoes.
11. Merz b. Schwanen Short-Sleeve 1911 Workers Henley
The best henley shirts add a dash of rugged authenticity to any outfit, especially coming from a revered brand like Merz b. Schwanen? Never heard of them? Allow us to make an introduction. They’ve taken inspiration for this henley shirt from a true, real-world and decidedly old-school henley shirt, and also have gone to great lengths to produce those shirts on extremely rare Loopwheeler machines in the Swabian Alps of Germany. The result is a truly authentic henley shirt made just as they used to produce them in decades gone by.
12. Katin Folk Henley
BEST TWO-BUTTON HENLEY
Have you noticed that most henley shirts usually are designed with two or three buttons? It comes down to the preferences of each brand and designer, but sometimes, two buttons are more your speed: It’s visually interesting, it can look breezy and cool and it’s nice to have options among your rotation of the best henley shirts. Katin makes one that’s cool and modern, especially in a faded blue that works well with tan chinos. an indigo denim jacket and white high-top sneakers.
13. Todd Snyder Made in L.A. Short Sleeve Jersey Henley
It seems that stylish gear made in the U.S.A, and made the right way, is in short supply at times, which is what makes Todd Snyder’s commitment to making select knitwear in the States so impressive. Los Angeles is a standout hub for textile production, and that means it’s also the perfect location for Snyder to produce his durable, premium henleys. The color options are classic; the shell buttons are a nice, upgraded design touch; and the jersey cotton should prove soft and smooth. Upgrade your henleys rotation ASAP with Todd Snyder.
14. Flint and Tinder Surplus Waffle Henley
While all of the henley shirts on this list exude rugged, old-world style, there’s something about this Flint and Tinder henley from Huckberry that’s just a bit different. It’s modeled after surplus gear, the kind that could handle anything sent its way, especially when worn by hard-working military members. This henley is hard-wearing and meant to stand up to blustery spring winds and much more — and the retro colorway is a cool move that gives it some added timeless appeal.
15. Everlane ReCashmere Waffle Henley
We’re primarily focused on T-shirts, but we’d be remiss not to throw in this perfect sweater henley, which is equal parts cozy and classy. It has a two-button placket and a waffle fabric that adds texture to the most basic outfits. Plus, it’s made from recycled cashmere.
16. Slate & Stone Stripe Print Jersey Henley
Are basic tees feeling a little too basic? Slate & Stone’s shirt adds stripes and buttons for a perfect upgrade on this casual style. It’s made from 100% cotton and has a three-button placket. Plus, it’s on sale.
17. James Perse Cotton-Jersey Henley T-Shirt
BEST SLOUCHY TEE
James Perse is all about laid-back luxury. This shirt has a slouchy fit, raw hem and a three-button placket. It comes in pale blue or white.
18. Reigning Champ Henley
When it comes to muted sportswear that’s simple, stylish and free from overt branding, Reigning Champ is the, well, reigning champ. This shirt has a thermal honeycomb design that keeps you comfortable, no matter the temperature. It comes in gray and navy and is made from 100% cotton. It’s pricey, but it’s made with care in Canada.
19. Mr. P Henley
Leave it to Mr. Porter’s in-house label, Mr. P, to upgrade the basic henley. This option is made from organic cotton and features a longer, five-button placket, giving it a sophisticated yet casual look. It has long sleeves and is available in blue or white.
20. Royal Robbins Mountain Henley Shirt
BEST FOR THE OUTDOORS
The henley is an ideal piece to wear on long day hikes or camping trips because it’s got plenty of functional features. The long sleeves shield you from the sun and the wind, the button-up collar helps you control ventilation around your neck and the fabric — when done right, as with this henley — can keep you cool and comfortable. Wear this Royal Robbins option on your next hike.
21. Tecovas Waffle Henley
Tecovas specializes in some of the coolest Western boots we’ve seen in some time, and they’ve also got a full lineup of apparel to go along with those boots. This henley is the definition of rugged, with 100% smooth Pima cotton construction to keep you cool, plus ribbed cuffs to keep those sleeves in place through the most grueling of tasks on your to-do list.
Read More: The Best Long-Sleeve T-Shirts for Men
How to Style Henley Shirts
Known for its comfiness, the best henley T-shirts pair well with sneakers and men’s jeans or khakis, and its simplicity allows the shirt to be styled up or down depending on the situation. The great thing is, men’s henley shirts work especially well any time of year — a guy’s closet needs both long-sleeve and short-sleeve options.
The best henleys are made from comfortable blends of cotton, polyester or wool (useful for fall and winter), and these shirts layer well under sweaters and flannel shirts as it gets chillier. Especially in the warmer months, a short-sleeve henley is the right way to go — on its own, or else underneath a denim jacket. The button placket on the henley, once used by sporting types as an athletic shirt, is cooler-looking than a standard tee, while short sleeve henleys in particular allow you to show off that hard work in the gym.
When styling the best henley t-shirts, here are three ways to plan your outfit:
Clean and classic: Take a short-sleeve henley. Roll the sleeves up a touch. Unbutton a button (or two). Pair with dark blue jeans and canvas high-top sneakers. Boom: Gosling mode activated.
Rugged yet refined: Take a short-sleeve henley shirt in a light color with a textured weave. Add your favorite summer-weight navy blazer, one with soft shoulders and no lining. Pair with light wash jeans and leather Chelsea boots.
Easygoing for every (weekend) day: Your short-sleeve henley looks great on its own, right? Consider wearing it underneath an unbuttoned floral or chambray short-sleeve shirt. Then, add some nicely tailored lightweight chino shorts and trusty low-top sneakers. Up next? Grab yourself a cold beer. You’ve earned it.
Updates: This article was last updated on Friday, July 15. We added additional products from Everlane, Slate & Stone, James Perse, Reigning Champ, Carhartt and Mr. P, and removed out-of-stock products.