Henleys can be a great alternative to t-shirts when you want something equally casual, but visually more interesting. The half-placket, pullover style was originally made popular in the ‘70s, before making a comeback in the ‘90s through Ralph Lauren and Eddie Bauer. These days, you’re most likely to see one layered underneath a flannel shirt or Army jacket for a workwear look, but there are tons of other designs as well – designs that can work for a variety of wardrobes. I’ve been wearing mine, for example, with a black leather moto jacket from Margiela. It’s perhaps more wanna-be motorcyclist than wanna-be lumberjack.
If you’re looking to don henleys this season (get it?), here are some options to consider:
Under $50: Thankfully, there are lots of good options for under $50 from Uniqlo, Todd Snyder, Barbour, J. Crew, and Pistol Lake (some advise sizing down on the Pistol Lake design, so you might want to ask for measurements). Don’t forget to check the sale sections of more expensive labels. Billy Reid, Gant Rugger, Ralph Lauren, and Unis, for example, have some on discount right now. Homespun Knitwear is also sometimes available on sale at J. Crew, but not as often as the company’s mainline offerings.
The Athletic-Inspired Option: No surprise that some henleys draw inspiration from mid-century athletic shirts given the similarity in designs. For a sporty, all-American look, turn to Epaulet, Ebbets Field, Saturdays NYC, and Reigning Champ.
The Refined Henley: Henleys will always look a bit rugged, but for something that’s less workwear-ish, try Barena, Vince, Sunspel, and Onia. The henley above is from one of Barena’s previous seasons. It’s a fine-cotton model with a thin collar and French placket, which makes it feel more refined than those with reinforced openings.
Indigo Henleys: Although these won’t fade like your jeans, the indigo on these henleys helps give them a nice, deep blue color. Available this season from Orslow, Alex Mill, RRL, Pure Blue Japan, and Kapital.
Above $100: I really likeMerz b. Schwanen’s loopwheeled knits for a rugged look. The Real McCoys and Iron Heart are also great if you plan to wear yours under tough leather jackets and field coats. For some American options, try these beefy knits from Wolf v. Goat and Archival Clothing. Lastly, Chimala and Wings + Horns have some made from slightly more interesting fabrics, which gives them a bit more visual interest than the smoother cottons on this list.
As mentioned in the previous post, I will be posting specifics of the different fabric styles available by men’s swimwear brand Onia.
Unlike many patterned materials our Spanish Seersucker shorts—sourced from a century old mill in Spain—are not printed, rather they are yarn-dyed (the actual thread of the stripes is colored differently than the base color, a more intricate process than printing). This technologically advanced poly/nylon fabric has a feel reminiscent of shirting fabric, yet remains water resistant, quick-drying and durable.
In the last six months or so, a new site called Grailed has been getting a lot of attention. Pete wrote about them in his post about alternative markets. If you’re not familiar, Grailed is a site exclusively for men’s fashion enthusiasts, where pieces are posted from coveted brands such as Alden, Gitman Bros. and Jil Sander. Most of the trading is between private individuals and involves second hand clothing, so much like eBay, it’s made high-end clothes a lot more accessible.
Today, the company opened Grailed Direct - a new discount shop done in partnership with various brands and retailers. The goal is to offer brand new, unworn clothes at 50% off. Stuff that brands and retailers haven’t been able to move, essentially, but also don’t want to discount too far for fear of hurting their image (much like how flash sale sites have become a dumping ground for such merchandise).
The discounts are good, but affordability ranges. On the site now, for example, are some black 3sixteen jeans for $103 and Onia swim shorts for prices starting at $70. A bit more expensive are some white overdyed canvas sneakers from nonnative for $183, and much more expensive still is a navy 60/ 40 jacket from nonnative for $895.
Unfortunately, all sales are final, which makes shopping a bit less appealing than other discount sites, but they do carry a better selection of merchandise. Arun, one of the guys behind Grailed, tells me that this is only their first drop and they have more product waiting in the wings. They’re also looking to partner with more brands and stores in order to increase the amount and variety of things they carry.
Summer is still not over! If you’d rather give in to the heat and be outdoors catching the rays, I would suggest looking into Onia’s Summer Refresh 50/50 Series. The series is in their signature 7.5 inch trunk and include complimentary solid colors on either side. Not only are their trunks quick to dry, but this adds some color-blocking to your summer/beach look.
Make sure to take a look over on their website as they also provide this trunk in different fabrics and patterns.
Traditionally, there have been two kinds of swimwear for men. There are swim shorts, which are mid-length trunks with an elasticized waist. These are arguably the most comfortable, as they have the most flexibility. Then there are boardshorts, which comes out of Californian surf culture. These are a bit longer (usually about knee-length) and instead of an elasticized waist, they have a rigid waistband, Velcro fly, and some kind of lace-up tie. This double fail-safe system ensures that your trunks won’t be ripped from you in a wipeout.
When I go swimming, I like to wear what some might call “all day trunks,” which are trunks designed without any of those traditional details. So, no elastic bands, visible ties, or sporty designs. Instead, I look for trunks that look a regular pair of shorts, but are constructed from a fast drying fabric.
As a result, I get something I can wear in the water, but also pair with other things once I towel off. For example, I recently wore my swim trunks to go to the beach with friends, but then paired them with a linen button-up shirt and some woven Rivieras when we decided to hang out till night. It’s an incredibly easy and convenient combination when you want to look presentable afterwards – say, if you want to grab tacos in a beach town or hang out at the hotel bar – but don’t want to have to go and change clothes.
You can find such trunks at any number of places. I have a pair of Orlebar Brown’s Bulldogs, which are a mid-length short with side tabs. The tabs are not only a nice stylistic touch, but they also give a more adjustable fit. I also have a pair of Onia’s 7.5” Calders, which are just as nicely constructed, but have a slightly longer length that I think looks more flattering when I’m out of the water. Additionally, Robsinson Les Bains is good for more interesting prints, while Faherty does the same thing, but in more casual flavors.
If y'all are feeling the heat as I am (due to not owning an AC in NYC during summer ), you guys might be making your way out to swim.
Perhaps its time to throw out your old, possibly oversized trunks and try to invest in a better fit/style. For the next couple of days I’ll be posting some different styles offered by one of the greater men’s swimwear brands, Onia.