In the late 18th Century sports started to take off like football,running, even poncy rowing but their was a little problem sports wear had not been invented, the closet thing to sports wear was what they called underwear, “Yes underwear” , in Henley upon Thames rowing became fashionable, but you must agree you can’t go rowing in a shirt & tie, so the rowers started to row in ones underwear, this is how the Henley got its name. a Henley is a collarless polo shirt with a round neckline with a button placket, the sleeves can be long or short, they come in many fabrics like cotton & thermal, the thermals are by far the most popular.
Classic short sleeve Henley shirt
So by the start of the 19th century the Henley became the first muscle shirt for all sports people, but also it became a classic work shirt with every day men from navvies to coal miners, in the later years the T-Shirt was invented so the Henley fell out favour, but in the 80s a film called chariots of fire, showed a scene with runners on a beach wearing a short-sleeved Henley shirts, soon pop stars & fashionista started to wear the Henley again,soon every male clothing line started to make their own version of the Henley,
Chariots of fire classic beach running scene with the actors wearing the Henley
One of the first labels to make the Henley shirts fashionable again was Ralph Lauren, he was shown a orignal Henley he decide to make it the next T-shirt, it was worn as part of the preppylook that took off in the late 70s.
Ralph Lauren Henley shirt
To me their is only one proper maker of the Henley shirt, that is Wolsey, their shirt is 100% pure cotton, in a loose fit, 5 button fastening, ribbed cuffs.
The Wolsey Henley shirt
The Henley shirt is evnmore in fashion now due Peaky Blinders, the gangster programe based in early 18th century Birmingham, there are scenes of Thomas Shelby in his Henley & trousers , showing a very toned body of a power full man proper stylish, the key to a stylish look with the Henley is pairing with the right pieces, my favourite look is pairing a Henley with a tweed waistcoat & indigo jeans, take a look at the looks you can achieve with a Henley shirt .
Now if your after a classic look match a Henley shirt with tweed waistcoat
Want a relaxed look go mix the Henley shirt with a shawl cardigan
Suspenders will give an iconic but stylish look when you added the Henley shirt
If you want to create a classic clean look go for alight coloured Henley shirt mix it with a darker blazer
So have I convinced you to buy a Henley Shirt its a proper old school look but it’s very stylish
Thank you again for reading my blog again I hope you have found it interesting
BE BOLD BE PROUD