Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
While henleys make for great basic shirts (see our overview of the henley’s history), they can be a bit boring at times, particularly when they are made out of a smooth fabric. That’s why we like ours when they mix up the fabric from a plain knit.
One of the more interesting variations is waffle-knit, the textured fabric makes the shirts a bit more interesting, and waffle-knit also has some great functional benefits, such as retaining heat and being quick to dry.
1) Neighborhood: B-Waffle Henley in White
Neighborhood’s B-Waffle Henley might be a basic, white waffle-knit henley, but it’s about as nice as they come. The fit is spot on, and little details, such as the curvature of the neck opening, are really what sets it apart from other henleys on the market. The fabric, stitching, and buttons are all tonal, with the only contrast coming from a tag at the hem. Each shirt is made in Japan from 100% cotton fabric.
Available for $170 from Need Supply.
2) Ibex: Waffle Knit Merino Henley in Peat Moss
Ibex is a brand that we don’t get to talk about too much, but they make some very nice clothes on the sportier side of things. Their Waffle Knit Henley is constructed from a Merino wool blend, making it a great piece for layering and staying warm. The pattern for this piece is a bit different than many other henley: the collar comes up quite a bit higher, the sleeves are raglan, and there are no elasticated cuffs. That said, it’s a fantastic piece, and if those design details are something you like then I’d look no further.
Available for $70 from Ibex.
3) Gustin: Waffle Henley in Black
Gustin’s Waffle Henleys are fantastic, but sadly they are not currently funding a campaign for them — hopefully that will change soon! Like all of Gustin’s products, there aren’t too many bells and whistles, but that’s just how I like it. This 3-button henley is made in the USA from an 8Oz. waffle knit fabric. At $35, these henleys are easy to stock-up on (or they would be if they were up for funding — hint, hint Gustin).
Available upon restock for $35 from Gustin.
4) RRL: Waffle-Knit Cotton Henley in Ming Red
RRL’s Waffle-Knit Henley is another basic henley, but again has a few things that differentiate it from pack. While many colors (such as white, black, or heather grey) obscure the waffle pattern, the bright red of this henley really shows of the texture. The tapered cuffs on this shirt are also made of the waffle-knit fabric, which is a detail that is not present on many other waffle-knit henleys.
Available for $145 from Ralph Lauren.
5) Nine Lives: Natural Indigo Super Heavy Waffle Henley
If there were ever a list that deserved two Plus One’s, this would be it. Japan’s Nine Lives henley is natural indigo dyed and made of quite possibly the heaviest waffle knit fabric ever produced. Top that off with studded metal snap buttons on the placket and you’ve got one beast of a shirt.
Available for $245 at Self Edge.
Plus One – Oldblue Co. 1920’s Henley Natural Indigo
Oldblue C0. is most known for their affordable heavyweight raw denim, but their shirts are definitely worth a look too. This 1920’s Henley is made of a waffle-knit fabric that has been dyed in natural indigo; the collar and placket are backed with herringbone fabric, and the buttons are made from Corozo nut. Sure, that’s a lot of buzzwords, but this shirt looks awesome irregardless.
Available for $84 from Cultizm.