A Henley is one of the most versatile articles of clothing a man could have in his wardrobe. It can be tucked or untucked. How formal it is depends on how many buttons are fastened. It can be layered with a nice jacket or cardigan.
Any kind of shoes work with it. This shirt works with jeans, chinos or slacks. What about corduroys? Corduroy trousers are also very versatile, being able to be dressed up or dressed down.
If you get a pair with a high enough wale count, they can be worn just about everywhere with anything. But with a Henley?
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Does it go? Does it?
That depends. First, you want some balance. The Henley is a very snug fitting shirt so create some balance by wearing, loose (but not baggy) cords with a wide leg.
And of course, get colors that work together without being too matchy-matchy. A blue Henley works with brown or yellow cords. Yellow cords look best with dark, deep tones.
Got a white Henley? It will go with just about everything, but it will totally slap with navy blue cords. Balance dark colors out with lighter ones. Now, don’t try to pair a Henley made out of corduroy with corduroy trousers.
That’s too much corduroy in one go. If they rub together too much, they might start a fire! That’s not what we mean by looking hot.
A Perfect Example
Let’s look at Brooklyn Beckham. Lookastic summed it up best by asking “Who said you can’t make a fashionable statement with a laid-back look?” No one with any sense, that’s who!
The son of a soccer player and a Spice Girl favors a fashionable but laid back look layering white, charcoal and navy. Does the belt always have to match the shoes? Brooklyn proves that some rules were made to be broken by daringly strapping on a brown belt.
The fashionable but functional navy blue beanie brings everything together while keeping that noggin warm.
And what about the average guy?
Not everyone can look like a cross between a hunky athlete and a supermodel cum movie star cum pop diva. Jason P. of Dappered.com models some items from Good threads and shows us how a typical blue collar dude with a dad bod can rock the Henley/corduroy combo. He pairs an understated blue-gray Henley with brown corduroys.
As the man says “Functional basics are a staple of workwear-inspired style, and perhaps no piece exemplifies this as much as the ubiquitous Henley.” He found the sleeves on this particular model too long for his taste, but the rolled up look adds an air of ruggedness. Jason has no complaints about the corduroys and neither do we!
How to dress it up
Jason likes a casual style, but sometimes you want/need to dress it up a little. You’ll never see a Henley at a black tie event, of course, but you can still make it part of a smart casual ensemble. Throw on a dark-colored sports coat and slip on some loafers.
Accessorize with cool shades to be more casual or a complementing pocket square to be more formal. Try both if you dare! A flannel over shirt and work boots will give you a down home farm boy look, but maybe that’s what you’re going for. You can wear brown boots and shoes with brown corduroy, as long as they’re a shade or so lighter than the trousers, though a burgundy works as well.
The more buttons you do up on your Henley, the more formal it looks. If you’re wearing it with flannel, just do up the bottom button, maybe the one just above it too. With the sports coat, you can go all the way up or leave the uppermost button undone for a feel of cool casual while still looking put together.
Some of you big, beefy guys might feel more comfortable with a button or two undone. In this case, if you got it, flaunt it.
Yes, you can wear your Henley shirt with corduroy trousers if you know what you are doing. The trick is to make everything go together just enough so that it doesn’t look like a uniform. Create a pleasing visual balance of dark and light, thin and thick.
The Henley and the corduroys are both articles of clothing that can make you look good while making it look like you don’t care that much how you look. Put them together for effortless style.