Henley: An Underrated Work T-Shirt

When you think about the best type of shirt for work, you might not immediately think of the Henley T-shirt. However, the Henley is not just any plain old t-shirt, Henleys are the workhorse of the garment world. And with a wide breathable collar that doesn’t itch— it really doesn’t get any better than this shirt for work.

The Henley is also versatile. It’s appropriate for a casual weekend or for high-performance wear at the job site. A Henley will not only last but it will look good too. Although there are many Henleys out there, most are built for style and not for durability. The Hard Hat Guy made this list of the best Henleys for the worker, not the dandy.

Just take me to the best Henley work shirts please.

Table of Contents

Gold Standard T-Shirt for Construction Workers: The Henley

Henleys are perfect for construction workers because of their flexibility. A heavy duty Henley can substitute for a work coat. A mid-weight Henley can help keep the chill off the skin when it is breezy out and can be a good all-around work shirt. A nice lightweight long-sleeve Henley can still keep you cool in the summer while also blocking the sun’s ray or debris and sawdust from hitting your arms.

What other work shirts are as versatile? A Henley can serve as the best cold weather work shirt, the best warm weather work shirt, and the best work shirt for all seasons. You can’t beat that, really.

Also, after working all day at the construction site, you can easily wear a Henley into a bar or restaurant and it still looks good. It is an extremely versatile shirt. It is truly one of the best t-shirts for work.

Construction Workers T-Shirts: Pro Tips

The first thing construction workers need to keep in mind when it comes to clothing is safety. We have all heard stories of a worker’s shirt getting stuck in a machine and his arm getting pulled in.

Here are some tips wearing Henleys when doing construction work:

  • If you work around machines, opt for short sleeve Henleys. For those who prefer long sleeves, do not roll up your sleeves or leave them loose (try to find a tight fitting sleeve). Instead, you can pin them tight or fold them and wrap them with something tight like a rubber band.
  • Keep your shirt tucked in a wear a tight-fitting belt around machines.
  • For increased ventilation and to avoid over-heating on the job, look for Henleys with long plackets.
  • Wear wool Henleys to keep warm in the winter and 100% cotton Henleys to stay cool in the summer.
  • Do not wear cotton if you get wet on the job, cotton gets colder when it is wet. Unless, of course, you want to stay cool.
  • If there is a high fire risk where you work, opt for a wool Henley. Also, try not get anything on your shirt (oil, dirt, grime, etc.) as this may increase the risk of your shirt catching fire.
  • If durability is a concern, the best Henley T-shirts will be made of linen, polyester or spandex shirts.

Henley Work Shirts for the Job

1. Dickies Men’s Heavyweight Henley

best heavy weight henley for work

  • Heavyweight
  • Good construction
  • Tight seams
  • Strong pocket
  • Tagless
  • Size runs small
  • Sleeves a bit short

The Dickies Heavyweight short-sleeved Henley offers modern design and heavy duty quality. Not only can it stand up to the rigors of the job site, but it can easily be slipped on for working in the yard at home too. It also has the added benefit of being safe for work, especially for those who are at risk of getting their clothing stuck in a machine.

Crafted from jersey knit cotton and polyester (10%), the Dickies Heavyweight Henley breathes easily but does not feel flimsy. The shoulder and neck seams are taped and made to last. The loose fit and tagless neck in the back allow you to move around comfortably no matter what activity you are participating in.

Dickies is known for rugged workwear and this Henley is no exception. And with its affordable price, you can buy enough for the whole week without breaking the bank. It also comes in a variety of colors including gray, navy, charcoal, sand and black.

The Dickies Heavyweight Henley definitely qualifies as one of the best work shirts for construction workers.

2. Carhartt Men’s Workwear Pocket Henley Shirt

best work shirt

  • Heavy duty
  • Long-lasting
  • Good fit
  • Tagless
  • Sizes runs large

A construction worker favorite, the Carhartt men’s short sleeve Henley offers an original fit made from 100% cotton jersey knit (jersey knit is a material that offers comfort for all seasons of the year). The convenient left-side pocket is an added plus. It also comes in what Carhartt describes as the “a working man’s fit.” Not to mention, this Henley will make you look like a stud.

This Henley features three front buttons and a tagless neck label for added comfort, so you aren’t itching your neck all day while you are trying to work. It also has a ribbed knit collar and special construction in the side seams to eliminate twisting issues.

An all-around great heavy duty work t-shirt. You can wear it alone or even put a shirt over top of it in the winter. It’ll wear forever and soon be you favorite work shirt.

3. Carhartt Men’s Flame-Resistant “Force” Long Sleeve Henley

best t-shirts for construction work

  • Flame-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Keeps you dry
  • Meets NFPA 70E and NFPA 2112 standards
  • Expensive

This Carhartt Henley is designed to be tough yet cool with Carhartt’s “Force” technology. Force technology used Carhartt’s “FastDry” technology to quickly wick away any sweat or moisture the shirt is exposed to as well as reduce body odor. It is a long-winded way of saying their Henley shirt keeps your dry and smelling nice.

The Henley also has undergone rigorous testing and complies with the requirements of NFPA 70E and NFPA 2112. For a fire-resistant shirt it is extremely comfortable and breathes very well. It also has a well-built left pocket and a rib-knit collar. It boasts the same side-seam construction as the Henley above, which makes it good for those who twist and turn a lot on the job.

The Carhartt Force is a lightweight t-shirt that wicks moisture and is super comfortable to wear. This shirt is also great for those who need a huskier fit. You can’t go wrong with this shirt.

4. Hanes Men’s Long-Sleeve Beefy Henley T-Shirt

best heavy duty work shirt

  • Inexpensive
  • Soft feel
  • Wide range of colors
  • Tagless
  • Sizes runs small
  • May shrink after washing
  • Not heavy duty

The Hanes Beefy Henley is another great shirt from a long line of successful products made by the company. With Hanes you know what you are getting, they have been around for over 100 years so you know that you can trust them for quality. They hit the mark especially with their version of the Henley t-shirt.

This Henley it is tag-free, so no itchy neck and the sleeve are already set for added comfort in the arms. It has 3 neck buttons, like nearly all of the Henleys mentioned, and hangs long enough so it’s not riding up your back every time you try to bend over to grab something off the ground.

Highly durable, yet soft to touch, the Hanes Henley is made from long-lasting 100% cotton, or heathers from 75% cotton / 25% polyester. You know you can count on quality and longevity from this “beefy” Henley.

5. PEGENO Men’s Casual Short Sleeve Henley

construction work shirt

  • Good for work and home
  • Many color options
  • Relaxed collar
  • Allows for easy movement
  • Tends to shrink after washing
  • Fit is tight

One of the most versatile Henleys, this is a great shirt for both work and play. It has a unique blend of 95% cotton / 5% spandex, which keeps your cool but also allows you some flexibility. It is also soft to the touch and fits a bit snug. This is great for those who do not want to get loose-fitting clothing near a dangerous machine.

This Henley should be washed by hand or machine washed with cold water to avoid shrinkage, as it does have a tendency to shrink otherwise. It has three buttons and a nice relaxed collar. It comes in 9 different colors too, so there are plenty of options available to you. The 30-day “love it or your money back” guarantee is nice too.

6. Wrangler RIGGS Workwear Men’s Long Sleeve Henley

best work shirt for construction

  • True to fit
  • Working man’s look
  • Solid pocket
  • Leather pocket utility loop
  • May shrink after washing

Wrangler is a classic brand, they have been making shirts for over 70 years. Their experience really shows itself in the Riggs Workwear Henley. Well-constructed and true-to-fit, there are no guessing games needed when buying this shirt online.

This 100% cotton Henley also looks like it is made for a construction worker, just like a Carhartt does. It is also unique with its two-button placket, as most Henley’s have three or four buttons. The leather logo adds a nice touch and also provides a bit of durability to the pocket. The utility loop in the pocket is also nice for holding things like glasses or a pen.

A great Henley with a nice relaxed fit, you cannot go wrong with the Wrangler Riggs Henley.

7. Hurley Men’s Dri-Fit Lagos Henley

long lasting work shirt

  • Made in the USA
  • Keeps you dry
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Front pocket
  • Fits a bit short

Dri-Fit, the ultimate in wicking technology, helps the Lagos Henley stay dry and even if you wear it the whole workday. The Dri-Fit Henley is constructed out of 60% cotton and 40% polyester so it is nice and soft. This Henley will keep you cool and comfortable no matter how sweaty you get.

The Dri-Fit Henley is short-sleeved in style, has a pocket on the left chest, and a drop tail hem with notches. It also has a standard three-button placket. It is a made in the USA Henley t-shirt, which does improve the consistency of the quality.

Nothing too fancy with this Henley, just a great shirt for work.

8. Mountain Khakis Men’s Trapper Henley Shirt

best husky work t-shirt

  • Very sturdy
  • Great for work
  • Keeps you warm
  • Comfortable
  • Fits true to size
  • Loose sleeve cuffs

If you are looking for one of the sturdiest Henleys on the market, the Trapper Henley will exceed your expectations. For many construction workers this Henley is becoming their “go to” long-sleeved work shirt.

Since this Henley is sturdy, it is also thick and made for cooler working conditions. It is composed of 90% cotton / 10% polyester and has nice contrast stitching on the neck and collar to give it a bit of style.

It proves to be a great work shirt due to its durability as well as its comfort. It fits true to size and comes in four different colors. Wear it once and you will see what all the fuss is about.

9. Woolly Clothing Men’s Merino Wool Long Sleeve Everyday Henley

best wool work shirt

  • Made of 100% Australian fine Merino wool
  • Incredibly soft
  • High warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Controls temperature in hot and cold environments
  • Good for all seasons
  • Naturally antibacterial
  • Naturally water repellant
  • Removes sweat off skin
  • Pricey for a work shirt
  • Some people don’t like the smell
  • A bit thin

This Merino Wool Henley is a bit more expensive than the rest of the Henleys on the list but this is due to the fact that it is made of 100% Australian merino wool, one of the world’s softest wools. Merino wool will outperform any fabric when it comes to reducing work sweat.

In fact, Merino is the best material for controlling body temperature, and does a superior job against the skin. Merino wool will provide warmth without leading to over-heating with an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio. It is also able to take up sweat right off the skin. It even acts as a natural water repellant. Furthermore, it is naturally antibacterial.

If you have never gotten anything from Wooly Clothing Co. you are missing out. They have superior quality and great customer service. This is one of those instances where you get what you pay for. An excellent all-around work shirt.

Learn what makes Merino wool so special.

10. Riggs Workwear by Wrangler Short Sleeve Henley

best short sleeve work shirt

  • Durable
  • Vented side seams
  • Triple stitching
  • Tagless
  • Many people like the fit
  • Limited color options
  • Color may fade in wash

Made to work hard just like you, the Riggs Henley is a no-brainer if you desire lasting comfort and strength. Triple needle stitching, a taped neck seam and vented taped side seams, this is the type of shirt you want to wear to work every day.

This Henley also has a tagless label and is made of 90% cotton / 10% nylon. The bonus utility loop and left chest pocket will secure those small items might you need to carry with you. Unlike the long-sleeved Riggs, this Henley only comes in four colors.

Classic quality you can trust, you cannot go wrong with the short-sleeved Wrangler Riggs Henley.

11. KEY Industries Heavyweight Henley Short Sleeve T-Shirt

affordable work shirts

  • Inexpensive
  • Looks stylish
  • High quality
  • Roomy under armpits
  • Good price for big and tall
  • A little on the thin side
  • Sizes run large

The short-sleeved KEY Industries Henley is crafted from one-hundred percent heavyweight cotton for optimal performance. Shoulders and neck seams are taped for added durability. This shirt features three buttons and a left chest pocket. It is also relatively cheap for the level of quality you are getting with this Henley.

One of the big pros of this shirt is that it has a lot of room under the armpits. This will help you to keep from sweating or chaffing under your arms. You’ll also feel a bit cooler throughout the workday wearing this t-shirt.

This shirt is also great for those looking for a big and tall work shirt. If you wear big and tall shirts you know they always cost a bit more than regular t-shirt. This t-shirt is cheap, by comparison, compared to most other big and tall work shirts of this quality, and work shirts in general for that matter.

12: Wolverine Men’s Flame-Resistant Long-Sleeve Henley Shirt

best long sleeve work shirt

  • Flame-resistant
  • 100% cotton
  • Good for cold weather
  • Meets NFPA2112-2012 standards
  • Easy to tuck-in
  • A bit hot
  • Shrinks
  • May fade in sun

Safety is a priority at Wolverine and they take it seriously. The Wolverine Flame-Resistant Henley is certainly a case in point.

This Henley is part of Wolverine’s FireZerO clothing, made from 100% flame-resistant cotton. In fact, it actually has two doses of flame-resistant treatment. At the same time, it meets tough industry standards and is light enough to work in all day, every day.

This long-sleeve Henley has a ribbed collar, cuffs, thread and buttons on the front placket that are all flame-resistant. Side slits with an extended tail add to comfort levels and can easily be worn tucked. The front chest pocket is conveniently placed and can hold anything from your glasses to a pencil to a tape measure.

This shirt is thick and hot, so only buy it if you work in a cooler environment or outdoors in the winter.

13. Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Jersey Henley Shirt (Big & Tall Henley)

best big and tall work shirt
  • Great for big and tall
  • Good for summer
  • Stylish
  • Excellent quality
  • Only one color
  • Pricey

Crafted out of 100% cotton, this Ralph Lauren Jersey Henley is perfect for larger workers. As a big and tall shirt, it is sized 3LT. It has a 3 button closure and ribbed armbands.

Its fabric retains warmth while providing airy comfort. This Henley is also stylish enough to wear on or off the job.

Origin of the Henley T-Shirt

Original Henley T-Shirt
Original Henley T-Shirt

The Henley t-shirt has a cool origin story. In the English town of Henley-on-Thames, the Henley shirt was part of the uniform of English rowers.

The Henley worn by rowers was short-sleeved and had a longer placket (shirt opening below collar) compared to modern day Henleys. The long placket and absence of a collar ultimately helped the shirt to breath much better than other shirts.

When Ralph Lauren took a look at the vintage Henley he immediately envisioned its future. The rest is history and now Henleys can be found just about everywhere.

Like the rowers of England, construction workers can benefit from the breathability of the Henley and its incredible ventilation.

Best Work Shirt: Buttoning It All Up

For comfortable workwear, or for general everyday use, you cannot go wrong with a Henley. Henleys offer a relaxed fit that you can tuck in or leave out, depending on the situation. Flattering for all body types, they come in a wide variety of fabrics from lightweight Henleys for summer, mid-weight Henleys for fall and spring, and a heavy weight Henley for the cold winter months.

Henleys will last forever. They breathe well and they’re comfortable to move around in. You don’t to worry about your collar choking you all day either. You’re free in Henley. Soon, a Henley will be your go-to work shirt.

5 thoughts on “Henley: An Underrated Work T-Shirt”

  1. Thank you for sharing these best workwear t-shirts. I am a construction worker and I am a huge fan of the Carhartt t-shirt. I always used the Carhartt CTK87 workwear pocket t-shirt the fabric quality was good and the best of this t-shirt at a responsible price.

  2. Choosing the right work shirt allows you to stay fresh and comfortable throughout the day, no matter how difficult or hectic your job is. That is why it is critical to get the ideal work shirts for construction because they will really assist you. You may also mix your shirt with jeans to feel comfy and fashionable.


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