Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nina Proudman loves a Henley top

As dedicated Nina proudman fashion followers, you may have noticed that when she wears a long sleeve tee, it tends to be a henley top. 

What's a henley top?

A henley top is a collarless men's pullover shirt, characterized by a 10 centimetres long placket beneath the round neckline, usually having 2-10 buttons. 

It essentially resembles a collarless polo shirt

The sleeves may be either short or long, and it can be made in almost any fabric, although cotton and/or poly blends as well as thermals are by far the most popular. 

Henley shirts are generally regarded as menswear, but are now made in women's versions. 

Their name comes from the fact that they are the particular style of shirt that was the traditional uniform of rowers in the English town of Henley - On - Thames. 
They were originally quite popular in the early 1970s, but have recently made a fashion comeback, especially in Western countries but also Japan & Korea.

In his biography of Ralph Lauren, the journalist Michael Gross (I have this book!) quotes a New York merchant who recalled showing a vintage shirt to a Ralph Lauren buyer: "I showed this fellow underwear---a three-button long-sleeve shirt by Johnstown Knitting Mills. He said, 'This is a new shirt.' That's where he got the idea for the Henley shirt."

Back to Nina.....

The two Nina Henleys you see above are by Blaumax, an Austrian brand. 

One of the Aussie retailers who sells the brand is Melbourne retailer eco d, who has three stores & an online presence.

As at mid May 2012, they had the henley at all their stores in grey marle, steel, purple, raspberry and ink for $119. 

$119 - eeekk!

Is it worth paying $119?

If you have been reading my posts, you have probably figured out that I love hideously expensive clothes. 

But the reason is because of the quality that goes with them - fabric, cut, construction, original design, seaming, finishes etc. 

On a jacket or a suit, a hero piece or classic shoes, I can justify those hideously expensive prices as they make the item look fantastic forever.

On something like a tee that isnt a hero piece of my outfit, I am happy to scout around for a well priced high street version.

So that's what I did......

off I went to my fave high street discount store, Tar-jay.....

oohh...look...100% cotton henleys in many many colours....

I breached the fitting room maximum (which was 5 items), but I told the change room attendant what I was doing and as an Offspring fan, she allowed me in the styling room/bra fitting room with the door open to take my photos.....
So I lined all these up on the railing....

The magic of these henleys was also the price they were ALL either $19 or $20. So much better than $119, eh? 

And at that price, I can buy a few....

L to R: Burnt orange, red, deep indigo purple, muted amethyst purple, muted blue, navy, dark grey marle, black, white.

& the soft rasberry with a hint of purple which was being road tested by someone else when I was in the change room...

& an aqua which had also run away while I was in the change room

What about the styles?

The basic style above is long sleeve, 100% cotton, has 5 functioning buttons & 2 faux buttons & set in sleeves. 
There is also a version identical to the above but with 3/4 sleeves. I only saw it in black, red & white.

There is also a version in limited colours with a finer cotton, no pocket, designed to be worn looser, with a raglan sleeve. This one was $25.

I only found it in three colours, washed indigo & black & red......


This looser henley is perfect for layering as an outer layer. In contrast the more fitted henleys would work best as inner layers, with the buttons exposed.

There is a short sleeved version.

It has little sleeve turn ups & I saw it in black and in white. 

& one final version - a long sleeve with turn up sleeves. 

I could only find this one in red, white & black.

Nina loves turn up the sleeves with most of her shirts. Personally I find the turn up style is more casual - frankly I'd rather push plain sleeves up. 

STYLE TIP: Exposing your wrists is a good thing - it shows off the slimmest part of your arms and any arm party you have going on.

STYLE TIP: The colours in Tar-jay tend to be stronger than Nina colours, but Tar-jay's selection is part of winter collections. The Offspring photos are from summer collections. There is no doubt in my mind, Tar-jay will bring summer colours as the weather warms up.

In the mean time, those of you with stronger colouring than Nina, stock up NOW on Tar-jay Henleys, since the pale summer colours  may not be your best look.

Finally, I have been rabbiting on for the last few months about being a "Nina clone", or more specifically, not being a "Nina clone". 

That its better to have your own style, infused by hers, rather than trying to copy her pieces in an identical way....Whether you agree with me or not, YOUR style is better than anything a fictional character and her wardrobe department can come up with......think about it....

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