How to Wear a Flannel Shirt – Style Tips for Flannels (Beyond Plaid)

How to Wear a Flannel Shirt – Style Tips for Flannels (Beyond Plaid)

Find out how to can incorporate flannels into a classic man’s wardrobe:

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Right up there with things like denim jeans, the flannel shirt is something that’s worn by all different kinds of people going for all different kinds of aesthetics. And while there are different ways to wear a flannel, we’re going to discuss, today, how you can incorporate them into the classic man’s style pantheon.

It can be a bit trickier to incorporate a flannel into a classic menswear look, however, there certainly are ways to do it. Before we get into any specific looks though, we need to cover exactly what a flannel shirt is.

When you hear the term flannel shirt, it probably conjures images of a button-up shirt in a plaid or tartan pattern, probably with features like a button-down collar, button cuffs, and maybe some pockets. And while a pattern, particularly a check pattern like tartan can be an important component of many flannels, the only thing that really qualifies a shirt as a flannel is the fabric it’s made from. So what is flannel then? Originally, the term flannel exclusively applied to a fabric that was made from carded wool.

Flannel shirts today can come in various weights and degrees of fineness so you’ve got a multitude of options when incorporating them into your outfits. So while any shirt that’s made from flannel can necessarily be referred to as such, there are still many people who would consider the tartan pattern to be an almost mandatory component.

Let’s say that you’re in the market to buy some flannel shirts to incorporate into your classic menswear wardrobe, what should you be looking for?

Well, firstly, we’d recommend that you find shirts that are made from actual flannel, either in wool or in cotton. We’d stay away from these synthetic fibers as they aren’t going to give you the same texture and feel and they’ll often be in more contemporary designs that won’t mesh well with the aesthetic you’re going for.

Secondly, try to find flannels that are built and structured more like traditional dress shirts. In other words, one of the biggest things you’re going to be looking for here is length. They should have enough length that you can tuck them in comfortably and they’ll look more put together that way.

It’s also important to choose your pattern carefully. You should probably be going for medium to small scale check patterns or tartans, in particular. These medium to small patterns will tone down the boldness of the shirt itself and therefore, make it more versatile. You should probably avoid striped patterns or patchwork checks because these are going to be louder and bolder and as we say, therefore, not as versatile and you could, of course, opt for a solid flannel, as well, as this is going to be maximally versatile in pairing with different garments.

And just as you should be choosing your patterns carefully, so too should you give a careful eye to color. Often, patterns that feature three or more colors are actually going to be less bold than patterns that only feature two colors because these two color patterns will often try to incorporate high contrast, something that is necessarily bolder. We’d suggest that you try to steer clear of high contrast patterns and colors such as black and white together.

Finally, avoid overly casual details like flapped pockets, snaps, or contrast stitching. This is just going to make your flannel look more like work wear than something that can truly be incorporated into the classic men’s style cannon.

Keep in mind that by and large, the nature of flannel shirts is a slightly more bold look. Using the techniques we outlined above, you can tamp down some of that boldness a bit and thus make the flannels more


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