Men’s Flannel Shirts: How to Rock This Fashion Staple
Nothing says cool quite like a flannel shirt. It’s one of those wardrobe staples every man should own. Whether you’re out working in the country or simply sipping a latte in the middle of winter, a flannel shirt will make you look casual and sophisticated at the same time. And the fact that it was the signature piece of some of the coolest fashion influencers like Kurt Cobain makes it even more popular. Here’s your guide on how to wear a flannel shirt.
What Is Flannel?
But first, a little bit about this shirt’s history. Even though the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions flannel is a checked pattern, flannel is actually the name of the fabric. This is a soft, tightly woven fabric that can be made either of 100% thick cotton or wool and is slightly milled and raised. This makes it great in retaining body heat and keeping you warm during cold weather. It was first worn by farmers and the working class due to having supreme durability. Eventually, the fabric got its way into mainstream fashion and adopted a check print which became its signature style. In the ’90s, the flannel shirt became part of the grunge fashion, which gave it a new, edgy vibe. And today, this simple shirt is one of the favourite items in men’s wardrobes due to its comfort and effortlessly cool feel.
Checked or Plain?
Even though mens flannel shirts usually come in checked prints, you can also find plain, monochromatic varieties. Whether a plain or checked shirt is better, depends on when and where you want to wear it. For instance, most checked styles of mens flannelette shirts have a casual and relaxed vibe which makes them the perfect piece for everyday outfits. Additionally, the checked print tends to be quite bold and dominate an outfit, so be careful to balance the rest of your clothing accordingly. When wearing a checked flannel shirt, it’s usually best to keep your shoes, pants and accessories minimal and neutral.
On the other hand, plain flannel shirts have a sharper, more polished appearance which makes them suitable for occasions when you want to look serious and neat, but without looking like you bothered too much, like for instance on a date. But when it comes to business or cocktail occasions, it’s best to go for a dress shirt instead of a flannel one. Having this in mind, it’s a good idea to have different styles of flannelettes which you can wear for different occasions.
Flannel Shirt Colours
Mens flannel shirts are available in all sorts of colours, but of course, there are several staple colours that should be hanging in your wardrobe. Red, black, grey, green and brown flannelettes are the best looks this style has to offer and should be in your clothing rotation. Here are some tips on how you can style them.
Red is the most popular colour for flannel shirts. However, this colour doesn’t look good on plain styles, so stick to the checked print instead. When wearing this kind of shirt, try to keep the rest of your outfit black. Doing so will give you a cool, rock’n’roll kind of vibe and you’ll avoid looking like a picnic rug. It looks great both when buttoned up and unbuttoned. Pair it with black skinny jeans (torn or plain), a black shirt (optionally, with your favourite band’s logo) and some boots (Dr. Martens or Chelsea Boot) and you have a winning combination that will make girls melt.
Black flannel with small and narrow checks gives you a more serious and mysterious look. It looks especially cool when unbuttoned and paired with a crisp, white T-shirt, some black jeans and white sneakers. Green flannel shirts are also popular and are often associated with the country/lumberjack look. This colour looks especially good on gents with a full beard. Add some blue jeans and brown boots and you’ve completed your look.
Grey flannel, especially in plain style is a smart-casual option. It’s especially great for situations when you need to look a bit more polished, like for lunch or evening drinks. This type of mens flannel shirt is best worn buttoned up, so make sure to pick one with an attractive collar. You can also wear a checked grey flannel, but if you want to keep things more formal, opt for a subtle check as anything too large and bold will make you look less appropriate. Pair a grey shirt with some brogues and chinos.
A brown flannel shouldn’t be overlooked either. This piece is perfect for giving your autumn or winter outfits a warm, cosy touch. For the ultimate warm look, pair it with some sand chinos and other pieces with warm tones. Brown flannels in lighter hues can also be worn other times of the year, like for instance in spring combined with blue jeans and a white T-shirt.