Sometimes we just want to change our look. Most men like to follow basic dressing patterns, those which are simple to wear and doesn’t have to fit within too many “rules”. Searching for such kinds of garments – that will boost the composition, match other clothes in our wardrobe and be easy to wear on all occasions – we invariably come across mens flannels.
A synonym of casual looks, flannel outfits are a classic in men’s fashion. Red, green, blue, multicolored and with the most varied patterns of print, this piece evolved a lot with time and, nowadays, besides keeping you warm in cooler days, they are extremely stylish and serve for numerous occasions. Even if they are seemingly unsophisticated garments, flannel shirts are essential in any man’s wardrobe, helping you with casual as well as for more formal and refined ideas.
In addition, it is to be admired the harmony of the combination of the men’s flannel shirt with many other pieces of clothing: trousers of all kinds, overlays to shirts, jackets and blouses of all sizes and fabrics, sneakers and shoes of all tastes. On top of that, you can choose to wear it buttoned-up, open, tied at the waist, or even experiment with short-sleeved and hooded versions.
We have compiled some handy tips and information on men’s flannel shirts. But before taking a look on how to wear flannel, let’s learn a bit about this incredibly versatile material.
What is Flannel?
Flannel is a type of soft fabric, typically made of wool or cotton, that has been around for many years. The first to begin wearing flannel were farmers and the working class, who favored this kind of material for its warmth and accessibility. Over time, the plaid print was introduced and became popular, and in the 90s the flannel was adopted by grunge subculture. Today, flannel shirts are still a favorite item of those who prioritize comfort and an effortless casual style.
There are two main types of flannel: plain and checkered. Depending on what you are wearing, you should choose one or the other. But as a rule of thumb, plaid flannel shirts will have a more casual and relaxed feel, while the plain versions have a more polished look, so choose according to your style. If you end up wearing a plaid flannel of some sort, be careful to balance your clothing accordingly for they tend to be more flashy.
When to Wear a Flannel Shirt
Flannel outfits are inherently casual, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be worn in an elegant fashion. Although flannel is not ideal for formal events or more conservative parties, you can always wear it on a date or when dining out – just don’t forget to go for a more neutral style so as to maintain the elegance.
Moreover, choose cooler colors and wear it buttoned-up, preferably without any patterns or prints. When it comes down to a business meeting, though, swap your flannel shirt for a dress shirt.
In order to have a better picture of when to wear what, let’s divide men’s flannel shirts into two categories – casual and smart casual.
When it comes to casual dressing there is not much mystery: This is probably the style you will wear your flannel shirt the most. But just because your look is casual does not mean you can wear it with anything you see in front of you. You can opt for plain, dark jeans to make sure you will get it right. Black jeans are a particularly stylish choice with a grunge vibe, but any color can work. As for shoes, boots with laces or sneakers are the best choices.
Although you may not automatically think of a flannel shirt while considering a smart casual outfit, don’t be afraid of giving it a try. Smart casual flannel looks are original and have a surprising potential to be elegant – all you have to do is choose the right flannel and harmonize it with the other garments.
When looking for smart casual flannel shirt styles, avoid very strong colors. Also, make sure your flannel is not too loose and has the right trim. Combine it with plain, dark jeans or chinos and a belt. You can also try adding a stylish woolen coat or suede jacket. As for shoes, choose a pair that is neither casual nor overly formal: Moccasins, chukkas and Derby suede shoes will work well.
How to Wear a Flannel Shirt
Indeed, there are a plethora of ways in which you can wear a flannel shirt. And while your choice, will ultimately come down to a combination of circumstances, personal taste, and the garments available in your wardrobe, there are a few fundamental compositions which can at least lead the way.
This is probably the most classic way to wear a flannel shirt. It evokes a lumberjack style, especially if it is red. Another color that fits with this look is dark green. Just button the flannel shirt to the top or leave the last couple of buttons undone – it is a question of personal preference and comfort.
Open with a t-shirt
Another option is to wear your flannel shirt over a t-shirt, kind of like a jacket. The main tip here is to choose plain t-shirts of neutral colors so as not to overwhelm the flannel. This is particularly the case if wearing plaid flannel shirts.
Around the waist
Finally, you can always branch out of the previous flannel plus t-shirt suggestion and tie your flannel shirt around the waist. This is a great option for those fickle autumn or spring days, where we are not sure whether it will be warm or cold. Is it warm? Tie it around the waist. Did the temperature drop? Wear it.
Flannel Tips to Keep in Mind
In times like these, versatility and simplicity are features that most men appreciate in the clothes they wear, and as we have seen flannel shirts offer just that. Considering that you won’t have to drop hundreds of dollars on one, those who are yet to own a flannel shirt should go shopping asap. When doing so, remember:
- Only use plaid flannel shirts when going for a casual look;
- Opt for classic colors such as red, black, dark blue or green, and brown.
- Mix bolder patterns and colors with neutral garments;
- For casual looks, combine your flannel shirt with a t-shirt, jeans, and boots or sneakers;
- When it gets warm, tie the flannel shirt to your waist or roll up the sleeves;
- For a smart casual look, match your flannel with chinos, a belt, and suede shoes;
- Always check the tag for washing and drying instructions;
- Have at least one plain and one checkered flannel styles so as to mix and match your look, both casual and smart.