As the epitome of cool, comfortable and casual style, every man should own a flannel. The flannel shirt is a stylish wardrobe staple worth adding to any man’s closet. Flannels are great casual men’s shirts that can be worn with jeans, chinos, t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, jackets, sneakers, and boots. Whether you’re exploring the outdoors or hanging out with friends in the city, there are several flannel outfits to consider for a rugged yet trendy look. With so many colors and ensembles, it’s important to style a flannel properly to create the right aesthetic. For inspiration and outfit ideas, check out this guide on how to wear a flannel shirt so you can rock this trend.
- 1 What Is A Flannel Shirt?
- 2 Plain or Checkered Flannel
- 3 Ways To Wear A Flannel Shirt
- 4 Flannel Shirt Outfits
- 5 Ways To Wear A Flannel Shirt
- 6 How To Wear A Flannel Shirt
What Is A Flannel Shirt?
A flannel shirt is a type of men’s shirt made with a soft woven fabric such as wool or cotton. Most flannel shirts come in a plaid or checkered pattern, but the versatility of this fabric goes beyond those standard designs. The difference between plaid and flannel is that plaid refers to the pattern while flannel is the fabric.
Flannel has been around for many years, and had traditionally been worn by farmers and lumberjacks in the country for its warmth. Flannel shirts eventually became more mainstream when the fabric and edgy style of shirt became synonymous with grunge fashion and bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
Since then, flannels have become a men’s wardrobe staple. If you want a cool and comfortable top that will always look good, let’s explore the different ways you can wear flannel shirts with your outfits.
Plain or Checkered Flannel
Flannel shirts are generally made with plain or check designs, although the checkered shirts tend to be more popular with guys. Whether you pick a plain or checked flannel shirt depends on your style, the kind of look you’re going for, and the occasion. Also known as a plaid shirt, checked flannel is more informal and casual, while plain flannel can be dressed up for a classy, smart casual look.
Checked shirts also provides more of a bold statement, while plain ones are more understated. If you choose checked flannel, you will want to make sure the rest of your outfit is neutral to avoid clashing. If you decide to go with plain flannel, you can get away with adding subtle statement pieces to your outfit.
Ways To Wear A Flannel Shirt
Wearing a flannel shirt automatically gives you a rugged, outdoorsy look. But you don’t have to be splitting firewood or raking leaves to rock this fabric. Flannel shirts are perfect for a casual coffee run, brunch date, a walk in the park, or just lounging at home. If you choose to button up a shirt with a solid color design, it can even be worn around the office or on a nice dinner date. From casual looks to smart casual styles, here are some of the different ways to wear a flannel shirt.
Casual Flannel Outfits
Flannel shirts were made for casual occasions and are generally easy to wear. If you’re going for a casual style, you’ll want to pair jeans or khaki chino pants with a flannel shirt and sneakers to create the ideal outfit. Flannel shirts were also made for layering. In the summer, adding a white shirt underneath provides a classic look with contrast that will keep you fresh. While you can wear any type of shirt under, an undershirt will soak up any sweat and keep your body cool.
In the fall and winter, you can put a jacket over the flannel or a hoodie under. Flannel over a sweatshirt is a great way to layer in cold weather. But just because flannel looks casual and is versatile doesn’t mean you should wear it with sweats. If you wear a flannel shirt with sweatpants, you’ll just look sloppy and bad.
Despite the relaxed look, flannel outfits should still be clean, neat, and cohesive for the perfect fashion statement. For instance, you can wear a red flannel shirt with blue jeans, but if you want to dress in a darker shirt color, black or grey jeans will work better.
As for footwear, you’ll want to put on brown, tan, or black boots. If you’re walking around the city, sneakers or tennis shoes are a great choice. If going for a grunge look, try lace-up combat boots for a cool fashion statement. For a more fashionable but comfortable style, pair your flannel shirt with non-athletic sneakers that coordinate well with the rest of your outfit.
Smart Casual Flannel Shirt Outfits
While not the best choice for formal events, flannel shirts can be worn for smart casual occasions like a fancy dinner, an office party, or a casual wedding. You can dress up your flannel shirt to create a smart casual look by combining it with upscale pieces like quality chinos, slacks, boots or dress shoes.
One important thing to note is that while you can layer your flannel shirt, you want to save the open, unbuttoned look when it’s appropriate. Instead, pair your flannel shirt with a fashionable blazer and tie for a sleek look. Similarly, Top your outfit off with derby or oxford shoes, which balance the ruggedness of the flannel for a sophisticated appearance.
Flannel Shirt Outfits
The red flannel shirt is the most popular style and looks the best with most outfits on guys. When picking a red flannel, you’ll want to choose the checkered version instead of the plain styling. While these shirts do come in solid red flannel, you’ll see the checked design more often for many reasons. Red checked flannel is versatile, easy to wear and works best when woven with black, or a primary color like blue or a deep golden yellow. Wear your red flannel shirt with a black t-shirt, skinny black or blue denim jeans, and sneakers or boots. You can leave your shirt open and unbuttoned for a casual style, button it up with the collar open for a sexy look, or keep it fully buttoned with a jacket to elevate the ensemble.
While black jeans arguably go best with black and red checked flannel, if you choose a solid rusty red, feel free to pair it with your favorite light jeans. And as a louder color than other options on this list, red flannel works best with subdued accessories, like casual black work boots or sneakers, and layered black leather wristbands and necklaces.
If you want a timeless style that can look edgy and stylish, you can’t go wrong with a black flannel outfit. Similar to red-checked patterns, a black flannel shirt harkens back to the ’90s and height of grunge style. Black and white is a classic combination and can be worn with anything. However, if you’re looking for something that sets you apart from the rest of the pack, choosing a black flannel with different shades of grey woven in the material will do the trick.
Black flannel is also one of the few colors that works well as a solid color year-round. Though harder to find, a solid black shirt is a great fit for smart casual occasions and will provide a refreshing change from the typical rugged cowboy look. While you should feel free to experiment with this versatile color, pairing your black flannel shirt with black or grey skinny jeans and combat boots is always a fashionable option.
Green flannel outfits have become popular because you can pull off the country or lumberjack look. If you have a long full beard and want a rugged, masculine style, then a green color flannel shirt might be for you. Pair your green flannel with blue, black, or darker grey pieces. White can also be paired with green flannel, although you’ll want it to be woven with darker shades like olive and forest green to avoid making your shirt a loud statement piece.
Pair your green shirt with your favorite blue jeans and some brown lace-up boots like Timberlands. For a casual hipster style, you can keep the green flannel unbutton with a white shirt underneath and wear dark jeans with white sneakers for contrast.
For lighter and brighter days like in summer and spring, white flannel is the way to go. While flannel can even be worn in summer, you’ll probably want to roll up your sleeves or go with a short-sleeve version. White flannel shirts offer the freedom to mix in more colors like a light blue, grey, red, brown, and dark orange.
You’ll also look good with a white shirt under or a black and white checked pattern flannel shirt, which can provide an artistic vibe. If you choose to weave lighter colors with your top, subdued accessories are the way to go. When choosing a solid white flannel fabric, light blue jeans or tan khakis offer a timeless outfit that will be sure to get you noticed.
Grey flannel outfits can be dressed light or dark depending on your mood and style. If you’re looking for something edgy, guys should try a shirt with a grey and black check pattern. Aside from black, a solid grey flannel shirt is the best style for a smart casual look.
Grey flannel can be combined with several neutral colors such as white, beige, brown, and black to create a sleek and smart casual outfit. And while you’ll find checked varieties, solid is preferred as you can pair with any hue of jeans, shoes, and accessories. Buy a grey flannel shirt and you won’t regret adding it to your closet.
Brown flannel is an oft-overlooked color, though it deserves a spot on this list. Brown complements so many other shades, from blues, to reds, to greens, to other hues of brown. In particular, it’s a great option for autumn if you’re looking for something to match the leaves and get you in the cozy spirit.
While you might not want to wear brown flannel outside of the outdoors or your home, there’s no reason you shouldn’t add it to your style inventory. A brown flannel shirt works best with medium blue jeans or complementary brown pants. Also, brown leather accessories, like wrap bands, help seal the look for a timeless appeal.
Ways To Wear A Flannel Shirt
Flannel with Jeans
Most men prefer to wear a flannel shirt with jeans for a cool yet fashionable outfit. Whether you choose blue or black jeans with a loose or skinny fit, the look is versatile and will work with any color flannel. You can also get short and long sleeve flannels to change up your ensemble. Some guys might pair flannel and jeans with sneakers or boots and a t-shirt or hoodie under, depending on the weather. Practical and bold, we recommend you pick a plaid flannel shirt instead of a plain t-shirt any time you want a rugged style that will stand out.
Shirt Under Flannel
As one of the most popular outfits, you’ll want to experiment with a shirt under your flannel. The best version of this look starts with a white t-shirt and an unbuttoned flannel shirt. However, you can dress the shirt underneath any color as long as it doesn’t clash with your flannel. The pants and shoes you should wear will depend on the color you like. A red flannel looks stylish with blue jeans or khaki chino pants, while a blue shirt fits light blue jeans and black flannel works well with black jeans.
Hoodie Under Flannel
A hoodie or sweatshirt can be worn under a flannel shirt if the colors are complementary and the flannel is oversized. For instance, a red and white or blue and black flannel shirt will look nice over a grey hoodie or white sweatshirt. To create this outfit, you’ll need a somewhat fitted hoodie or sweater and a large flannel for the layering to work without seeming bulky. You can pair this aesthetic with jeans or chino pants with sneakers, or a nice jogger with tennis shoes. If the color combinations work and you’re comfortable with a chill vibe, this outfit will look good.
Jacket Over Flannel
You can wear a jacket over your flannel, but you’ll need your outwear to match the aesthetic and style of your outfit. The best jackets will complement the relaxed cut of your flannel, although some guys like to use a leather jacket to elevate their look to smart casual. Unlike a hoodie or sweater, a jacket gives you extra flexibility while still providing an additional layer of warmth.
Flannel with Shorts
A flannel shirt with shorts might be the perfect outfit for the summer. If it’s really hot, a sleeveless plaid flannel shirt with chino shorts and white sneakers will keep you cool. Alternatively, you can buy short-sleeves or just roll up the sleeves of your classic long sleeve flannel. While you can’t wear athletic gear, cargo shorts and other types of fashionable walkshorts are acceptable for a classy look. For footwear, you’ll want to stick with sneakers or loafers in simple colors like white, black, or brown.
How To Wear A Flannel Shirt
- Whether you choose a checked or solid flannel shirt depends on your style and the occasion, so dress accordingly.
- Pick classic shirt colors such as red, black, white, brown, grey, and green.
- Dress bold patterns and colors with simple outfits for a balanced look.
- For a cool casual style, wear your flannel shirt unbuttoned with a t-shirt underneath, jeans, and sneakers or boots.
- To get a smart casual style, wear your flannel buttoned up with chinos, a leather belt, and Timberlands or Chelsea boots.