When to Wear Flannel: 5 Occasions to Dress Up a Flannel

When to Wear Flannel: 5 Occasions to Dress Up a Flannel

Flannel is one of those words that means different things to different people. For example, some people think of plaid, lumberjack-type shirts when they think of flannel. Some people think of it as simply a comfortable shirt with a fuzzy feel to it, no matter what the design. In the United Kingdom, a flannel is simply a washcloth! If you ask the Welsh, the word refers to anything made of wool. Whether brushed flannel for that super soft feel or unbrushed for a stiffer and more polished look, you can pretty much wear flannel anytime and anywhere. Knowing how to dress up a flannel shirt unlocks endless fashion possibilities! Here are five occasions when flannel is a must.

In Bed

Flannel spans back to the 1600s when farmers used it to protect themselves from cold and wet weather. As word spread about its reliability, people started using it for more and more things. One of those things was bedding, and eventually sheets. If you haven't slept in flannel sheets, you may be wondering, “But won't I get too hot in flannel while I'm sleeping?” The answer is an astounding, "No." Today, flannel sheets can warm you up more than cotton sheets, yet provide the perfect sleeping temperature. Try them yourself, and you'll soon wonder why you hadn't before.

Any Day During Fall or Winter

While a 90-degree summer day may not necessarily scream, “Flannel!”, any day during fall and winter is a good day to wear a button-down flannel shirt. Granted, you can still make a flannel work for you wrapped around your waist with some shorts during summer; but fall and winter weather practically begs you to wrap yourself up in cozy flannel of any type. Wear it buttoned up under a puffer vest, under a sweater with the first couple of buttons undone, or even as something you grab when you're jumping out of the shower. A men's flannel robe can really eliminate that initial shock of cold air that hits you in wintertime. It also looks stylish just worn around the house with some slippers.

Casual Fridays at Work

Depending on your dress code at your workplace, you may likely be able to wear flannel any day of the week. However, for those stuffier places with strict dress codes and the occasional casual Friday, you want to be comfortable yet classy. Just button up your flannel shirt in the morning over your favorite T-shirt, and tuck into some chinos or black jeans with a belt. At the end of the day, unbutton and untuck it all. You'll be put together and totally ready for the weekend after you punch out. They also go well with practically any type of dress shoe or loafer, so you won't even need to change your shoes to go from work to play.


Flannel is an incredibly forgiving fabric, especially in plaid designs. If you get dirt on it when setting up camp, no problem–you probably can't even see it. If your s'more drips chocolate on it, no problem. If you sleep in it because it is just too comfortable and warm to take off, no problem–you won't even have wrinkles. The men's flannel shirt is the official shirt of camping. Besides, how can you not harken back to old country-western movies where the rugged lead characters are sat by the fire wearing a flannel while eating a can of beans with their trusty horse at their side. Life goals.

Hanging Out at Home

Whether it is a favorite flannel shirt or a pair of men's flannel pajamas, the soft and forgiving material is perfect for hanging out at home and binging on Netflix all day. In addition, if you absolutely need to leave the house (whether to take the dog for a walk or run out for some ice cream), nobody will even notice or care that you're still in your flannel PJs. These days, it's perfectly acceptable.

No, you won't want to wear your favorite flannel shirt to a fancy black-tie wedding (although we're pretty sure we can make it work), or to the beach on a hot, humid day. However, there are so many more occasions for which flannel is acceptable to wear. In fact, we can't even imagine any of the above occasions without a flannel shirt in the scene.


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