Fall and winter are the seasons for pulling out that old friend, the flannel shirt. Flannel has a way of feeling decidedly casual though, and you may not feel it works very well for every situation. Think again, friend, because flannel shirts are all-purpose. It looks great dressed up or worn casually. Let's take a look at all the very many ways flannel can work for you for a variety of occasions.
How do you find the best flannel shirts? Look for ringspun combed cotton – and look for something that's brushed on both sides, not just the outside. That's how we make our Flagship Flannel™ here at Lands' End. First, we comb the cotton to remove shorter, weaker fibers, which will help the fabric resist fraying and pilling down the road. Then we use the ring spinning technique, which creates smoother yarns that can be woven tighter, making the fabric stronger. Lastly, we brush both sides of the fabric, so it's not just soft outside – it's cozy inside, too.
Men's flannel shirts pair great with a classic pair of jeans and shoes like a sneaker or a casual boot. This is the ultimate weekender outfit and also great for a fairly casual office. If you're looking to elevate your flannel a little, opt for a great pair of chinos. We recommend a proportionate fit that's slim but not skinny. In addition to being just generally more flattering, it'll make you look taller. Go with a darker color to play with the flannel's more autumnal tone.
Adapting your flannel for more purposes – and dressier ones – is so easy. Throw on a necktie and tuck that flannel in, and you've got a really smart outfit for any holiday party. Whether paired with jeans, men's chinos, or a fun, textured moleskin pant, you'll have an outfit that's visually interesting and just different enough to help you stand out from the crowd. For footwear, a chunky brogue is your best friend here.
If you're really wanting to take it there, adding a sport coat to your outfit can be a great way to up the ante. A flannel shirt works well paired with a sport coat – though we'd say steer clear of the full-on suit – and, again, it adds some visual interest. Keep the necktie for this look, and maybe loosen the knot just a little. Add a cuff to your jeans or chinos, and you'll be looking downright dandy. All day, you'll be making people look twice when you walk by – in this case, that's definitely a good thing.