Flannel shirts are among the most comfortable and versatile tops out there. They’re the ultimate in casual wear–comfortable, relaxed and easy to wear year-round. Simply put, you can’t go wrong with flannel. If you’re thinking outside of the box and want to maximize the top’s potential in your wardrobe, here are some fun and unexpected ways to wear your favorite flannel shirts.
The flannel shirt will forever be the epitome of coolly casual style. Yet for all its low-key appeal, it’s also decidedly more dressed up than a plain T-shirt or a tank top. You can really work with it, and therein lies the unexpected charm of the flannel shirt hanging in your closet–you know, the one that you typically reserve for Sunday football games and late brunches with friends.
Sure, on its own, a flannel shirt isn’t exactly fancy, but it’s well worth dressing it up a little. To achieve an elevated look for your favorite flannel, opt for a shirt with some black in the pattern. Then, tuck it loosely into an A-line leather skirt and step into a pair of edgy open-toe booties. Finish with a dramatic statement necklace or two. Voila: You’ve just mastered the fine art of dressing up a flannel shirt.
Military embellishments entered the fold years ago, and it became a major influence in the women’s fashion industry. Elements like buckles, bold buttons and beautifully tailored women’s wool coats all exhibit the powerful, no-fuss spirit of true military influence.
So where does your flannel shirt fit into all of this? After all, it’s more lumberjack than a soldier. As it turns out, mixing the two worlds yields some very eye-catching results. Plaid patterns look right at home with many of the trend’s most significant elements. You could throw it on over a pair of fitted olive green cargo pants and step into a pair of tan booties, or layer your flannel top under your crisp military-inspired peacoat to double up on the warmth.
It’s a risk to mix patterns when you’re already wearing something as bold and eye-catching as plaid. But you don’t have to fear pairing your checks with something else, as long as that something else falls on the more neutral end of the spectrum. You might be surprised at the possibilities once you start experimenting. Could stripes or polka dots actually work with a flannel shirt? In a word, yes!
The idea is to strive for balance. Lift a color from your flannel top and take your cue from it when selecting a patterned partner. An easy way to make this work is to layer the flannel shirt underneath something, like a patterned women’s sweater that incorporates at least one of the colors in the shirt. Avoid choosing something too jarring–it may feel tough to pull off, and you may not feel comfortable wearing them together.
Flannel is, by nature, the perfect companion on a cool day. You can even wear it on colder days, so long as you transform your outfit into something more appropriate for the conditions. An easy way to remain true to the flannel shirt’s inherent penchant for low-key style is to throw a comfortable women’s down vest on top. Not only will this combination keep you toasty on brisk days, but it also looks phenomenal with its classic style. A down vest will also let you show off the beauty of your flannel shirt. Pair it with your favorite skinny jeans and step into a pair of suede booties or ballet flats for an effortlessly put-together look.
It’s tough to imagine that flannel shirts could ever be accused of being “glamorous,” but there are ways to take it in a different direction. In this case, your flannel shirt works either as a cover-up or as a complement to the outfit. Pair it with a sleeveless sheath or slip dress by tying it at your waist, or tossing it loosely around your shoulders. Finish with a pair of leather booties or step into pointy-toe leather flats for a chic finishing touch.
Another way to make this work is to wear a pair black top and leggings, with a flannel shirt worn unbuttoned on top. Grab a metallic belt to create some definition, and finish with a pair of over-the-knee boots.
Whichever way you decide to wear your flannel, you’ll feel warm, comfortable and stylish all at once this season.