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Apple picking is a tradition many people do year after year. As soon as fall arrives, they head to the orchards with their families or simply with their friends to enjoy the last of the warm weather and get some fresh air at the same time. Regardless of when and where your apple picking tradition occurs, you want to look good doing it, right? Especially if there will be pictures on social media. And when it comes to the question of what to wear when apple picking, a flannel shirt is undoubtedly the first thing that comes to mind for many fashionistas. But what type of flannel shirt should you wear, and how should you wear it?
The word “flannel” is one of those words that means different things to different people. For some people, the vision of a lumberjack wearing jeans and a plaid, red flannel comes to mind when they hear the word. Others simply think of a flannel shirt as one that is button-down and has a slightly fuzzy feel to it. For people who live in England, the word “flannel” is used to describe what we in the United States call a “washcloth.” Historically, however, flannel is a Welsh term that is used for any type of fabric made of wool and harkens back to the 1600s when farmers wore flannel to protect themselves from cold, wet weather. Flannel has become a lot more versatile since then and is now even made of fabrics other than wool. Nonetheless, flannel has been a wardrobe staple for many for hundreds of years, and it is still going strong. You may be picking apples instead of tending to a flock of sheep, but your flannel shirt has earned its place as a go-to choice for outdoor adventures.
When people think of a flannel shirt, they often envision a plaid pattern and multiple colors. This is likely the type of shirt that comes to mind when thinking about what to wear for apple-picking as well, due to its Paul Bunyan-like reputation. Bunyan himself knew that, if made properly, flannels are durable and able to handle the demands of working outdoors. A plaid flannel can also provide just the right amount of warmth. So if you’re outside climbing on ladders to pick the apples off of trees during chilly temperatures, you can rest assured that you’ll not only feel warm, but also be able to move without worrying about tearing a hole in your shirt.
Not many people realize that flannels come in solid colors as well as plaids. A solid-color flannel can actually look quite formal if worn as a dress shirt. It can also look laid back and casual without making you look so rugged. For anyone who wants to look stylish on their apple-picking adventure but doesn’t want to look like they just chopped down a forest, a solid-colored flannel shirt will keep you warm and looking good. Think of a light blue color paired with some black skinny jeans for a more polished look than a plaid flannel provides.
While there are thinner, smooth-feeling flannel shirts, the most common type of flannel shirt has a sort of fuzzy feel and appearance. This is considered “brushed” flannel and can be super warm and soft against the body. For that reason, it is great for apple picking during the colder months. And considering it was able to withstand the brushing process to make it as soft as it is, you already know it is durable and able to withstand encounters with tree bark and sap.
To tuck or not to tuck: that is the question. It’s really up to you how you want to wear your flannel shirt. They look great tucked into some jeans with a belt. They also look good untucked and worn over a pair of leggings or even shorts. Keep comfort paramount when dressing for your fruit-picking expedition, but know that you’ll look good no matter how you wear your flannel shirt.
You’ll want to think about the temperature. If it’s on the chilly side, but not wintery cold, a flannel shirt can look great under a warm puffer vest. In contrast, if it is warmer out but not warm enough to justify short sleeves, flannels are great for layering over a tank top or camisole. You can always take it off and wrap it around your waist in case you get a little too warm.