Trade Your Tired Flannels for a Chamois Shirt Instead
More like cham-wow, amirite?
Fall is a season of many fabrics — flannel, corduroy, tweed, denim. Yet there’s one fabric that tends to be overlooked, even despite it’s chic French name that’s fun to pronounce: chamois. Pronounced “shammy,” the fabric most often comes in the form of shirting and usually garners comparisons to flannel. But before you decide that your usual flannel shirts will suffice, allow us to make the case for the chamois shirt.
The fabric gets its name from the Chamois goat, native to European mountains. The hide of these mountains goats are frequently used to create chamois leather, favored for its porousness and gentle texture, thus making it popular for cleaning cloths as it doesn’t scratch.
However, the chamois of chamois shirts is entirely different, not crafted from leather but rather a thick, soft-flannel that’s given a suede-like finish similar to moleskin. The shirts tend to be favored for outdoor purposes thanks to the substantial feel of the fabric, which in turn makes it a superior choice to its close relative, the simple flannel.
Whereas the flannel is often worn as a standalone piece, the chamois shirt works best as an overshirt, ideal for the unpredictable temps that often mark fall. And when the textured fabric is rendered in bold solid colors (as is most common), it makes for a piece that’s bound to stand out among the hordes of plaid flannels.
Below are 10 chamois shirts to round out your fall wardrobe not just this particular fall season, but for many falls to come.
L.L.Bean Chamois Shirt, Traditional Fit
It’s only fitting that L.L.Bean, among the OG purveyors of outdoor clothing, would have their own version of the chamois shirt, and it doesn’t disappoint. Crafted from the brand’s heaviest flannel, the shirt is favored by customers for its long-lasting wear, and its soft, brushed fabric.
J.Crew Heavyweight Chamois Workshirt
For those really looking to make a statement, opt for J.Crew’s Heavyweight Chamois Workshirt in a hard-to-miss shade of orange. The shirt features a fuller cut, allowing more room in the body and sleeves, which lends itself well to layering pieces underneath, while still allowing you the ability to move freely.
Flint and Tinder Chamois Shirt
Unlike most chamois shirts, Flint and Tinder’s is made with a hint of stretch (2% spandex, to be exact) so the fabric moves with you, which is further aided by by the back pleat. Plus, you don’t have to worry about being precious when it comes to this shirt, as it was made for hard-wear and will only get softer with age.
Pendleton Driftwood Chamois Shirt
Okay, chamois shirts don’t have to be solid, and they can even feature fun patterns like Pendleton’s Driftwood shirt. If you’ve always wanted to own one of the brand’s iconic blankets, but could never justify the price, buy this bad boy instead to get the same aesthetic and feel of the brand’s blankets, just in shirt form (and half the price).
Arbor Foundation Chamois Shirt
Just because you might be spending time in the great outdoors with no one around to see you, doesn’t mean you should sacrifice style. Arbor’s Foundation Chamois Shirt is capable of enduring the elements while still keeping you looking sharp, in the event you happen to run into someone else. You never know who you might meet in the woods.
Stoic Hemlock Heavyweight Chamois Shirt
If you like a little extra length to your shirts (or want a lil’ extra coverage for for your bum) Stoic’s chamois shirt hits longer than most, and has an oversized fit in general, making it great for layering even something as thick as a sweater underneath.
L.L.Bean x Todd Snyder Chamois Shirt with Trim
There are still a few pieces left to be had from L.L.Bean’s collaboration with Todd Snyder, including their very own chamois shirt in an orange buffalo plaid. Snyder kept true to the silhouette of L.L.Bean’s original chamois shirt, adding slight details like elbow patches and contrasting front pockets.
REI Co-op Nook Chamois Shirt
Allow the olive green of the Nook Chamois Shirt to work as the perfect fall neutral for your wardrobe.
The North Face Stayside Long-Sleeve Chamois Shirt
Like your favorite flannel, but ten times better.
Woolrich Solid Chamois Shirt
Woolrich’s version of the chamois shirt offers more of a workwear feel rather than the usual rugged and outdoorsy vibe. But, as Woolrich’s website states, this is a piece that is “as comfortable indoors as it is in the mountains.”
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