An Ode to Flannel Shirts

Like a blanket, but in shirt form

Updated December 17, 2020 10:36 pm
best flannel shirts for fall
Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Uniqlo

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Listen, we get it — ain’t nobody trying to wear a collared shirt at home these days.

And why would you? As WFH has emerged as the new normal for a great many of us, the more quote-unquote “formal” items in many a sartorial arsenal have been relegated to the back of the closet. And that’s ok — these are uncomfortable times, and one could be forgiven for falling back on more comfortable garb to get through them.

Allow us to advocate, however, for the one collared shirt that fulfills both the requirements of comfort as well as “I should probably look halfway decent for this Zoom call”: the flannel.

Originally developed in the 17th century by the Welsh to help them get through, well, life in Wales, flannel eventually emerged as one of the world’s most popular textiles because not only is it warm and highly durable, but its brushed fibers are a helluva lot more comfortable on one’s skin than the scratchy wool that preceded it.

Basically, it’s a light blanket in shirt form, and thus the perfect garment (or, at least, the perfect collared garment) to ensconce yourself within at home — nevermind the fact that it actually looks pretty great when paired with a nice pair of lounge pants.

And while the traditional buffalo checks and plaids made iconic by brawny lumberjacks and Pearl Jam concert habitues, respectively, are still very much part of the mix, menswear designers are now doing flannels in all manner of fun color and pattern.

Below, a few of our latest favorite flannel shirts to stay equal parts cozy and dapper this fall.

Brooks Brothers flannel shirt
Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers Regent Fit Foulard Print Flannel Sport Shirt

See what we mean re: patterns? Brooks Brothers coming out of left field with a foulard, for chrissakes. Great stuff.

Kenneth Cole flannel shirt
Kenneth Cole

Kenneth Cole Slim-Fit Flannel Shirt in Buffalo Check

Nothing wrong with keeping it traditional though, especially in a muted grey/black combo.

J.Crew flannel shirt

J.Crew Midweight Flannel Shirt in Dark Navy

Windowpane is also a great look, particularly when the base color is dark and the pattern provides a welcome pop of color.

Calvin Klein flannel shirt
Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein Classic Fit Flannel Long Sleeve Shirt

Not to say that one necessarily needs a pop of color all the time — occasionally an understated solid fits the bill quite nicely.

Levi's flannel shirt

Levi’s Vintage Clothing Shorthorn Shirt

Then again, occasionally an overstated solid fits the bill quite nicely as well.

Ralph Lauren flannel shirt
Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Purple Label Plaid Flannel Workshirt

Pricey, but it’ll last a lifetime and also looks damn good tucked into a high-waisted pant should you choose to take it out on the town.

Burberry flannel shirt

Burberry Vintage Check Cotton Flannel Shirt

Also pricey, but worth it for the iconic Burberry plaid if you’re the type of gent who likes to low-key flex on Zoom.

Uniqlo flannel shirt

Uniqlo Flannel Checked Long Sleeve Shirt

Uniqlo’s fall flannel drops are the stuff of legend — excellent patterns galore, and at a price that makes copping two or three a no-brainer.

Taylor Stitch flannel shirt
Taylor Stitch

Taylor Stitch “The Jack” in Brushed Navy Plaid

A killer color combo with subtle herringbone thrown in for good measure. Perfect for both chilling at home and fly fishing trips.

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