The Best Flannel Shirts to Channel Your Inner Lumberjack

Bring a some Paul Bunyan energy to the party

December 19, 2023 12:58 pm
a collage of flannel shirts on a tree background
Rugged vibes abound with the best flannel shirts for men.
InsideHook/Getty Images

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For a group of folks that click-clack away on laptops all day, bruise easily and may or may not have never actually worked a hard day in their lives, the InsideHook staff is oddly well-versed in flannels. We’ll chalk it up to the Portland hipster pipeline that’s seen the oft-plaided style become adopted as the unofficial uniform of mustachioed guys who are a little too willing to explain what fourth wave coffee really means. (Not that we identify as said fella. We just know him.) But the fact reminds us that, despite the extent of our hatchet experience being derived from an ill-fated trip to an axe-throwing bar, we’ve proudly got the 411 on the best flannels for men currently available on the market.

Best Overall: L.L. Bean Traditional Fit Scotch Plaid Flannel Shirt

Best Upgrade: Filson Field Flannel Shirt

Best USA-Made: Woolrich Wool Blend Trout Run Plaid Flannel Shirt

Lightest: Patagonia Long-Sleeved Organic Cotton Midweight Fjord Flannel Shirt

Best Looking; Todd Snyder Flannel Utility Shirt

Budget Pick: Duluth Trading Co. Burlyweight Flannel Relaxed Fit Shirt

Burliest: Fjallraven Ovik Heavy Flannel Shirt

Best for Layering: Taylor Stitch The Ledge Shirt

And what a marker it is. Like all categories of apparel, most of it is bafflingly bad — thinner and scratchier than we want them to be, oversized to the degree that they’re tent-like or, worse, cut so slim that they seem to defeat the purpose of flannel shirts in the first place — but there’s also a gaggle of hardwearing, mostly American-made numbers that put the “win” in winter layering. Insulating and heavy, they sit perfectly over a heavy tee or under a cable-knit sweater and will keep you nice and toasty, whether or not a crackling fire is in the immediate vicinity.

Below, you’ll find the fruits of our labor, with a comprehensive list of the best flannel shirts for men we could find. There are classics — Bean and Filson are top of our roundup, obviously — along with a could of new outdoor brands we think are killing it, and maybe even a surprise or two. Below, the best flannels for every dude.

tk It should come as no surprise that L.L. Bean clocks in as our top pick for an everyday flannel — after all, the Maine-based outdoor company practically invented the style. While the American-made glory days may be behind them, Bean’s scotch plaid flannel still checks all our boxes; it’s soft from the first wear, heavy enough to layer and comes in a variety of Bunyan-approved plaids. And all for just $60! Just make sure to grab the traditional cut — none of this slim-fit nonsense.

Ready to step up your flannel game? We too cringe at spending over $100 for a shirt meant to be destroyed, but Filson delivers an unparalleled quality that’ll last you years and pay dividends. The Field Flannel Shirt is nothing fancy — just the epitome of everything a flannel should be.

Americana heritage brands like Pendleton may be a shadow of what they once were (although one of their vintage American-made heavyweights is still, for our money, the best way to spend your flannel bucks), but Pennsylvania-founded Woolrich has retailed a serious American-made presence, showcase here in their modernized take on the trout run flannel. Crafted from a luxe Italian wool blend plaid fabric and made right here in the states, the style is a testament to craftsmanship.

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Okay, we know that it’s weird to call a midweight flannel lightweight. But here us out: we’re of the thought process that, given their general functionality as a warm overshirt, flannels should never be lightweight. Ergo, the lightest weight one could ask for from a flannel would be…midweight. Make sense?

Todd Snyder’s handsome Utility Flannel shirt has Hallmark channel written all over it, with the added benefit of being woven from a soft-but-sturdy two-tone twill fabric. Plus, it’s on sale.

While L.L. Bean drives a hard bargain, Minnesota-based Duluth Trading Co.’s burlyweight flannels are not to be overlooked for any lumberjack jonesing for a total steal. It’s heavy as a weighted blanket and was designed to survive midwestern winters…so you know it’s serious.

Those Scandinavians are onto something. Fjallraven’s outdoor gear has been creeping its way into our rotation over the past few years, and the Ovik Heavy Flannel is the latest entrant into our permanent collection. When they say this thing is heavy, they mean it — it’s closer to a proper jacket than a flimsy Oxford shirt.

Perhaps you’re only after the flannel look? Taylor Stitch’s Ledge Shirt is still warm and rugged, yes, but the style fits more like a modern button-down than many of the sluggish layers on this list, and plays nice with a sweater for serious “I go to the office, but I might woodwork, too” vibe-age.

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