The Best Flannel Shirts Will Make Everything Better

By MEGAN GUSTASHAW
10 January 2019
Style, Flannel Shirts
Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images
Softer than your duvet, more forgiving than your cashmere, with just enough structure to make you look like a respectable person: There’s a reason why check flannel shirts never leave the fashion conversation—or your laundry cycle between December and March.

If you’ve avoided flannel shirts recently for fear of looking like you just stepped out of 2014, let us assure you hipster Paul Bunyan is not the only way to wear a lumberjack shirt. Style your flannel with Dickies, cargo pants, or sweats instead of selvedge jeans. Or try Vans or Wallabees over Red Wing boots. There are numerous ways to make the time-honoured flannel feel new. Just do whatever feels the most like you (and leave your painted axe at home). Our favourite flannel shirts of the moment don’t apologise for their flannel-ness, with foliage-inspired colours, heavy check patterns, and boxy, even padded cuts that allow you to wear them as a shirt or a jacket, depending on how painfully cold it is outside.

The Streetwear Flannel

The Best Flannel Shirts Will Make Everything Better

Off-White quote flannel shirt

With its classic flap pockets, oversize fit, and strong black, white, and grey check pattern, we’d like this flannel even if it wasn’t considered a menswear grail. The fact that it’s finished with Virgil Abloh’s ironic graphics—in this case, “CHECK SHIRT” under the front pocket and back yoke—does certainly add a nice twist to the staple. No one is going to confuse you for the Brawny Man in this. Justin Bieber maybe. $372 at Off-White

The Heritage Flannel

The Best Flannel Shirts Will Make Everything Better

Woolrich buffalo wool shirt

When it comes to flannel shirts, it doesn’t get more iconic than Woolrich, which has been doing its buffalo-check thing for over 150 years now. Still, we wouldn’t count this shirt as a favourite if it didn’t hold up to 2019 standards. It fits well, feels great, and comes in the kind of strong colours we like, such as cobalt blue. Plus, you can’t beat the price. And of course, it’s made in the US, too. $195 at Woolrich

The Business-Casual Flannel

The Best Flannel Shirts Will Make Everything Better

Sandro checked shirt

Sandro designs menswear staples with a refined, French-guy twist that makes them irresistible and very flattering. The brand’s checked flannel shirt is nice enough to dress up with trousers and comes in subdued colourways you could easily sneak into your business-casual wardrobe. But while it looks more refined than your average flannel, it’s still made from 100% cotton, which means you can beat it up and wash it with the hot stuff just the same. $132 at Sandro

The Textured Flannel

The Best Flannel Shirts Will Make Everything Better

John Elliott wool flannel button-up

Made with alpaca and wool, this shirt from menswear god John Elliott has the kind of 3D texture you love in a vintage flannel—without the itchy finish. Plus, we appreciate that it manages to be a red flannel shirt that isn’t lumberjack bro in the slightest. The straight hem and black-dominant pattern is the reason for that (the John Elliott label on the back neck doesn’t hurt either). $298 at Need Supply

The Designer Flannel

The Best Flannel Shirts Will Make Everything Better

RRL plaid dobby workshirt

If you think this shirt looks good now, you should see it in 15 years. $189 at Ralph Lauren

Because you can never have too many flannels—here are three more we really like.

The Best Flannel Shirts Will Make Everything Better

H&M plaid flannel shirt

Some things at H&M are cheap in the bad way. This 100% cotton, no-fuss flannel isn’t one of them. $30 at H&M

The Best Flannel Shirts Will Make Everything Better

Undercover plaid shirt jacket

More jacket than shirt, more yellow than red: Undercover makes an unconventional lumberjack flannel. $387 at Farfetch

The Best Flannel Shirts Will Make Everything Better

All Saints cervino shirt

Because the horizontal check reads like a blanket stripe, this flannel shirt will work with chinos and white jeans in the spring, too. $160 at Bloomingdale's


Via GQ.com