4 ways to wear a flannel dress shirt

Flannel is a type of fabric that has been around for many years. It’s a soft, woven fabric that is typically made of wool or cotton and slightly milled and raised. Flannel is often brushed to smoothen the raised fibres. But it’s often left as is. The final result is a soft and warm fabric that has utility for anything. It initially began with farmers and the working class, who favoured it for its warmth and affordability.

As the fabric advanced through the years, a check print was introduced and soon became its signature style as well as very popular. Eventually, in the ’90s, flannel was adopted by the grunge subculture, giving it a new, edgy feel. Today, flannel dress shirts are still a favourite item for their comfort and effortlessly cool style. As such, they’re a worthwhile addition to every man’s wardrobe.

Flannel dress shirt style

Getting this look right needn’t be difficult. It’s a style that you not only see everywhere but it also compliments any outfit, from a suit to a casual pair of jeans. This is without a doubt a low-risk option that you can pair with almost anything you already have in your wardrobe, although you will want to pair it with chinos or jeans that are simple and classic.

If you stick with simple colours, you can be sure you’ll look good in any plaid shirt you put on. Let’s find out what are the different occasions and style combination for the flannel shirts.

Casual – flannel dress shirt with Denim

Go casual with your plaid shirt, and wear them with jeans. You can go for dark denim, like black, or a dark blue denim which will both change up your outfit and make you look trendy. Bold coloured and big checked flannel shirts are usually reserved as casual flannel shirts mostly paired with your favourite denim.

For a classic look, go with some raw denim jeans in a wide fit, a traditional red plaid shirt and a leather jacket to complete a very manly look, this will give you a super laid back, earthy and casual look. For a subdued and neutral look, go for a blue or black plaid dress shirt with a black denim jacket and jeans. A pair of Chelsea boots in brown will make this look smarter, while some trainers will dress it down.

Smart – flannel dress shirt with blazer and chinos

A flannel shirt is an inherently casual garment, but it can also be dressed up for a smart casual look. It’s all about how you wear it and what you wear it with. When a flannel shirt is paired with some tailored chinos and a soft-structured blazer, it makes a great weekend look. Events, such as a date or dinner, can be also a good time to wear a flannel shirt in a smart casual manner. Just be sure to aim for a neat and polished presentation.

If you go for a shirt with small checks set out in a uniform fashion then try pairing it with a pair of neutral coloured chinos and a dark blazer for a slightly formal look. For a smart look, you rather opt for either a small checked flannel shirt or a plain one. Make sure the colours you choose complements the occasion. This look is also perfect for the casual Friday in the office.

Business casual – flannel dress shirt with trousers

If you work in the office where the suit is not compulsory every day, this look is for you. You can add a variation to your everyday looks by wearing a plain flannel shirt with tailored trousers or a spezzato suit. Keep the look clean with pleated trousers in blue or dark grey

The colour of the shirts should not be too bright, medium earthy tones would work just fine. The colour blue will always save you a lot of time to put together a business casual look, a denim flannel shirt with your usual office trousers or a shirt with small checks with charcoal grey tailored trousers.

Formal – flannel dress shirt with a suit

Consider going a little more formal and try the flannel shirt with a suit. If a whole suit and checked plaid shirt look are too much, you could always wear the shirt with a plain one instead. You can try out a trendy take on the formal look by pairing a plaid shirt with a plain suit. Mixing too many patterns together will create an awkward clash and take you away from the sleek, smart look you’re trying to achieve, so avoid it at all costs.

Unless you’re a renowned expert in doing so bear in mind that the safest move is to make sure you pair the material of your suit and shirt which means wearing a flannel suit with a flannel shirt. Classic suit flannels in small houndstooth are great to be paired with a plain flannel dress shirt.

To complete your look, remember that a pair of suede shoes will always flatter flannel looks so either an open loafer with wool socks or classic ankle boots will make it for you. To wrap up your formal look, remember to wear a woolen tie and avoid the classic silk tie.

Tips to make the flannel dress shirt look flawless

  • Embrace check styles, particularly for casual looks.
  • Opt for classic colours, such as red, black, green, white, grey, and brown.
  • Pair bolder patterns and colours with minimal and neutral outfits.
  • For a casual look, pair your flannel dress shirt with a T-shirt, some jeans, and some boots or sneakers.
  • For a smart casual style, wear your flannel tucked in with some chinos, a belt, and some suede derby shoes.