12 Best Flannel Shirts in 2017
That classic checkered pattern, the mixture of colors and textures; the flannel shirt is a staple item in many wardrobes and one that some of you can’t go without.
There are plenty of attractive flannel shirts out there, but how do you know which ones are worth the purchase?
We’ll take the guesswork out of flannel shirt shopping by highlighting the best flannel shirts in our guide.
From the material to the cut, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to make your purchase worthwhile.
Top 12 Flannel Shirts Ultimate Table
Understanding Flannel (the Material)
Before we dive into fit and style suggestions for men and women, we want to remind you of a few things.
- Flannel the Material vs. Plaid the Pattern – First, remember that flannel is the material and not the pattern. The pattern used on many flannel shirts is plaid, and the reason we mentioned this is that some flannel shirts have patterns other than plaid on them. You do have options!
- What is Flannel? – Second, you need to understand a bit about flannel if you want to purchase the best flannel shirts for your wardrobe. What is it, exactly?
Flannel is often made from cotton fibers that are woven together and then brushed to give them a soft, fuzzy texture.
Some flannels are also made of wool fibers while others are made of synthetic fibers, so if you happen to be allergic to wool, make sure you double check the materials before you purchase!
- Pockets – Not all shirts have real pockets sewn into them; some are false (meaning they don’t open) and only there for decoration. These are known as “patch pockets.”
If you actually use your pockets the way they were intended (storing pens or papers etc.), then make sure you get a shirt that has fold over flaps with button closure to help keep everything secure.
Flannel Shirt Tips for Men
As you noticed in our table, the best flannel shirts are usually for men since guys just like them more than women (generally speaking).
There is more of a demand for the flannel shirt in menswear than there is for women’s attire; so naturally, guys have a better selection in front of them.
- Button Down Collar – Why the button, anyways? The difference can mean a casual or a more professional look.
The button down collar is perfect for a semi-formal look, whether you’re headed to a business meeting or out with some friends for a night on the town.
Loose collars will definitely give you a more casual, laid-back look. Running errands? Heading out for a beer with the guys? A loose collar is just fine.
- Sleeves – If you tend to roll your sleeves up, then you might want to opt for a shirt that has a different colored lining on the cuffs to add some contrast. A good example of this is the Legendary Whitetails Buck Camp Flannel Shirt, which has corduroy on the inside of the cuffs. It adds an extra color to the mix and can help break up the plaid pattern.
- Fit – Big and tall? Slim? Regular?
Slim fitting flannel shirts aren’t usually as popular. You’ll see them on younger men who want to show off their trim waist and broad shoulders, but since they are the least practical to wear, not as many guys go for them.
Regular or relaxed-fitting flannel shirts are great since you can wear them anywhere. They’re easier to move in, which is great for those of you looking for a work shirt since they don’t constrict you like a snake.
Flannel Shirt Tips for Women
There are plenty of great flannel shirt options out there for women, just pick a color, a cut and go!
- To Button or Not to Button? – How do you plan to wear your flannel shirt?
If you plan to button it up, then you’ll want to make sure that the fit isn’t too loose on your body. Otherwise you’ll end up swimming in it.
If you prefer to leave it unbuttoned and wear a shirt or tank top underneath, then a looser fit is fine.
- Sleeves – Again, rolling up the sleeves is an option, but if you plan to leave them rolled up, make sure there is a loop and button to help prevent them from unrolling.
- Length – Since longer shirts are “in” and they also happen to look very flattering on those with longer torsos and curvy hips, you might want to opt for something like number 12 in our table.
Shorter shirts are great if you have a shorter torso since they look proportionate untucked. If you leave a short shirt untucked on a long torso and tall frame, you end up looking like a big kid in little kid’s clothing.
Top 5 Best Flannel Shirts Reviews
Wolverine is flannel at its finest thanks to the quality cotton they use in their clothing.
This shirt is made of 100% cotton and is extra thick to keep you warm in frigid temperatures. It is most appropriate for deep winter, but would probably be too warm for use in the fall or early spring.
We love the diverse color selection of plaids, ranging from the olives and brown earth tones to blues and reds to give you a pop.
The relaxed fit means that you’ll feel relaxed wearing it, too, and we liked that the two chest pockets have flaps and button closures to prevent items from falling out. It is also one of the flannel shirts on our list with a button down collar, making it appropriate for both casual and some semi-casual occasions.
If you’re looking for a flannel work shirt for cold temperatures, we recommend this one. You won’t have to replace it any time soon.
Legendary Whitetails has some beautiful flannel shirts for fall and winter where the temperatures don’t drop down below zero.
The color range is warm and they have a lot more color options than Wolverine offers you (14!) Those of you who aren’t a fan of plaid will be happy to know that they also offer the shirt in different patterns, along with one solid grey shirt that looks great with a pair of dark jeans.
They also used contrasting fabric on the inside of the cuffs and the collar, which provides some contrast to your look and helps break up the plaid pattern.
The quality is just as good as Wolverine and their flannel is made of 100% cotton, too.
Check out the different color options to see which one compliments your style.
As we move down the list, the color options just keep increasing. Woolrich offers you 27 different colors/patterns to choose from, so if you’re a guy who likes options, have a look at these.
These flannel shirts have a relaxed fit, and we found them to be the most flattering of them all when wearing them unbuttoned. Pair it with your favorite white undershirt and you can easily use this for the warmer fall days. Button it up when the weather gets cold and you’ll have a nice, relaxed look for work or an evening out on the town.
The only thing we would recommend you to do prior to purchasing this is double check your size versus the sizing they offer. Some find that the relaxed fit is a bit too relaxed, so if you have a trimmer waist, compare the small and medium measurements to make sure you choose the right size.
Wrangler may have fewer options in the color department, but it is still one of our favorite (and affordable) brands in the flannel category.
With the loose collar and flapless pockets, this shirt is great for casualwear and looks great both buttoned and unbuttoned.
It definitely fits the Western style category and the cut is relaxed yet not too big. Being 100% cotton, you can expect a small amount of shrinkage after washing, so if it feels snug when you put it on, give it a bit of time and it will conform to your shape.
Their sizing is a bit limited compared to some of the other shirts on our list, but if you already know that Wrangler clothing tends to fit you pretty well, you shouldn’t have any sizing issues.
The only women’s shirt to make it in our top five came from Carhartt, a brand we know and trust for this type of clothing!
Unlike the men’s shirts, this one is made from a mixture of cotton and spandex, which means that it has a bit of stretch to it. The stretch makes it easier to roll the sleeves up, and although there isn’t a look and hook to prevent them from unrolling, they usually stay put.
We see this being a great match for those with shorter torsos (when wearing it untucked), but will work great for anyone who does want to tuck it in. Their sizing is pretty accurate, too, which is one of the reasons why we recommend their shirts!
The color selection is a bit limited, so if you don’t end up liking what you see here, check out some of the other great women’s flannel shirts on our list.