Last updated: August 12, 2021

You are outside in nature. It's dark and you're sitting close around the fire with some friends, enjoying the warmth and that feeling of freedom of being in the middle of the wilderness, gentlemen's evening. One of them opens a beer, the other starts frying some sausages. You only have a shirt on, no jumper, but you are not cold and can enjoy the time. Does that sound like heavenly atmosphere to you? Why not realise the gentleman's plan and do this with friends?

Should you want to do that, then you definitely need to get something first: a flannel shirt for men. These shirts, which have gained a lasting connection with nature through celebrity gentlemen and fairy tales, have not earned this position for nothing: they provide warmth and have therefore been one of the most popular accessories among gentlemen when it comes to outdoor activities for decades. But what should you look for when you want to get a flannel shirt for men? Since the selection of these jackets is very large and versatile, we have prepared this text here to make this search easier for you.




The Best Mens Flannel Shirt: Our Picks

Buying criteria: What to look for when buying flannel shirts for men

Flannel shirts for men are relatively easy to combine and in most cases they can be used for different occasions. However, this does not mean that all men's flannel shirts can be used for the same purpose. Whether in winter, summer, hiking or in the office, these are aspects that should be considered.

To make you an expert in the subject, we have taken the time to sort out five criteria that, if well supervised, can make the most of your men's flannel shirt purchase.
These are the following buying criteria:

  • Material
  • Sleeve length
  • Fit
  • Collar
  • Colour combination

The list is organised by importance of the criteria in any order.

Material

The first flannel shirts for men were mainly produced from flannel. This changed at the beginning of the 20th century and today's checked men's shirts are usually made from flannel shirts rather than pure flannel. This has given the shirts their current soft cosy quality.

However, there are shirts for men that are slightly thinner than others in terms of skill. Here you should be clear about the purpose for which you want to get such a shirt. As a dandy for more elegant occasions, it is better if the shirt is rather thinner. For leisure activities, shirts with a thicker fabric are better for men.

Sleeve length

The right sleeve length for men should be neither too short nor too long. A good hint to measure this is that if your elbows are bent, you should not see your wrists. If you put a jacket over it, you should still see a small piece of the shirt.
It is recommended for men to measure the length of the sleeves while standing. You should do this from the shoulder bone to the beginning of the hands.

Fit

Shirts usually have three types of men's cuts: slim fit, modern fit and comfort fit. Slim fit shirts are for men who have a slim body and preferably a stronger upper body, as these shirts accentuate the upper body.

Modern fit shirts are more for men who want to have an athletic silhouette, but who do not have a strong built upper body themselves. Comfort Fit shirts are made for outdoor activities mainly because of its freedom of movement. This cut is the most common cut of flannel shirts for men.

Colour combination

Are all flannel shirts for men checked? No, of course not! Flannel shirts are known for their checkered pattern, but they also come in solid colours and without checks. Which colours are best to use? You can orientate yourself in two aspects: Season and occasion.

In the fashion industry of western countries, it has become established that green, beige, and blue with light purple belong to spring. Colours like white, brown, yellow and light reds belong more to summer. In autumn, when everything gets a little colder, orange or olive green are the best. White, red, dark brown and green belong to winter. All these colours can of course be worn by men according to their taste.

For business, colours such as white, light blue, green, red or brown have greater social acceptance among men. For leisure, on the other hand, all kinds of colours are allowed.

Flannel shirts for men: The most important questions answered

Do you still have questions? Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding flannel shirts for men:

What is the history of the male flannel shirt?

Flannel shirts, or so-called lumberjack shirts, first found use in field and forest work in the USA. These shirts for men, which provided warmth and protection from rain due to their materiality, became very popular for outdoor work. This also became a trendsetter in North America when it came into popular culture. Notable examples include the saws of the male Paul Bunyan, a giant always dressed in plaid who could perform superhuman tasks due to his strength and size.

Musicians, such as John Fogerty and Kurt Kobain, also brought men's shirts into pop culture in the 1980s, transforming them from the original working-class shirt into the trendy symbol of American culture. However, men's shirts are still a popular garment for outdoor activities.

What makes men's flannel shirts good for outdoor activities?

It's not just the material that makes these shirts especially good for being outdoors. Here are some features why the lumberjack shirts have earned such a name among men:

  • Collar: The collar in the shirt has not only stylistic purposes. It protects the neck area from the sun and cold.
  • Pockets: Flannel shirts for men usually have two large pockets on the chest, which are ideal for keeping your hands free when hiking.

And of course, the material: flannel is water and odour repellent and provides warmth. The material itself, invented in Wales, was developed for grey rainy climates.
If you should soil your shirt outside in nature, which can happen very often among men, this is of course not a big problem. We also cover this question below.

What is the care of a flannel shirt for men?

The softness and pleasant texture of flannel can last for a long time if good care is taken. Here are some tips to keep your men's flannel shirt looking freshly bought:

  • Washing machines: Men's flannel shirts can be washed in the washing machine. However, the temperature should not exceed 60 degrees. Between 40 and 60 degrees is the ideal temperature.
  • Fabricsoftener: Yes, please! This helps to keep that cosy surface of the men's shirt.
  • Ironing: Ironing is not necessary for men's flannel shirts as the shirts hardly develop wrinkles due to its materiality.
  • Tumble dryer: If his shirt is made of wool and not cotton, it is forbidden to put it in the tumble dryer after washing.

You may find that in the washing machine, his men's cotton flannel shirts develop small fuzz. This should not be a reason for panic. You can brush out the small fluff with a brush.

What does a flannel shirt say about me as a man?

Do you want a relaxed look that sparkles his preference for nature and masculinity? That's exactly what you get when a flannel shirt becomes part of his wardrobe. Men wearing flannel shirts come across as confident, self-assured, strong and adventurous. Adventurous? Yes, you read that right, adventurous. Because even though the garment has been around for a long time, it cannot forget its origins: Men out in the cold and wild, having to earn a living in the most difficult conditions with an axe to grind.

Styling tips for flannel shirts for men: Because the lumberjack look is not the only option

Flannel shirts for men can be combined for different occasions. They can go from grunge to elegant. Here are some sytling tips:

  1. Lumberjack look: For this you need a white T-shirt under the shirt. The men's shirt should be worn closed, and preferably red or blue checked. Only a small part of the T-shirt should be visible. Blue jeans are absolutely essential with it. Brown leather shoes are best for the look.
  2. Elegant: To achieve the elegant look with the flannel shirt, it is best to choose a shirt whose material is not very thick. The colours should also be kept rather neutral and not be so demanding. Ideally, the colours should match the suit you are wearing. Yes, suit. The men's work shirt per excellence, as you can see, is very flexible in its application.
  3. Grunge: Do you want to go back to the 90s and feel like part of the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" music video and impress the ladies with a rebellious look? Then your best bet is to pick out an oversized flannel shirt. This one shouldn't look so new either. Maybe second-hand shops are the best idea in this case. Some ripped jeans and a printed T-shirt underneath are part of the outfit. Ah yes, the shirt must be worn open.

For men, white shoes are always a good option to pair with a flannel shirt. If you are looking for a more elegant and rugged look for men, brown leather boots are the best choice.

Conclusion

Flannel shirts for men are then not only a good looking garment. Its properties make of this shirt a kind of equipment against the unfriendliness of the world. They hold fast where other men's shirts would have become useless long ago.

These features, which have made them popular as a working man's shirt since its invention, are still there, even if they are not only seen in the country now. They are still very serviceable in the outdoors, but have slowly found a place in the lives of city dwellers as well. So the shirts are a symbol of the natural and this simple life that many men in the cities strive for.

Contributed image: unsplash.com /@chewy

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