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7 Best Flannel Shirts for Men
Flannel shirts are synonymous with ruggedness, working men, and The Great Outdoors. The soft woven fabric can be traced back to early 16th century Europe, where it was favored by farmers and laborers for its warmth and functionality.
Today, flannel shirts are still just as functional, durable, and warm, but their style has also earned a place in modern fashion. A staple of smart casual wardrobes, flannel shirts have become just as common in office settings or on date nights as on ranches and for lounging around the house.
Whether you’re looking for a flannel shirt to be part of one of your go-to winter outfits, you want one that will take you seamlessly from the office to dinner with your partner, or you need something durable for work or outdoor recreation, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top picks for the best flannel shirts for men.
1. Legendary Whitetails Men’s Buck Camp Flannel Shirt
The Buck Camp flannel is everything a flannel shirt should be. It’s made of midweight, soft brushed 100% cotton, has a handy chest pocket, comes with adjustable cuffs, and is available in more than a dozen color and design options. Every pattern and color option is lined with contrasting corduroy trim at the cuffs and inner collar.
This gives the Legendary Whitetails shirts a distinct look that’s a nice mix of both genuinely rugged and refined. We feel like we’d be right at home in this shirt in the mountains of Montana or Wyoming.
While the shirt is incredibly soft and well-made, our favorite features are the thoughtful touches. The chest pocket closes securely with a button and has a separate, dedicated pen slot, plus there’s a loop on the back of the shirt so it can easily be hung on a hook if necessary.
This shirt has a handsome classic fit, running somewhere between fitted and loose. Note that because the shirt is made of 100% cotton, it may shrink – perhaps significantly – with the first wash. If you don’t want to have to worry about hang-drying or forgetting and dealing with a too-snug shirt, order a size larger.
2. Outerknown Blanket Shirt
The name “Blanket Shirt” in and of itself makes us want to throw this flannel on immediately. Outerknown says “it just might be the coziest damn shirt ever made” and we’re inclined to believe them. It’s made of heavyweight organic cotton twill and comes in a relaxed fit that’s ideal for layering.
Another benefit of slightly looser-fitting shirts is that they won’t be too warm and clinging to your body in the summer months.
The thicker, heavier material also means that the Blanket Shirt is wrinkle-resistant and durable in inclement weather and through repeated wear. If you’re a frequent traveler or a true outdoor enthusiast, this is the shirt for you.
Outerknown prioritizes sustainability and you’ll see nods to that in the company’s clothing. On the Blanket Shirt in particular, there’s a contrasting organic cotton lining inside the yoke, as well as corozo buttons made from tree nuts. Not just any tree nuts, though – the ones used have already fallen off of tagua palms in South America.
Locals gather them, then dry and carve them. This practice is highly sustainable, both protecting the rainforests and providing work. It’s always a good feeling to buy and wear clothing that’s made sustainably.
3. Wrangler Authentics Men’s Long Sleeve Heavy Weight Fleece Shirt
It makes perfect sense that Wrangler would make something as iconic as a classic flannel shirt. Like everything Wrangler makes, this heavyweight fleece shirt is built to last and to stand up to just about anything. It’s made of an impossibly soft synthetic polyester fleece and features two chest pockets with button closure.
The fleece material is brushed on both sides, so it will keep you warm and cozy in any weather. A relaxed fit and stretch fabric keep you comfortable and allow you to move freely, making this an ideal shirt for work or outdoor pursuits. Even the shirt’s buttons are reinforced, so you don’t have to worry about losing one as you get dressed.
This flannel comes in a variety of timeless color patterns including several bold buffalo plaid prints and even a camo option. Fortunately, with such an affordable price point, you don’t have to choose just one to ass to your wardrobe (we certainly couldn’t!).
If you’re new to the Wrangler brand, be aware that its clothing tends to run just slightly large and is designed not to shrink. Order your normal size or go down one if you’d prefer a more snug fit.
4. L.L. Bean Men’s Scotch Plaid Flannel Shirt
We’ve recommended L.L. Bean products many times before, and that’s because the company does timeless, classic clothing better than almost anyone. L.L. Bean makes excellent-quality clothes that never have strange fit issues and don’t fall apart or fade after a few washes, all at excellent affordable pricepoints. This Scotch Plaid flannel shirt certainly fits the bill. The company has been making it the exact same way for more than 80 years, so you know it must be a great shirt.
The Scotch Plaid features a single chest pocket and is made of Portuguese cotton flannel, which is exclusive to L.L. Bean. It’s also brushed a whopping eight times for softness and the cotton fibers used are “long-staple.” In the case of cotton, longer = stronger, so this shirt will last you many years if you take proper care of it.
As its name implies, there’s also some major consideration given to authenticity when it comes to the Scotch Plaid flannel. L.L. Bean says that each of the yarn-dyed tartan plaid colors “is carefully matched to the historical tartans in the Scottish registry.” That’s impressive. We also really appreciate that the shirt comes in extended and Tall sizes.
5. Taylor Stitch Yosemite Shirt in Blackwatch Plaid
Another shirt that just sounds really, really cool – The Yosemite. Admittedly, the Yosemite Shirt is one of the pricier options on our list, but for good reason. Taylor Stitch makes excellent, attractive, and high-quality clothing that lasts (and lasts). The Yosemite is made from lightweight 100% organic cotton flannel and features two chest pockets with flap and button closure.
Weighing just nine ounces, you might expect this shirt to be more for summer weather, but organic cotton is actually an excellent temperature regulator and this shirt is surprisingly warm. It has a tailored fit and a shorter tail length, designed specifically to be worn untucked. The fit is very much true to size and although it’s made of 100% cotton, the shirt won’t shrink once it’s washed.
Taylor Stitch also has a phenomenal “Repair or Replace Guarantee,” which is always a nice bonus. The company states, “we will repair or replace any defect outside of normal wear for the life of the product.” In other words, if there’s a major issue with declining fabric quality, fit, or a strange defect, Taylor Stitch will make it right.
One final note: We’re featuring the Blackwatch Plaid color pattern because it’s so classic, but there are several others to choose from as well.
6. Everlane The Brushed Flannel Shirt
Everlane excels at making closet staples. You can count on the company’s clothing to be attractive, well-constructed, exceptionally durable, and sustainably made. In fact, the company even gives consumers an inside look at its factories. Their clothing also all comes in at middle of the road prices, and The Brushed Flannel Shirt is no different.
It’s made of 100% brushed cotton and designed to be very warm and extremely soft. It’s brushed both inside and out, but it’s also made to be durable and abrasion-resistant. That means you don’t have to worry about snagging or tearing your shirt every time you accidentally brush up against a tree.
Both of the shirt’s chest pockets feature button closure and the collar is a button-down style as well. In terms of fit, order your true size – Everlane is like a wizard when it comes to nailing fit. Like most of its clothing, Everlane keeps it simple with color and pattern options for The Brushed Flannel Shirt, but they’re all solid choices.
We especially like the Black/Grey Check and the Heathered Oatmeal, two neutrals that for whatever reason you don’t see a lot of.
7. Gioberti Men’s 100% Cotton Brushed Flannel Plaid Checkered Shirt
We’re finishing off our list with an incredibly affordable option. Don’t let the price fool you, though – this Gioberti flannel shirt has features that put it in the same class as many more expensive competitors. It’s made from super soft 100% brushed cotton that’s both machine washable and shrink-resistant.
There’s also contrasting corduroy lining inside the cuffs and collar, which is one of our favorite features. It really is those little details that make something as basic as a flannel shirt stand out. Like the Legendary Whitetails shirt we recommend in the number one spot, this shirt has a single chest flap pocket with button closure and a dedicated pen slot.
Trust us, that’s a feature you never knew you needed in a shirt until you’ve experienced it for yourself.
The fit is classic, falling somewhere between relaxed and fitted. It may not be the best option for layering another shirt underneath, but the silhouette is nicely refined, perfect for wearing to the office or on a date. If you’re looking for a looser fit or want to layer it in cold weather, order up one size.
Flannel Shirts FAQs
The single difference between flannel and plaid shirts is that flannel is a type of fabric, while plaid is a pattern. The terms “flannel” and “plaid” are often used interchangeably, largely because plaid flannel shirts are extremely common.
While a shirt made of flannel fabric may happen to have a plaid design, it doesn’t necessarily have to. The same holds true for plaid shirts – they may be made from flannel, but they can also be made from any number of other materials.
In today’s world where the smart casual look is so prominent, flannel shirts go with almost everything. A dress shirt is more appropriate than a flannel for most business and formal settings, but just about every other scenario is fair game. Flannels are unquestionably casual by nature but can easily be dressed up, making them perfect for a go-to weekend look.
They can hold their own paired with just jeans and a pair of lace-up chukka boots, but we also love the sharp look of wearing a flannel tucked into jeans underneath a blazer. You can also experiment with layering your favorite flannel and a hoodie, field coat, or denim jacket.
The answer to this question is not exactly cut and dry, but it’s not a universal “yes,” either. While flannel is a type of fabric, it can be made from several different materials.
Like we’ve seen on this list of the best flannel shirts for men, flannel can be made from 100% organic cotton or from 100% wool – and virtually anything in between. As a rule, flannel is always soft, but it isn’t necessarily thick or hot. A flannel shirt made from cotton will be much less warm to wear than one made out of fleece, like the Wrangler option we included.