Flannel shirts are hip, fuss-free, and a favorite throw-on-and-go choice for fashionable men. Flannel outfits date back to the 17th century when Welsh farmers and lumberjacks began wearing them to replace their traditional plain wool garb.

Fast forward to modern-day fashion, and men’s style flannel shirts are a versatile staple in closets worldwide. Offering comfort, style, and that classic rugged look the ladies love, every man should know how to style a flannel shirt.

How to Style a Flannel Shirt

There are not many occasions where a trusty flannel shirt (or five!) won’t come in handy. Most have checkered or plaid patterns, although plain flannels are also an option. Knowing what to wear with flannel and how to style your shirt are essential factors if you want to maximize style and have all eyes on you for the right reasons. Here’s a rundown of the main points to consider.

Buttons and Sleeves – For the ultimate relaxed vibe when you’re chilling at home or out for a walk around the neighborhood, leave the top couple of buttons undone and roll up the sleeves. On cooler days or when you want a more composed look, keep the sleeves down and all buttons fastened.

Tucked in or Out? – In, out, or half-half are all valid options, depending on where you want to sit on the casual to casual-smart scale. Play around with your style to decide how to wear flannel for the best look with different pant and shoe combinations. If the weather warrants it, you can even use your flannel shirt as an accessory by tying it around your waist.

Picking the Right Pants – The beauty of flannel shirts is in how adaptable they are. Pop one over a pair of ripped jeans or cargo pants for men for a grungy look, or go with a pair of nice pants for men to illuminate smart yet still effortless appeal.

Footwear – There’s virtually no type of shoe that flannel shirts won’t look great with, although we recommend sticking with neutral colors like black, brown, or tan if you’re pairing with boots or dress shoes. Sneakers and combat boots are also an option if you’re sticking to the casual side of the spectrum.

All this, and we haven’t even gotten to the most important consideration yet: What color flannel should I get?

The Best Men’s Style Flannel Shirts

We can’t give you the full lowdown on how to style a flannel shirt without giving you tips about the best colors and combinations. The key to avoiding a fashion faux pas lies in staying clear of clashing colors. So if you opt for a bright checkered pattern, keep the rest of your outfit neutral.

Red and black flannel is by far the most popular option. It makes a bold statement while being versatile enough to wear with various men’s pants and shoes to create a range of different outfits. Black jeans look particularly good with red and black for a smarter casual look. 

Going for the classic country or cowboy vibe? Then green flannels are your friend, especially when paired with brown and tan pants and a quilted jacket.

For a polished style, plaid flannel is the best option as it can be dressed up with smart pants, shoes, and accessories to achieve a classier yet still distinctly masculine style. 

What to Wear Under a Flannel

You have two main options when it comes to layering your shirts:

  1. Flannel over t-shirt - Wearing a men’s t-shirt under your flannel adds an extra layer of warmth and gives you the flexibility to wear your shirt partly or fully unbuttoned. White is the most popular choice, but black could also be an option depending on the flannel color and your pant choice.
  2. Flannel over hoodie -  If you’ve got a couple of oversized flannels in your collection, wearing them over a trendy hoodie works well on colder days for an ultra-casual but comfy look, as long as the colors are complimentary.


How to Dress Up a Flannel Shirt

You’ve got the casual and casual-smart choices down now. But you may still be wondering how to style a flannel for formalwear. Here are our top tips for a more polished look suitable for the office, a dinner date, or even a casual wedding. 

  • Pick a solid color rather than checkered flannel.
  • Make sure your sleeves are rolled down, and your shirt is fully buttoned.
  • Combine with belted formal pants or chinos.
  • Add a funky blazer and fashionable tie.
  • Layer with a v-neck sweater and knit tie.
  • Wear a leather jacket or long woolen coat over the top.



We hope we’ve inspired you with some great ideas on how to wear flannel. Men’s fashion ranges for this season include plenty of hip and trendy options, so there’s no reason not to update your wardrobe and make a style statement.

Shop the best selection of men’s fashion with UNIONBAY today!

Related Posts