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How to Wear a Flannel Shirt for Men 2023

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Flannel shirts are the type of versatile clothing that should exist in everyone’s closet! They are comfy and can go with almost any type of casual outfit. With certain materials and styling, they can even transcend a solely casual look. Since they’re always on a come back one way or another, it’s important to know all the different ways and how to wear flannel for men. In this guide, we'll go over what to wear under a flannel, how to style a flannel for guys, how to tuck in a flannel and wearing a flannel over a sweatshirt. In another article, we also go deeper into discussing the difference between flannel vs plaid. A collection of our favorite men's plaid shirts here.


flannel variety banner

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different patterns and combinations when it comes to choosing what flannel to wear. It’s all about finding a look that speaks to you and more importantly, makes you feel comfortable. There are few bold choices you can make when deciding what to wear with a flannel shirt, but we suggest trying those ones too. Here, we go over some suggestions on how you can best style a flannel for guys.


What is a flannel?

flannel fabric

Existing for many years, flannel shirts are manufactured with a certain type of fabric. Soft and woven, the fabric can come in wool or cotton. Its origins were initially for the working class, specifically farmers and any group of people who were hard laborers. This was due to their affordability plus their sturdy and comfortable fabric. Through the years, more patterns were introduced such as the checkered style resulting in the adoption by the grunge culture of the 90’s, making it a more edgy look. Even today, the flannel shirts thrives with many types of styles, making them a great addition to anyone’s closet and can even be worn in smart casual occasions. Take a look at Nimble’s collection of flannel shirts as you’re building out your own wardrobe. 


How to style a flannel for guys 

flannel with jeans
    1. How to wear a flannel with jeans

      You truly can’t go wrong with denim and flannels during the fall. Jeans have a way of being a neutral ground, allowing you to focus on the different pieces of your outfit. A flannel shirt with jeans is the ultimate casual go-to. It’s one of the more practical stylings, but with different choices you can change your outfit drastically and how you choose to wear your flannel for men.

      The first choice is what kind of flannel shirt you’re wearing. Is it a slim fit or a looser one? With a slim flannel shirt, it can also act as your shirt. Our favorite blue and white flannel shirt for men here. Buttoning up your flannel shirt and then pairing it with boots or simple sneakers, gives you two different outfits right there. 

      A looser and heavy flannel shirt allows you to experiment with the shirt you wear underneath. Given the different colored jeans available as well as the different shoe choices you can wear, the outfit possibilities on how to wear flannel for men are endless!     

    1. How to style a flannel around the waist for guys 

      Is it a tad cliche with some hipster-tude? Maybe, but there is no denying that this is a bold look! Paired with boots and a leather jacket, you can achieve a very cool look whilst showing you’re not afraid to experiment with your clothes. 

      To achieve this look all you have to do is unbutton your flannel shirt, wrap it around your waist just below the waist level, and tie it off with the sleeves. Wearing your flannel shirt this way definitely raises the attitude of your look and can be great in any casual day situation. If you’ve always wondered about this style, try it for yourself! Strut your stuff down the street and see how it makes you feel. It’s an easy fix if you don’t care for it. Just throw your flannel shirt on or under your leather jacket and you have another option when deciding how to wear your flannel.


    2. How to wear flannel with rolled-up sleeves 

      flannel with rolled up sleeves

      This is another flannel look that can be achieved very easily. Unbutton your cuffs and roll up your sleeves just above the elbow. If it’s the end of the summer and the beginning of fall, this can be a great way to have some layers whilst remaining cool in any lingering heat and a great way to style a flannel for guys.

      In the same vein of pairing your flannel shirt with jeans, rolling up your sleeves can achieve a cooler look. Except with this option, it can apply to any pants or trousers that you decide to pair with your flannel shirt. Rolling up your flannel is also a great way to show off your forearms and flatters them in a way that shows off their definition. 

      Rolling up the sleeves on a flannel you have buttoned up gives a slightly more put together look above a casual one. Push it even further by tucking in your slim fit flannel shirt into your pants, pair with some chelsea boots, and you have a very smart look.  


    1. Layers to wear under a flannel 

      flannel with jacket layered

      Layering is a great technique to apply to many types of clothing. It has the ability to pair different types of clothing with each other to create a synchronous look that can only be achieved with your layering. That is why pairing a men's slim fit t-shirt under your flannel or putting a coat over your flannel can create different moods as well as adding more warmth in the winter time. When considering what to wear under a flannel, go for slim fit articles of clothing like the following:

      • undershirts
      • slim fit t-shirts
      • tank tops
      • short sleeve t-shirts

      Another fun way to layer your flannel is to button it up and throw a  v-neck sweater over the top. Then, fold up the sleeve cuff on your flannel over the cuff of the sweater and voila! You have achieved a smart, maybe even casual formal look. Sometimes there will be situations that require a bit of elegance, and this is one way to approach it.

      The opposite way to style a flannel for guys with layers is throwing a larger flannel over a sweatshirt. If you're liking the pattern and colors of your flannel, it makes sense to wear it on the outside as well. These combinations give you plenty of options when deciding how to wear flannel for men


    1. How to wear tucked in flannel for work

      Though flannels are typically recommended only for casual use, there are ways to achieve a casual work vibe by tucking in your flannel as a way to style it. This is where slim fit flannels come in clutch, because anything looser doesn’t work with slacks or trousers. Also be sure to pick the flannel that is the most vibrant and the least ratty as that will look the best when tucked in. It will make styling a flannel look much easier and people can tell you know how to wear a flannel.

      Once you have your perfect slim fit flannel, then you can button it up, pair it with a tie, and style it tucked in. If you have a blazer to match, then you can keep the sleeves rolled down. If a blazer is a bit too intense for your workplace environment, then just roll up the sleeves. All of these techniques paired together will give you a casual, but still professional vibe, and provides another option when deciding how to style a flannel for guys. 


    1. How to wear flannel for men with shorts

      This can be a great beach look if you’re interested in covering up, but still want to navigate the summer sun with ease. There are different approaches you can take to achieve a put together look that is coherent. It may seem like flannels and shorts don’t go together, but they totally can! It all depends on which colors and accessories go together when deciding how to style a flannel for guys.   

      Another bold look, you can button up or pair with a shirt, just be sure to roll up those sleeves! Making the look work is all about achieving a balance. Don’t keep the sleeves rolled down if you don’t have a t-shirt underneath. If you decide to button it up, balance it out with rolling up the sleeves and maybe don’t button up the first two buttons to relax the look even more. As mentioned above, you can always try a flannel over sweatshirt or have a tucked in flannel to provide some options with shorts.  


    1. How to style a flannel over a sweatshirt or hoodie

      large flannel over jacket

      Flannels can be incorporated with a more street style look, if you’re interested in trying it. Sometimes you can have very loose flannels that make you look like you’re swimming in it, if you wear it with nothing else. This is when you’re able to wear it over more bulky and long-sleeved clothing.  

      If you have an oversized flannel that has a lot of room for stretch, try pairing it over a hoodie by putting the flannel over the sweatshirt or sweater. Sometimes there are coats that incorporate flannel designs and those can work just as well! Otherwise, an oversized flannel over sweatshirt look will do the job just fine . Don’t bother trying to button up unless you want to look like a burrito fighting to get out of its aluminum wrapping. The possibilities can be endless with the different color combinations you can achieve. Then, adding any matching sneakers can really bring together the casual street style you’re going for and add another option for how to style a flannel for guys.


    2. How to wear a red flannel for men 

      woman in classic red flannel

      The best red flannels incorporate a checkered pattern or a plaid flannel shirt pattern. This red and blue flannel from Nimble Made is our favorite slim fit red flannel that isn't too red. Red is one of the more iconic colors when it comes to flannels. Which is why, we thought it warranted its own section. If you want a more rock and punk look then red flannels are the best colors you can wear to achieve that look. You won’t have to worry about looking like a picnic table or just a plain pajama shirt. Pair it some blue or black jeans and you can vary your rock look from alternative all the way to a grungier style. These tips will prepare you with a roster of how to style a flannel for men.

Other flannel style tips to consider

  • Pick checkered or plaid styles, especially for casual looks.
  • Go for classic colors, such as red, black, green flannel shirt, and grey flannel shirt. They are the easiest to style around. 
  • If you have bolder patterns and designs, then match it with simple and neutral outfits.
  • For the best casual looks, be sure to pair a t-shirt under a flannel with blue jeans, and boots or sneakers. Or go with the flannel over sweatshirt look
  • When it’s time to brace the summer heat, tie your flannel shirt around your waist or roll up the sleeves.
  • For a smart and formal casual look, wear a tucked in flannel with some chinos, a belt, and some chelsea boots or suede shoes.

Conclusion on how to wear flannel for men

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out all the ways you can style a simple piece of clothing. That’s when articles like these can help to give you a sense of the possibilities, and remind you to keep in mind the things to avoid when styling with your flannel: don’t mix up typical flannel prints such as plaid with other patterns like stripes or checkered clothing, unless you’re purposefully going for a maximalist look. But more importantly, just have fun and be yourself! What’s important is what you like and what you’re comfortable with when it comes to styling a flannel for guys. Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries, but when it comes to flannels there aren't too many boundaries that need pushing in the first place when it comes to deciding how to wear flannels for men.

Frequently asked questions on how to wear a flannel for men

How do you wear a flannel shirt?

  • Wear with shorts or jeans for a casual look.
  • Pair a t-shirt under a flannel 
  • Roll up - In a pair of Boots or Booties.
  • For a streetwear-inspired look, wear a flannel over a sweatshirt
  • For a office or business casual look, wear a tucked in flannel and chinos

What to wear under a flannel?

You may wear any type of shirt or tank top under a flannel, but an undershirt will absorb perspiration and keep your body cooler. Under the flannel, you can layer a jacket or sweatshirt in the fall and winter. A layer of flannel over a sweater is a great way to stay warm in the winter.

How many flannel shirts should I own?

Flannel shirts are timeless wardrobe staples and must be owned by anyone who appreciates warm fall attire. We would recommend at least 3 of different styles or colors for a versatile closet and more options when deciding how to style a flannel.

Can you wear a tie with a flannel shirt?

Remember that suede shoes usually go well with flannel ensembles, so you can opt for an open loafer with wool socks or traditional ankle boots to complete your look. Consider wearing a woolen tie instead of the traditional silk tie to complete your formal ensemble.

Why are flannel shirts awesome?

A men's flannel shirt instantly transforms you into a pumpkin patch resident, whether you are wearing it to work or on a night out with friends. It makes no difference - the flannel instantly transforms you into a traditional fall outfit.