How to style a flannel men is a question most fashion enthusiasts like to ask, because they are well aware of the versatility and elegance of this garment.  

Flannel shirts are those go-to shirts men of all ages can wear, in all kinds of weather and on all occasions. Flannels were originally a part of iconic American lumberjack culture, but soon gained popularity as a fashion staple of both US and UK culture. 

If you have a capsule closet, a flannel is something you must not forget to keep. Let’s discuss how to style a flannel for men by focusing on 13 stylish outfit ideas: 

What Are Flannels and How Are They Different?

Before discussing flannel outfits for men, let’s talk about their brief history and the types of fabrics, colors, and designs they come in. 

Flannel was first introduced by Welsh early in the 17th century. Textile workers of Wales started using excess sheep’s wool for creating flannel, a warm, comfortable, and moisture-wicking fabric, substituting plain wool garb. 

Later on, in the early 80s, the flannel shirt became popular in England and Scotland. However, despite its origin, flannel is prevalent as an American staple, worn mostly by deer hunters, Californian surfers, Wyoming ranchers, hip-hop/rock musicians, and even business casual men.


“Flannel shirt” is usually mistaken and referred to as any plaid/tartan patterned shirt. However, the word ‘flannel’ is simply about the fabric, so not all flannel shirts are plaid. 

Flannel is typically a soft, light, and fine woven fabric. What distinguishes flannel fabric is its “napping,” a process where the fabric is treated to have a slightly raised texture. 

So, flannel shirts were originally made of wool or yarn, but they are now also made from cotton and synthetic fiber. Modern flannel shirts still look woolen, but they have the advantage of not sanding your skin off as actual wool.


Many different colors for flannel shirts are available in the market, so you can find practically every color as well as the pattern for your outfit. 

The most common colors include whites, classic greens, reds and blues, black and blue checks, multi-checks, yellow and grays, browns, and grunge blacks. 

From tonal neutrals to bright ones and from checks to houndstooth patterns, flannels offer diverse and never-ending styles.  


Just as there are many fabric and color options, flannel shirts come in a myriad of smart casual designs. Some of the common functional detailing include pockets (chest, side), button-down collars, altered lengths for a jacket-like feel, classic curved hem, and customized fits to make different outfits. 

Flannel shirts, thus, offer a utilitarian feel. This is the reason why men have many different occasions to wear flannel shirts. 

13 Flannel Outfits Ideas 

Now’s the moment to reveal 13 unique flannel outfits that will quickly solve your concern about how to style a flannel for men. 

Unbuttoned Over a Tee

Unbuttoned Over a Tee

The most casual flannel shirt style is always with a basic tee! Be it contemporary red and black checks, a wide blue and white pattern, or a gray houndstooth pattern, a flannel will always look super chic worn unbuttoned over a t-shirt. 

You can choose a black, white, or gray tee, depending on the color and contrast of your flannel shirt. While you can also wear it buttoned up, an open-up style looks much better!  

Similarly, choose a pair of jeans over this combo. Wear either black, blue, or even gray jeans, as per the overall matching of your outfit. 

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • White high-top sneakers
  • Knitted beanie in a matching color

Sleeveless Puffer

Sleeveless Puffer

A quilted, vest-style puffer jacket has been in fashion since last year and would remain in style in the coming year. This is why, another highly casual and comfy way to wear your flannel shirt is under a sleeveless puffer jacket.

This is one of those outfits you can wear on chilly autumn evenings while stepping out. The classic lumberjack feel of this outfit is great for everyday wear. 

A puffer would make your flannel stand out the best; also make sure to wear it untucked inside your favorite pair of jeans.

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Shiny, black combat boots
  • Matching muffler

With Coats

With Coats

While different types of shirts go perfectly well with a coat, a flannel is particularly one of those shirt styles you need to try with a coat to look top-notch!

Just like women, men also like to wear trench coats, peacoats, and duffle coats during traveling and throughout their commute. Rather than wearing your coat buttoned up, try wearing it unbuttoned over a flannel shirt. 

You can also wear this combo with basic, straight-cut chinos, and flaunt this office wear look like a pro. 

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Derby shoes
  • A messenger office bag
  • Basic leather belt 

Layer it in Between

Layer it in Between

Race up your creative mind and elevate the potential of your flannel by wearing it as a middle layer! 

Forget the common ways of wearing your flannel as an inner or outerwear, but rather twist up things and wear it differently. 

To make this attractive outfit, wear your flannel shirt unbuttoned over a Henley, and then layer it up with a snow jacket or bomber jacket. 

If you wish to casually wear your flannel buttoned up, layer it up with a tee and a zipper. Make sure to choose your flannel in an attractive color, for example, a brown flannel outfit with a navy jacket.

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Lace-up canvas shoes
  • Baseball cap

Choose Cozy Sweaters

Choose Cozy Sweaters

You cannot discard away your sweaters during winter, because you certainly want comfort as much as you crave style.

Thus, a fine crew-neck sweater could be a great choice for adding up with flannel shirts. You can easily add a hint of color to your winter flannel outfits by wearing a sweater over a bold flannel.

Or, you can also wear sweaters inside and pull over a flannel shirt, matched smartly with casual chinos or corduroy trousers.

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Snow boots
  • Matching beanie

With Blazers or Sports Jacket

With Blazers or Sports Jacket

Besides the classic casual outfits, flannel shirts are more than perfect for business casual wear.

Do you want to try out a chic look for a business meeting? Try wearing a flannel under a neutral-colored blazer and matching cotton chinos. For example, a gray soft blazer over a multi-blue checkered flannel is a great combination.

If you are more inclined towards different types of jackets, a sports jacket is ideal to complement a flannel. Choose one with patch pockets, soft shoulders, and velvety fabric, especially for events like business lunches and dinners. 

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Loafers
  • Pocket square
  • Sterling silver watch

Over Hoodies 

Over Hoodies 

Besides the casual, routine look, go and try edgy and street attire with your basic flannels. You can achieve this simply by wearing your flannel shirt over a pullover hoodie!

Choose a colorful flannel for making this outfit, while your hoodie should be in a neutral color. For example, the black hoodie looks best with an olive green and oxford blue flannel. Whereas, if you are wearing a white hoodie, go for a tan and gray check for a flannel.

Don’t forget to style your sweatpants with this slapdash, rugged outfit. You might as well choose a monochrome co-ord set for making it a sporty outfit.    

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Trainers/running shoes
  • Tinted Sunglasses

Under a Jacket

Under a Jacket

For men, jacket fever is timeless! With a variety of jackets available, men like to mix and match and create different jacket outfits to flaunt their unique selves. 

A jacket as outerwear needs an equally chic innerwear, and here’s where flannels fit the requirement. They seem stylish and balancing regardless of whichever jacket you are wearing it. 

For casual jeans’ jacket outfits, choose flannel shirts in super woolen texture to achieve a rocky look. Whereas, with a leather jacket, you need to wear a rather fitted flannel in dark tones such as grays and browns. 

Lastly, with a varsity or bomber jacket, wear conventional flannels in bold/bright colors to make sure you look fit and active.    

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Platform boots
  • Baseball cap

With Chinos

With Chinos

Cotton chinos are those casual types of pants every man has in his wardrobe. While chinos were mostly worn as formal attire back in the day, men of every age now wear them casually with a variety of shirts. 

It may seem a bit unorthodox, but doubling up different shirts with chinos can create an interesting outfit. For instance, treat your flannel as a shacket over a crisp Oxford dress shirt, and wear chinos to complete the look.

This can even act as business casual attire while utilizing your dress shirts very well! So, make sure you have a few nice pairs of pleated chinos in your closet.

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Loafers
  • Leather strap watch

Wear Suspenders

Wear Suspenders

The most casual way to attain THE look for 90s fashion for men is simply wearing suspenders! 

On any shirt, wearing suspenders is an easy-going way to look vintage and peppy at the same time. The same idea can be utilized while wearing flannel shirts. 

Guys can easily amp up their boring look and create a unique attire by wearing suspenders on their flannel, matching it with cotton pants or cargo pants! 

However, the key here is to be creative with the color combination. This outfit looks amazing with dark, bold colors rather than soft, light colors.

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Newsboy cap
  • Quilted belt

With a Suit

With a Suit

How can we forget suits when considering men’s outfits? Make sure to include the idea of wearing suits while thinking about wearing different styles/types of flannel shirts.

Besides blazers, a three-piece suit is essential for every man’s closet. Be it business, formal dinners/parties, fundraisers, or attending weddings, every man likes to don himself in a fine suit.

So, make a luxury yet casual attire by combining a flannel shirt with a suit; you can even wear a good tie or take a pocket square to elevate your clothing.  

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Oxford shoes
  • Long wallet

Short-Sleeved Flannel

Short-Sleeved Flannel

We have discussed a lot about how to wear a full-sleeved flannel shirt and what outfits it can create. Now let’s think a bit differently and consider the option of wearing a short-sleeved flannel.

While worn so rarely, a short-sleeved flannel can create a classic Hawaii style for you. This look can easily be rocked at picnics and casual BBQ parties.

Inside your flannel shirt, you have an option of wearing either a full-sleeved Henley or even a sweater. Mix and mix both garments as per your comfort and style.

As for pants, jeans can look pretty well with this combo. You can even play with different colors of jeans here, be it brown, gray, or burgundy!

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Casual sandals
  • Beaded bracelets 

Wear It As It Is!

flannel shirt

Flannel shirts are known for one thing: being casual and rugged! They offer the most laid-back yet cool look a guy would want. This is why, wearing it simply over a pair of pants is a no-brainer!

Besides so many summer flannel outfits that men can try with different outerwear and innerwear, wearing your comfy flannel shirt over jeans, cargo pants, or trousers would never look bad. 

When you cannot think of anything or whenever you are short of time, just combine these 2 things and you’ll have a great outfit for the entire day.

To spice things up, you can of course pull up a nice pair of shoes and wear some smart casual accessories to look all put together!

What About Shoes & Accessories?

  • Joggers
  • Leather backpack
  • Bracelets

FAQs – How To Style A Flannel For Men

Do flannels go with everything?

A BIG YES! We have highlighted many different ways to style/wear flannel shirts above, owing to their unique versatility, style, and ease to wear. You can easily wear your flannel shirts over a tee, under a sleeveless puffer jacket, as a middle layer, with coats, warm sweaters, blazers, sports jackets, denim jackets, leather jackets, varsity jackets, bomber jackets, suits, hoodies, chinos, trousers, cargo pants, jeans, and even with suspenders. No matter what the weather is, which event you are thinking of attending, and what kind of outfits you wear, there is definitely something you can try with a flannel shirt. More so, a lot of shoes and accessories also go pretty well with flannel shirts.

Why are flannels so popular?

Flannel shirts are so popular because they are THE go-to shirts men of all ages can wear very comfortably, regardless of the occasion or season. They were worn mostly by lumberjacks, deer hunters, Californian surfers, Wyoming ranchers, hip-hop/rock musicians, and even business casual men, but soon became prevalent among everyone due to their soft, light, and fine woven fabric. Its fabric is napped, which is why it has a slightly raised texture that offers it a unique feel and touch. Besides, flannel shirts are also available in many different colors, patterns, detailing, and designs, making it easy for customized outfits. 

Can you wear a flannel over a hoodie?

Why not? Men can create edgy and street attire with their basic flannels by wearing them over their hoodies. You can choose a colorful flannel for making this outfit, but at the same time, make sure that your hoodie is in a neutral color. For example, the black hoodie looks best with an olive green and oxford blue flannel. Whereas, if you are wearing a white hoodie, go for a tan and grey check for a flannel. Below this combo, you can wear sweatpants to match the overall sporty vibe. Or, you might as well choose a monochrome co-ord set for achieving this attire. 

Do flannels look better buttoned or unbuttoned?

Whether flannels look better buttoned or unbuttoned totally depends on the kind of outfit you are carrying. For example, a flannel will always look super chic worn unbuttoned over a t-shirt. Similarly, if you wear your flannel shirt unbuttoned over a Henley and then layer it up with a snow jacket or bomber jacket, it will make you look so dope! On the other hand, if you wish to casually wear your flannel buttoned up, layer it up with outerwear, pair up with suspenders, or wear a sweater inside.


By now, we are sure you must have many ideas for how to style a flannel for men. It’s true that flannels are highly versatile and timeless, owing to their different colors, styles, fabrics, and designs. 

We are seeing many men flaunting flannels both casually and professionally over the past centuries. They are comfortable to wear, attractive to the eye, and adaptable enough to go with different kinds of outfits.

Now’s your turn to shop for a few contemporary flannels and create your own personalized look! Turn up your style and get on the flannel bandwagon, especially in the upcoming winters.