Softer than your duvet, more forgiving than your cashmere, with just enough structure to make you look like a respectable person: There’s a reason why “the best flannel shirts for men” never leave the fashion conversation—or your laundry cycle from fall through spring. For going on two centuries now, weighty flannel shirts have been adopted and reinterpreted by just about every demographic and subculture imaginable: frontier loggers, WWII sailors, greasers, surfers, punks, skaters, west coast rappers, grunge kids, rock climbers, contractors, mustachioed Williamsburg hipsters, hypebeasts, yoga moms, tech bros, present-day NBA tunnel style kings. That universality is a testament to the fabric itself: resilient enough to take a beating on a jobsite, comfortable enough to swaddle up in on weekends, respectable enough to wear on a date or out to brunch with your folks or on a Zoom call with your boss.
The very best flannel shirts are endlessly adaptable—you can wear ‘em on their own or over stuff like a jacket, with jeans or sweats or dress pants or cargoes or gym shorts—and they’ll never not look entirely on point. They’re comforting and time-tested, and you’re going to need as many of them as you can muster to make it through the winter in style. Here are the 22 best flannel shirts for men to buy right now, in heavy plaids and thick stripes and foliage-inspired tones that’ll fit in seamlessly no matter your taste or wardrobe.
The Heritage Flannel
Pendleton’s been in the business of keeping folks cozy for over 150 years—known for weaving some of the best blankets and flannels around and their Board Shirt is iconic. The warm wool fabric comes in a range of great plaids and is just the right weight for an overshirt. The cut is super flattering, and the camp collar design and flat hem just looks great on everyone. It’s so good that the Beach Boys used it as their schtick when they were originally called the Pendletones. You may not be able to belt out a Pet Sounds 2, but you can easily look super fly.
The Budget Flannel
Still not convinced a flannel shirt is exactly your vibe? Take this $20 banger for a test drive. In addition to its classically handsome exterior and entry-level price tag, it’s also every bit as soft and warm as that Snuggie you definitely don’t wear on the couch all weekend. Even if you don’t wind up introducing it to your actual wardrobe (you will), it’ll be a fine addition to your increasingly important at-home cozy rotation.
The Best for Your Buck Flannel
Are their cheaper flannels? Yes. Are there more luxurious flannels? Yes. Are there better flannels for the price? No. L.L. Bean’s Scotch flannels are probably what your folks and their folks wore (and are probably still wearing). They’re brushed to a peachy softness, come in a range of historically accurate Scottish tartans, and are only a short step up from the cheapest options on this list.
The Security Flannel
While Pendleton, a literal blanket maker, makes their own flannel shirt, Outerknown’s Blanket shirt is a touch heavier and even softer—ya know, like a really cozy blanket. That’s the doing of the thick-yarned organic cotton fabric which has earned the Blanket Shirt plenty of praise and adoration. The fit is roomy enough to layer over a shirt or even a sweatshirt, but doesn’t delve into boxier-than-thou fashion bro territory.
The Non-Plaid Flannel
Not every flannel shirt has to make you feel like you’re about to chop down a tree. Some flannels make you feel like an opulent West Village resident. This shirt from God-level brand The Row exudes luxury and, even though it’s bereft of the usual plaid pattern, it’s far from plain. The flannel is buttery soft and comes in a decadent dark chocolate hue. The tailoring is impeccable and the drape is absolutely elegant. No, you’re definitely not doing anything remotely close to manual labor in this shirt. This is the flannel shirt you wear to get into the fancy restaurant, the one you wear to feel totally opulent.
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