How to Style a Flannel - 5 Thrift Style Tips

Flannel shirts are comfortable, classic and easy to wear in a variety of ways. Learn some of the best ways to spice up your look with a flannel shirt. 

The flannel shirt is a sure bet for thrifters. It’s easy to layer and it complements almost any casual look. Read on for the five best ways to wear one. But first: 

Why has the flannel shirt endured? 

Made of durable wool and cotton fabric blends, flannel shirts began as worker wear. That’s why we still associate flannel shirts with the lumberjack look. 

The flannel took on a new life in the ‘90s when grunge bands popularized it and gave it a counterculture edge. It has now been embraced by nearly everyone. From punk to hip hop, or Chola to LGBT hipster communities, you’ll likely encounter the flannel shirt. 

This makes it an important staple to have in your closet.    

When to wear a flannel

The flannel shirt is a button-up shirt, but it’s too casual for an interview. Don’t bother wearing it to formal events like weddings. 

Flannels are easy to move around in, but not quite comfortable enough for playing sports or working out. 

Instead, wear them on dates, weekend trips, to the movies, at picnics, concerts, parties, and for camping. 

How your flannel should fit

The fit of your flannel can span from comfortable and relaxed to oversized and billowy. Avoid a closely fitted or tight flannel. 

If you keep several flannels in rotation and wear them in different ways, you’ll get lots of mileage out of them over time. 

5 ways to wear a flannel

  1. Buttoned-up flannel with your favorite pair of jeans

This look is a no-brainer. If your jeans have holes or frayed edges, even better. If it seems too easy, try wearing your flannel with corduroys. For shoes, throw on trainers, boots or loafers. The look also goes well with a bomber jacket.  

  1. Unbuttoned flannel over a graphic tee

The layered flannel is one of the most iconic ways to wear your shirt. Pairing an unbuttoned flannel with a plain white tee is safe, but graphic tees let you show your personality. 

Don’t worry about matching the colors too much. The idea is to make your outfit look effortless. Simple two-tone flannels are preferred for this look. 

For pants, black jeans work really well. Throw on a jeans jacket or leather jacket over the top for even more layers and lace up your favorite trainers or Converse sneakers with this look.  

  1. Unbuttoned flannel over something warm

Since flannels run on the larger side, you can easily layer them over of hoodies or sweaters. Add a puffy coat and boots and you’ve just transitioned to winter. 

  1. Flannel tied around the waist 

Flannels don’t have to be “worn” to be worn well. You can tie one around your waist, like a scarf for your hips. 

Add a beanie and some mom jeans (for women) or the oldest jeans in your closet (for men) and you’re golden. Low key shoes are all you need for this look.

  1. Your flannel all dressed up

Style your flannel with a skirt and a leather jacket (for women) or chinos and a suit jacket (for men) for some polish. This works well with flannels that have neutral tones. Suede shoes of all shapes and colors work well with this style. 

This look works well for semi-formal gatherings like art openings or social gatherings for work.     

However you choose to wear your flannel, make sure you remain loyal to your shirt by wearing it for many years. This will help you keep your clothing footprint low. 


Buy a bundle to recreate any of the styles in this article. Our bundles come with tees, flannels, sweatshirts, and jackets that you can easily mix and match. 


Article Written by Erica Eller

1 comment

  • I like how advised people to wear an open flannel shirt over a graphic tee in order to show a little of their personality. I think a lot of guys and girls could wear this and it would look good. It doesn’t require a lot of effort but still shows who you are and what matters to you.

    David Norriss

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published