Ah, flannels. They’re the original performance shirt—the official office wear of lumberjacks, postmodern novelists, and the guys who help you navigate hardware stores.
But Ted from the plumbing aisle doesn’t have a monopoly on our favorite autumn shirt—far from it. In fact, if you’re not sporting a flannel this fall, you’re behind the ball: the “urban woodsman” look is in, and flannels are the best way to showcase it.
Flannels are not only the best way to own the trend, but also a stylishly varied one. They come in a bevy of patterns—from fresh, modern prints to tough, rugged styles—that can pass for the office just as well as they do atop a mountain. Plus, they’re made with a soft, cozy material that’s perfect for fall weather.
That brings us to our next point: Flannels are not defined as a plaid, printed shirt. The two terms are used synonymously but are entirely different things. Flannel describes the fabric of the shirt (typically made of wool or cotton) while plaid describes the pattern (it’s often a tartan, a specific type of plaid originating in Scotland). So, flannels can come in crisp solids in addition to the classic plaid, which is why they’re the perfect layering piece—both style- and insulation-wise—for fall.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 20 best fall flannels for men to wear all season long. Just remember: Pairing your flannel is key to displaying the right look. So try a solid gray for the office (under a blazer, of course) with brogue boots, and a hooded plaid with a cool pair of kicks to wear in the woods.