Best Men's Flannel Shirts

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

38 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
486 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best men’s flannel shirts

Last Updated July 2020

Are you looking to add a functional piece of fashion to your wardrobe? A flannel shirt can keep you warm and comfortable in style.

Flannel shirts are as versatile as garments can get. They can be worn as an outer layer over a T-shirt or used for work wear. Especially if you wear flannel shirts outdoors, the long sleeves protect your skin from UV exposure, as well as knicks or scrapes. If the temperature warms up, simply roll up the sleeves or tie the shirt around your waist. No matter how you choose to wear it, a flannel shirt is a comfortable choice. And flannel shirts come in a huge array of colors and patterns.

If you’re ready to add some flair to your closet with flannel shirts, here’s our buying guide with everything you need to know about them, plus a roundup of our favorite styles.

Flannel shirts are ideal for “in between” weather, when it’s not cold enough for a jacket but too chilly for just a T-shirt.

Key considerations

How to wear flannel

Work: Depending on your job, you might wear a flannel shirt to work. They’re constructed of soft materials and preferred by those who have active jobs because the shirts don’t constrict movement. Flannel shirts are also thicker and more rugged than traditional button-down shirts, which means they’re more effective at protecting your torso and arms. This is especially important if you use equipment, carry items, or have to wrangle animals.

Camping/excursions: Flannel shirts are also a popular choice for wear during outdoor excursions. It’s easy to wear base layers with them, plus they’re compact enough to pack in a backpack. In a pinch, cotton styles are absorbent enough to dry camp cookware or wipe down equipment. If you’re hiking or camping in a sunny climate, flannel shirts also provide protection against UV exposure. Wear a brightly colored flannel shirt if you want to be seen by fellow campers or hikers. Flannel shirts in natural colors blend in more easily to surroundings and are often worn by hunters.

Style: Even if you don’t wear flannel shirts for work or activities, they may appeal to you in terms of style. Flannel shirts are versatile enough to be worn with jeans, slacks, corduroys, and yes, even shorts. They’ve also become a popular style staple in country and western, grunge, and rock music scenes. 

EXPERT TIP

Make sure all items are removed from the pockets in your flannel shirts before placing them in the washing machine.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Materials

Cotton: Flannel shirts are traditionally made of either 100% cotton or a cotton/polyester blend to be breathable, durable, and soft. The more you wash and wear flannel shirts, the softer they become. Keep in mind that like other cotton garments, flannel does wear out, and after some time the material becomes thinner.

Wool: Flannel shirts made of wool are also available, but they’re intended more as outerwear, often lined with sherpa, fleece, or plush. There’s a bit of a gray area with wool styles, which are often classified as shirts even though they’re usually worn on top of another layer, if not worn as the outermost layer.

Sleeves

Flannel shirts have long sleeves with one or two buttons to secure the cuffs. Some people opt to keep them buttoned, while others choose to leave them undone. Many people roll up the sleeves of flannel shirts. Some styles are equipped with tab sleeves that have a strap and additional buttons to hold the rolled sleeves in place. This is an especially popular feature for anyone who wears a flannel shirt to work because it reduces the need to fuss with the sleeves and constantly reroll them.

Pockets

Most flannel shirts have at least one chest pocket, though many styles feature two. Pockets sometimes have flaps with either button or snap closures. While they can fit essentials like pens and small notepads, more often than not they’re more decorative than functional.

Cut

Generally speaking, flannel shirts are cut slightly wider than polo shirts and button-down shirts. As a result, their looser fit accommodates maximum movement, as well as a couple of base layers. There are also extra-long styles, which fully cover the rear and upper thigh areas.

Colors

The most noticeable feature of flannel shirts, of course, is their unique checkered design. Simple flannel shirts feature two colors, whereas more involved designs, especially plaid- and tartan-inspired styles, can have up to six colors.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re concerned about shrinking your flannel shirts, choose a cotton/polyester blend. Instead of using the dryer, hang up the shirts to air-dry.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Men’s boots: Timberland Wodehouse Chukka Boot
Flannel shirts and a good pair of boots go hand in hand. We like these Timberland boots, which feature simple details with two-hole lacing and a near-seamless finish. The rounded toe is comfortable and leaves plenty of room for thick socks.

Men’s jeans: Carhartt Rugged Flex Jeans
It’s easy to match flannel with a great pair of jeans. We like this pair from Carhartt, whose dark wash dresses up a flannel shirt. The contrast stitching is a simple yet effective detail that elevates an entire look.

T-shirt: Harley-Davidson Classic Logo Tee
Nothing looks better with an unbuttoned flannel shirt than a classic T-shirt. We like this one from Harley-Davidson, which showcases a plain logo across the chest. Made from a cotton/polyester blend, it’ll stand up to dozens of washings.

Men’s flannel shirt prices

Men’s flannel shirts cost between $14 and $100, mostly depending on the material quality, weight, and brand.

Inexpensive: You can expect to spend up to $30 for a basic flannel shirt. These styles are usually made of 100% cotton or cotton blends and are often on the thinner side. It’s also common for less expensive styles to shrink in the wash.

Mid-range: Flannel shirts of better quality, including some with stylish features like fancy buttons and leather details, cost between $30 and $60. There are also some weather-resistant shirts in this category that either wick away or repel water.

Expensive: If you need a flannel shirt to last through heavy wear for work or outdoor activities, spend between $60 and $100. These styles don’t shrink as much, and their better materials hold up to more frequent washing and wearing.

EXPERT TIP

Many flannel shirts come with spare buttons. Keep them in a jewelry box or plastic container inside your sock drawer so they’re easy to locate.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Pair a flannel shirt with a band or brand T-shirt. A popular look for flannel shirts is wearing them unbuttoned with a T-shirt featuring a popular brand or rock band.
  • Pair brown-tone flannel shirts with boots. Flannel shirts with brown or tan detail pair nicely with brown leather boots.
  • Choose flannel for cold-weather trips. If you’re spending time at a ski resort, take some flannel shirts. They’re comfortable and cozy and easy to remove if you get too toasty by the fireplace.
  • Pick a fun flannel shirt for country-western events. If you’re not sure what to wear to a country line dance, rodeo, or country music concert, a flannel shirt is perfect. It’s inexpensive and can be worn with jeans.
  • Avoid pairing patterned garments with flannel. Because flannel already has a busy print, it’s best to stick to basics and solid colors for other items.
  • Rock a flannel shirt for air travel. Temperature regulation is always a challenge on an airplane, which is why layering is essential. Flannel is a perfect layer that can be removed and stuffed in a carry-on or overhead compartment.

Other products we considered

Perhaps you don’t see your next flannel shirt in our matrix. We also like the Flylow Handlebar Tech Flannel Shirt. This Backcountry exclusive features duraflex snaps for easy closure, as well as a wider cut to accommodate base layers. The shirt is made from a polyester blend that wicks away moisture and dries quickly, making it a popular pick for campers.

For a lightweight style, we like the Patagonia Organic Cotton Flannel Shirt. This easy-care, machine washable shirt is made from 100% organic cotton. The collar sits flat and won’t lose its shape no matter how often it’s washed. Available in three colors, this flannel shirt is essential for the gentleman who wants a change from traditional polos and button-downs.

If you’re taking a road trip, wear a flannel shirt. It’s comfortable and soft to wear while driving. It’s also cozy enough to leave on if you pull off the road to snooze.

FAQ

Q. Should I iron flannel shirts?
A.
You can, especially lightweight cotton styles which are more prone to wrinkles. Flannel shirts that are thicker or made with cotton and polyester blends are usually wrinkle-free when they come out of the dryer. If anything, you can go over them quickly with a garment steamer instead of an iron.
 

Q. Do flannel shirts come with extra buttons?
A.
Only some come with extras. The buttons are either sewn onto the hang tags or bottom seam or attached to the price tag in a little bag. If you need to replace buttons, take your shirt to a fabric store so you can find an exact or close match.
 

Q. Does a crewneck T-shirt or a V-neck shirt look better under a flannel shirt?
A.
It’s a matter of preference and personal style. If you’re wearing a crewneck shirt, opt for one that isn’t overstretched around the neck area.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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