Flannel. A Brief History And Styling Guide.

Flannel. A Brief History And Styling Guide.

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Nelson W

Warm. Comfortable. Durable. Everyone loves flannel. But, not everyone knows its rich history. Flannel shirts stand alone as the most universally recognized symbol of Americana, particularly the North -- and specifically, of the Canadian outdoorsman.

Now, flannel shirts remain the symbol of easy, outdoorsy style, warmth, and comfort. Crossing nearly all imaginable barriers. Today’s flannel is worn by labourers and executives, white collar and blue collar individuals, for work or play.

Like the rugged men who’ve always worn it, the history of flannel boasts an impressive journey of changing with the times while holding to its roots.

The term "flannel shirt" is often mistakenly used to refer to shirts with plaid or tartan patterns. The truth is, however, that 'flannel' simply refers to the fabric, and not all flannel shirts are plaid.

Flannel is a soft woven fabric with various fineness. Flannel originally was made from carded wool or worsted yarn. These days, it's often made from either wool, cotton, or synthetic fibre.

Carding is a factory process that disentangles, cleans and intermixes fibres to produce a continuous web that is suitable for subsequent processing.  Makin the fibres suitable for processing is achieved by passing the fibres between surfaces moving in different directions, covered with "card clothing", which is a firm, flexible material embedded with metal pins. The card clothing breaks up locks and unorganized clumps of fibre. This then aligns the individual fibres to be parallel with each other.

What distinguishes flannel from other woven fabrics is its “napping,” which refers to the slightly raised texture of the fabric. This feature, often accomplished by brushing and sometimes done on both sides, is what gives flannel its signature softness.

As the epitome of cool, comfortable and casual style, every man and woman should own a flannel. The flannel shirt is a stylish wardrobe staple worth adding to anyone's closet. Flannels are great casual men’s and women's shirts that can be worn with jeans, chinos, t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, jackets, sneakers, and boots. Whether you’re exploring the outdoors or hanging out with friends in the city, there are several flannel outfits to consider for a rugged yet trendy look. With so many colours and ensembles, it’s important to style a flannel properly to create the right aesthetic. For inspiration and outfit ideas, subscribe to our newsletter.

How To Wear A Flannel Shirt

  • Whether you choose a checked or solid flannel shirt depends on your style and the occasion, so dress accordingly.
  • Pick classic shirt colours such as red, black, white, brown, grey, and green.
  • Dress bold patterns and colours with simple outfits for a balanced look.
  • For a cool casual style, wear your flannel shirt unbuttoned with a t-shirt underneath, jeans, and sneakers or boots.
  • To get a smart casual style, wear your flannel buttoned up with chinos, a leather belt and Timberlands or Chelsea boots.

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