There are some pieces of clothing that should be non-negotiable wardrobe mainstays. Think the likes of white sneakers, high quality plain cotton T-shirts, classic chinos and trusty blue denim jeans. Another failsafe staple that too often goes overlooked is the flannel shirt. Ever versatile, ultra comfy and ideal for layering, this easy-to-wear shirt is a menswear classic for a reason. It's been beloved by many since its origins as a warm and durable workwear garment in 16th century Wales, during wars and revolutions, as a 90s grunge staple, through to today.

What exactly is a flannel shirt?

Frequently confused with plaid, flannel actually refers to the fabric rather than the pattern of a shirt. Flannel is a woven fabric that's typically made from cotton or wool and often brushed for a soft, almost fuzzy texture, although flannel shirts can also be unbrushed or brushed on only one side. Flannel shirts usually have a thicker weave than most other cotton shirts, making them ideal for the colder months.

How to wear a flannel shirt

The flannel shirt has evolved beyond its associations with lumberjacks and non-conformist Nirvana-obsessed teenagers to become an everyday wardrobe hero. Its relaxed, easy-to-wear aesthetic lends it ultimate versatility, making it the ultimate trend-transcending piece that will stand the test of time. Wear yours with selvedge denim jeans and canvas sneakers for an updated take on 90s style, or with smart tailored trousers and leather loafers for a dressier look. The choice is yours whether you wear it buttoned up or undone over a plain tee.

3 of the best flannel shirts for men

Percival Hazel Mini Hound Flannel Workshirt

This flannel workshirt from London-based menswear label Percival is the perfect addition to a workwear-inspired wardrobe. It's cut in a slightly longer style than the brand's classic overshirt, with handy pockets for all your essentials.

ISTO. Dried Green Midweight Flannel Shirt

Portuguese brand ISTO. specialises in laidback premium staples, like this irresistibly soft shirt. Crafted from 100% organic cotton with a fuss-free, understated aesthetic, it's guaranteed to become one of those wardrobe staples you reach for time and again.

Delikatessen Tonal Check Prince de Galles Feel Good Shirt

With its subtle check and grey tonal effect, this flannel shirt from Amsterdam-based Delikatessen will look just as great as part of your everyday uniform as it would worn with a tailored blazer at a sophisticated event.

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