There’s a reason why “the best flannel shirts for men” never leave the fashion conversation—or your laundry cycle from fall through spring. They’re softer than your duvet, more forgiving than your cashmere, and boast just enough structure to make you look like a respectable person. For going on two centuries now, weighty flannel shirts have been adopted and reinterpreted by just about every demographic and subculture imaginable: frontier loggers, WWII sailors, greasers, surfers, punks, skaters, west coast rappers, grunge kids, rock climbers, contractors, mustachioed Williamsburg hipsters, hypebeasts, yoga moms, tech bros, present-day NBA tunnel style kings. That universality is a testament to the fabric itself: resilient enough to take a beating on the jobsite, comfortable enough to swaddle up in on weekends, respectable enough to wear on a date or out to brunch with your folks or on a Zoom call with your boss.
The Best Flannel Shirts Shopping Guide
The very best flannel shirts are endlessly adaptable—you can wear ‘em on their own or over stuff like a jacket, with jeans or sweats or dress pants or cargoes or gym shorts—and they’ll never not look entirely on point. They’re comforting and time-tested, and you’re going to need as many of them as you can muster to make it through the winter in style. Here are the 23 best flannel shirts for men to buy right now, in heavy plaids and thick stripes and foliage-inspired tones that’ll fit in seamlessly no matter your taste or wardrobe.
The Best Heritage Flannel Shirt
Pendleton’s been in the business of keeping folks toasty for over 150 years, and the brand’s Board Shirt is downright legendary. The warm wool fabric comes in a range of handsome, muted plaids (just the right weight to wear as an overshirt, or solo with a beefy tee and jeans); the cut is super flattering; and the camp collar and flat hem look great on everyone. Hell, it’s so iconic that the Beach Boys used it as their schtick when they were originally called the Pendletones. You may not be able to belt out a Pet Sounds 2, but you can easily look as fly.
The Best Budget Flannel Shirt
Still not convinced a flannel shirt is exactly your vibe? Take this $30 banger for a test drive. In addition to its classically handsome exterior and entry-level price tag, it’s also every bit as fuzzy and warm as that Snuggie you definitely don’t wear on the couch all weekend. Even if you don’t wind up introducing it to your actual wardrobe (you will), it’ll be a fine addition to your increasingly important at-home cozy rotation.
The Best Bang for Your Buck Flannel Shirt
Are there less expensive flannels? Yes. Are there more luxurious flannels? Yes. Are there better flannels for the price? No. L.L. Bean’s Scotch flannels are probably what your folks and their folks wore (and are likely still wearing). They’re brushed to a peachy softness, come in a range of historically accurate Scottish tartans, and only cost a few bucks more than the cheapest options on this list.
The Best Blanket-Like Flannel Shirt
It’s hardly shocking that Pendleton, a literal blanket-maker, also sells a killer flannel shirt. Slightly more surprising, though, is how excellent Outerknown’s riff on the genre is, a flannel button-up so soft the brand literally dubbed it the Blanket shirt. It’s a touch heavier (and even—gasp—softer) than Pendleton’s version, a lot like, y’know, a really plush blanket. That’s largely thanks to its thick-yarned organic cotton, which continues to earn the style glowing reviews and, ahem, breathless write-ups. The fit is eerily on-point, too: roomy enough to layer over a tee or even a sweatshirt, without veering into boxier-than-thou, aughts-era fashion bro territory.
The Best Capital-F Fashion Flannel Shirt
If you’re looking for your flannel to make a fashion statement, you might want to forego traditional options of buttoned up, slim-fit silhouettes in various shades of neutral tones for something a little more eye-catching. What makes fashion provocateur Lu’u Dan’s fire engine-red check shirt stand out is in the details: a loose, boxy cut kitted out with bell sleeves and a fringe-lined collar. The blown-out grid motif is almost hypnotic—definitely the vibe you want to be going for if you need your shirt to demand a double-take. While you probably wouldn’t wear this shirt camping—where it’d be exposed to the unfashionable elements of dirt, bugs, and unfortunate snags from rogue branches—you’d definitely pull it out when you’re ready to slay downtown.
The Best Dressed-Up Flannel Shirt
It sort of goes without saying that flannel shirts skew pretty casual. But it definitely should be said that the right flannel shirt can clean up real nice when you find yourself in a setting that demands a higher level of formality than whatever you wore to Whole Foods earlier that day. When that time comes, the only flannel you need is right here, courtesy of the delightfully on-the-nose Portuguese flannel experts at—you guessed it—Portuguese Flannel. The Guimarães-based brand makes some of the luxest flannels in the world, each done up a range of patterns and fabrics, but, naturally, its selection of flannels is the real standout. The Teca is the best gussied-up option of the whole lot, thanks to its endlessly versatile color and deceptively cozy brushed cotton. All you need to do is add a proper pair of trousers and some sturdy derbies to the mix (and maybe even a handsome guncheck blazer, if you’re really going for it).