The Best Men’s Flannel Shirts (for Making Chili and Listening to Folk Rock)

[Senses the slightest chill in the air; hears one leaf crunch in the distance] It’s flannel season, boys. Time to break out your favorite folk rock albums, fire up those cast iron skillets, and check to see if the rest of season five of Yellowstone has dropped. No? What about the rest of 1923? Also no? OK, well, there are plenty of other things to do while wearing flannel, like making chili, pulling espresso shots, and reading Cormac McCarthy (RIP, king) in a fake Eames chair. As we settle in for a relaxing fall and winter (aspirational) full of bonfires, binge-worthy TV, and comfort food, let’s take a minute to address the lumberjack in the room. It’s time to hike up that Smartwoolaka the only socks we wear—and upgrade your flannel collection.

There’s a ton of season-appropriate clothes to talk about for fall and winter, from beanies to boots, but few clothing items have as much potential for maximum style x coziness crossover as flannel. Flannel is cultural and utilitarian. Flannel is somehow chic, rustic, and normcore all at the same time. You can chop wood or go hiking in flannel, but you can also listen to Nirvana and play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in it. Usually made from brushed cotton, flannel is extremely comfortable, and offers a ton of colorways. Looking through flannels online—which I did quite a lot of for this article—it’s clear that creators take a lot of pride in the colorways they come up with for their finest flannel shirts. From Pendleton’s “teal/olive/gold plaid” Burnside double-brushed flannel shirt to Carhartt’s “burnt sienna” and “north woods” colorways in its heavyweight Rugged Flex™ flannel, there’s simply a lot of handsome flair within the world of flannel. Go forth, and find your own perfect plaid vibe.


Pendleton is synonymous with rustic comfort, and its flannel shirts are among the most attractive in the game. The Burnside double-brushed shirt is extremely soft, but surprisingly durable, and it comes in some absolutely amazing colors, like “teal/olive/gold plaid” and “dark olive/gold/red plaid.”


Filson’s flannel service shirt is made exclusively for Cole Hauser’s character Rip on Yellowstone. OK, we lied: Technically it’s not, but if you get the reference, you might already own some Filson (if not, you should buy some ASAP). This bad boy is made with 7-ounce 100% cotton and is brushed to reach maximum softness… because nothing goes harder than being super soft (at least when it comes to flannel). The Elk Heights camp shirt uses slightly lighter brushed cotton, and its buttoned chest pockets mean no flappin’.


Of all the gorpcore/outdoorsman crossover gear, Patagonia is perhaps the most beloved, because it’s equally great for cold weather hiking, camping, or sitting in a toasty movie theater watching the new Martin Scorsese movie with a cold beer. This fully cotton button-down comes in a ton of colors, and looks about as classic (and classy) as it gets.


Dickies is known for making durable clothes you can skateboard, rope cattle, do manual labor, or attend a Mastodon show in, and this flex flannel—which contains one percent spandex—has the feel of flannel with just a bit of extra give.


This heavyweight, 8-ounce cotton flannel is nothing short of Very Serious™. Carhartt’s Rugged Flex™ stretch technology, triple stitched main seams, and two pockets (because you’re a big man with a bunch of important things to carry). Real talk, this shirt is the real deal, and it comes in a number of beautiful colors, like “burnt sienna” and “night blue.” Frankly, if you’re a brand loyalist, two or three of these will get you through the winter in style.

L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean’s Chamois shirt is a plaid icon in the game. It’s somehow heavyweight while also being light and airy; 7.5-ounce Portuguese cotton gives it a luscious feel, and its gorgeous colorways make it timeless. Let me put it like this: apple cinnamon cereal? No, thanks—I’m a granola guy. The “apple cinnamon” color of the Chamois shirt? About to buy three of ‘em.

[Drops needle on Fleet Foxes record and smashes “play” on Yellowstone at the same time] Let’s get it done, boys.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.


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