How to make the most of your flannel shirt – some style hacks

There are few pieces of apparel so versatile they can be worn both to the office and for chopping wood, and the flannel shirt is definitely one of them. Warm, robust, hard-wearing and timeless, a must-have to tackle winter chills with style. But how should it be worn? Its classic style means it can pair easily with a wide range of looks; however, there are some tips and tricks that can be incredibly useful for getting your outfit right every time. So here are some style hacks for putting together a foolproof look, where the flannel shirt is the real protagonist.

Keep it simple

Flannel shirts have a lived-in, vintage air, a feature you can also reflect in your style. For guaranteed success, you can stick to casual classics such as raw denim jeans, leather or suede boots, classic outerwear and plain knitwear. That's not to say you can't experiment with tailoring or sportswear - a simple flannel shirt with a tailored jacket can be a great match, as can smart joggers and a pair of leather sneakers. To do away with uncertainty and have an outfit ready to wear in the morning, keeping it simple is the way to go. When the weekend comes, a checked flannel shirt is perfect with casual wear such as jeans or chinos for a relaxed look, or with textured wool trousers for a smarter look. As for footwear, opt for classics such as a Chelsea boot or a Derby, and make sure the color of the upper matches or creates a pleasant contrast with the rest of your outfit.

A must-have for every season

The flannel shirt’s biggest selling point is its versatility. It can be worn both as a shirt and as a jacket, becoming a perfect option for any season. The flannel shirt is often classified as autumn or winter-wear, but using one as a light jacket makes it twice as useful. A flannel shirt in a slightly heavier fabric, worn open as an overshirt, will give you the benefits of flannel even in the warmer months. Wear it over t-shirts, turtlenecks and fine knitwear, depending on the weather. You can use your plaid shirt all year round: in spring just roll up the sleeves, in autumn try it layered over a t-shirt, while in winter let it keep you warm and add a touch of color peeking out from a chunky wool sweater.

The art of layering

What is a flannel shirt if not the perfect item for experimenting with the proven art of layering? Try wearing one over a T-shirt, paired with heavy knitwear, a vest and parka for the ultimate in protection against the cold. Think dark, earthy or fall colors and fabrics like wool, corduroy and tweed. Use these materials to create depth and think of flannel as a tool to bring the outfit to life. The variegated textures can make a basic look three-dimensional, transforming a simple combination of shirt and pants into something much more unique.