6 Ways to Style a Flannel Shirt

This comfortable classic isn’t just cozy – it can also be dressed up, dressed down and styled for any occasion.

6 Min. Watch | Get Outside Guide

Hi. I'm Cristina. I'm a wardrobe stylist. And I'm here at L.L.Bean in Freeport, Maine. I'm so excited to take you along the journey of how I love to style men's and women's flannels. Let's go.


So welcome to the lab, also known as the workroom here at L.L.Bean. This is where the magic happens and where I'm going to tell you about my styling tips for flannel. I mean, flannel is super versatile. The fabrications are gorgeous. You can wear it hiking. You can wear it to dinner.

You can wear it under, over. I mean, I can keep going on and on. But before I do that, let me introduce you the talent that's going to show us all about it. Please welcome Cole and Mina. Hey, guys.

How's it going?

Great. How are you?

Good. I'm excited to get started.

Me too. So let's go. So what do you think?

I usually wear more muted colors, but I love it.

And that leads me to one of my points. Don't be afraid of color. L.L.Bean has a wide variety of patterns, plaids, tartans, solids. Honestly, you name it, they probably have it.

For instance here, I love this kind of bright, but still a hint of muted yellow that accents the shirt that's underneath. This is just enough pushing where you still feel safe. Pairing it with a pair of hunting pants and these classic L.L.Bean boots really ties the whole look together. So you feel put together, but you're also stylish.

Are there any colors that don't work well together?

Honestly, if you just keep it within the same color family, they usually work together. But at the end of the day, if it doesn't feel right, don't do it. Whatever feels good, that's what's going to make you look good. Write that down, people. Mina, I love this outfit on you.

Thank you. Yeah, it looks great. I really like this fit.

That leads me to my next styling tip, sizing up. Typically, on catalog shoots, I do the model size. But in my every day, I typically like to go one or two sizes up.

The boxiness of this flannel just really lends itself to wear oversized and over things that are bulky. Pairing it underneath a hoodie, which I love a hoodie, especially tied like this, just feels so elevated and different than you would usually wear it. And then pairing it also with a great pair of khakis, which are super simple and clean and a bleacher mock which is, again, super preppy and so New England, really kind of ties this whole look together where I feel Mina looks super adorable. And I would totally rock this myself.

Oh, this is so cozy.

Right? I feel like typically, when I style for catalog, I do it with denim or with khakis. But in this instance, I feel joggers really makes this outfit come together. It's comfortable. It's cozy.

Whether you're at home, going to grab a coffee, walking the dog, whatever it is, the flannel is a definite good piece to wear. It's put together with structured sweater. Comfortability, chill. This is the vibe for this look. Cute.

Thank you. I love it. Where would you recommend I wear something like this to?

Oh, after work, going and hanging out with your friends. What I love about L.L.Bean flannels is that you can dress them up, dress them down. They don't always have to be with khakis or with denim.

Love pairing it with this little bootie here too because it gives it a little bit of more of an elevated look. I love to pair my flannels oversized with some wide-leg pants, sneakers, still feeling elevated, but on the casual side. Sometimes I may even put a heel with it too.

It really all depends on where I'm going and who I'm hanging out with. But if you want to do flannels with a really cute bootie or if you're going to hang out with your friends and sit campfire side, put on some denim. Versatility is amazing when it comes to these flannels. So I guess great minds do think alike, huh?

Seriously, I'm loving that look.

Thank you. This is how I like to layer my flannels, a little jacket over the shoulders keeping it cool, but casual. Super effortless, kind of like you, layering the flannel over the t-shirt. Again, no fuss, no muss.

But why don't we add one more layer? I love the versatility of these flannels because you can throw a jacket over it depending on where you're going to go, depending what the weather's like. But you're still put together, and you still feel comfortable and effortless. And that really is the goal, honestly, when you're dressing, right?

And I feel confident. I really feel confident. I know that I can wear it wherever.

That makes me so happy. I want you to feel good in what you're wearing all the time, every time.

I do.

Excellent. Who wouldn't? Hello? Who wouldn't feel confident in this? You look pretty amazing. I'm not going to lie. I'm obsessed with this look on you. It is so cute.

I know. I love it. Thank you. And I never would have thought to put the plaid and the stripes together underneath.

This is what I love about mixing patterns. It's so unexpected. Usually, it's like either one or the other. What I love about this is if you keep it within the same color family, you can go ahead and you have so many different options, stripes and stripes, dots on dots, plaids on plaids. Really, the possibilities are endless.

And then tying it all together with the classic bean boot, oh, my god. You are adorable.

Thank you. I love it.

Thank you again for joining me, and Mina, and Cole to go ahead and put together these styling tips for you about flannel. This is what I love to do, getting people an opportunity to get outside their comfort zones, show them different ways to wear pieces they already have in their wardrobe. Patterns, colors, layers, opportunities are endless when it comes to styling. I hope I make you feel good about it because I feel really good about this. How about you guys?


So good.

Awesome. Now, go buy these looks, please. Thank you. How do you like to style your flannels? Tell us in the comments below. For more styling tips, outdoor how-to's, and expert advice, visit llbean.com/explore. Don't forget to like and subscribe.


At L.L.Bean, we know flannel pretty well; after all, our first flannel shirt appeared in our 1921 catalog, more than 100 years ago. Flannel keeps coming back because it’s so versatile, and it can be styled to help you feel comfortable and confident everywhere from a coffee shop to a hike to a night out. Here are six tips for styling your flannel, courtesy of wardrobe stylist Cristina.

Men's Tips

Tip 1. Show Your True Colors

Don't be afraid to embrace color. Tartans, plaids, solids, patterns – there’s a veritable rainbow of looks to explore. Mix and match different colors to find the ones that suit your style best.

Tip 2. Pair with Joggers

If you want to strike a balance between laid back and dressed up, try pairing your flannel shirt with joggers for a comfort-style combo. Joggers in neutral tones like black or khaki will complement the pattern and color.

Tip 3. Layer, Layer, Layer!

One of the things we love most about flannel is how easy it is to layer. Wear a flannel over a basic t-shirt for a relaxed and comfortable outfit, or under a cozy sweater or a denim jacket for more warmth when temperatures dip.

Women's Tips

Tip 1. Size Things Up

For a laid-back and breezy look, consider wearing your flannel shirt slightly oversized. A relaxed fit adds a touch of elegance and comfort - without making it look too casual.

Tip 2. Dress for the Moment

Does the occasion call for a look that's casual, or more dressed up? Indoors or outdoors? Active or laid-back? Flannel shirts are your friend. Experiment with different pairings until you find something that you look and feel great in.

Tip 3. Mix Patterns

Get creative and mix patterns; as long as you stick to the same color family, things have a good chance of wearing well together. Mixing patterns adds visual interest to your outfit and creates something tha's all "you," through and through.

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