Wondering How to Style Flannel? Here Are 17 Outfit Ideas to Try, According to a Fashion Editor

we’re in our ‘evermore’ era

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

flannel outfit ideas UNIA
Getty Images

Ah, flannel shirts. They’re comfy, they’re surprisingly stylish and they’re perfect for afternoons spent curled up on the couch. But if you’ve ever wondered how to style one (when you eventually venture into society), we’ve got a few flannel outfit ideas to share. Here, 17 super fashionable women show off their best flannel outfits, so you can have your most stylish, plaid-filled winter yet.

The 11 Best Fair Isle Sweaters to Buy Right Now

What’s the Difference Between Flannel and Plaid?

Did you know that flannel and plaid are not one and the same? Simply put, flannel is a fabric while plaid is a pattern. The most popular flannel clothing tends to be plaid button-up shirts, but you can certainly also find flannel in solid hues or other patterns too. And plaid, or tartan, can be printed on just about any fabric type—cotton, linen, even leather or denim. Of course, today the two are used pretty interchangeably, especially when talking about a button-up shirt.

What’s Best to Wear with Flannel?

There are tons of different styles you can wear with your flannel shirt and look fabulously chic, but the easiest option is just to lean into the outdoorsy origins of the material. You basically can’t go wrong layering a flannel shirt over a T-shirt or henley and some jeans, and accessorizing with a beanie and lace-up boots. When in doubt, go for “Evermore” vibes.

13 On-Trend Ways to Wear Leather Pants in 2024 (Plus One Look to Definitely Avoid)

how to style a flannel 70s inspired
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

1. Tuck Your Flannel into a Pair of Cords

Go for full-on ‘70s vibes with a pair of colorful lenses and groovy flares. Then, give your outfit a modern edge by slipping on some pointy-toe flats and toting a mini bag as a finishing touch.

how to style a flannel with white jeans
VCG/Getty Images

2. Opt for White Denim Over Blue

White, off-white or cream-colored jeans lend a lighter air to the heavier palettes that typically dominate in the winter. Tie this flannel outfit together with darker shoes like black ankle boots or navy loafers.

how to style a flannel leather mini skirt
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

3. Wear Flannel with Leather

Tuck your cozy top into a sleek leather skirt for a super-chic combo that proves opposites attract. Prefer a more casual vibe? Try some slip-on sneakers and a long anorak. If you’re headed to a dressier affair, stick to classics like pointy-toe pumps and a minimalist clutch, instead.

how to style a flannel with stripes
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

4. Pair Plaid with Stripes

Plaid can be a tricky print to mix with other patterns, but it works beautifully with classic black-and-white or navy stripes. Be sure to opt for black trousers or dark-wash jeans to avoid overwhelming your ‘fit with too many colors or patterns, and keep your accessories similarly minimalist in design.

how to style a flannel layering
Edward Berthelor/Getty Images

5. Use It as a Layering Piece

Add depth to an otherwise solid-colored outfit by layering a plaid flannel under a lightweight jacket. Even a small pop of red, blue or green can make the whole look feel much more interesting and transform a potentially bland monochrome ‘fit into a smartly layered ensemble.

how to style a flannel leggings and knee high boots
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

6. Play with Proportions on Top and Bottom

If your flannel has more of a boxy cut, try pairing it with leggings and sleek knee-high boots rather than loose jeans or wide-leg trousers. The super-slim fit bottom balances out a boxier top to maintain your figure, all while looking wonderfully chic.

how to style a flannel beanie and boots
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

7. Lean into Flannel’s Woodsy Vibes

Chunky boots, loose-fitting denim and a knit beanie definitely amp up the outdoorsy nature of classic flannel. If you’d rather not look like you’re preparing for a camping trip the next time you hit the grocery store, add a silky cami underneath and a structured crossbody, preferably with some hardware details like a chain strap.

how to style a flannel black and white
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

8. Try a Black-and-White Ensemble

If your flannel has a black-and-white pattern, lean into the minimalist vibes by keeping the rest of your outfit within the strict color scheme. Don’t stress too much about trying to get your whites or blacks to match exactly, you can have multiple shades in there if need be. The more important thing is to keep the fabrics all similarly casual to flannel—e.g., white denim over white silk.

how to style a flannel mixed plaid
Matthew Sperzel / Getty Images

9. Mix and Match Your Flannel Plaids

For more advanced print mixers, try combining multiple plaids at once. To avoid pattern overload, we suggest sticking to solid-hued accessories in neutral tones, like white or brown boots and a simple black handbag.

how to style a flannel shacket
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

10. Use a Flannel as a Jacket

Or a shacket, as they’re called these days. Sport your favorite shirt as you would any other piece of outerwear and toss it on over midi dresses, athleisure, tailored separates and even sparkly evening wear. The world is your plaid-covered oyster.

how to style a flannel 90s outfit
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

11. Go for Classic ‘90s Grunge (with a Posh Twist)

Take inspiration from Monica Gellar and try a classic ‘90s combo: an unbuttoned flannel, a simple knit, straight-leg jeans and Dr. Martens. Just make sure to stick with non-distressed denim and flannels that are free from holes so the look reads more Gellar and less Cobain.

how to style a flannel as a dress
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

12. Wear a Longer Flannel as a Dress

If your shirt goes as far as mid-thigh, try buttoning it up and wearing it as a dress for a change. Over-the-knee or combat boots, like Dr. Martens, with tights will keep your lower half warm, and be sure to choose a jacket or coat that is either much longer or much shorter than the hem of your dress. Picking one that hits within just an inch or two of your hem runs the risk of making you look like an apple on stilts.

how to style a flannel cropped
Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

13. Try a Cropped Cut

Cropped flannels tend to look more like jackets than shirts, and the shortened silhouette lends a more modern, elevated feel to the woodsy staple. Wear them either with high-waist pants that hit at roughly the same point as your flannel’s hem or layered over a slightly longer sweater.

how to style a flannel draped scarf
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

14. Try a Draped Flannel Silhouette

If you love the feel of super-soft flannel but worry it might look sloppy, try it in a structured cardigan or a draped scarf instead. Either will look especially elegant worn over tailored pants and a white blouse, while still maintaining those cozy, cold-weather vibes.

how to style a flannel spring colors
Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

15. Make Your Plaids Work for Spring

Flannel isn’t just for fall and winter. You can also style it for those transitional days between seasons (particularly as we head into spring). To make them work in warmer weather, stick with colorful plaid patterns and pair them with lighter neutrals or pastels.

how to style a flannel colorful sweatpants
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

16. Go Big on Color

How do you make sweatpants and an oversize shirt not look like pajamas? Go all out with bright hues and accessorize with your daintiest structured handbag. You can also consider adding a belt to cinch your waist (either under or on top of your shirt) to help maintain some semblance of a figure under all that cozy knitwear.

how to style a flannel monochrome yellow
Streetstyleshooters/Getty Images

17. Try a Monochrome(ish) Approach

If your flannel shirt has one main color, like the yellow plaid above, it may work well as part of a monochrome (or mostly monochrome) outfit. Coordinate as many pieces as you can with the color of your shirt, then use the other accent colors (in this case, gray, white and black) to finish off your look.



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...

Why You Should Trust Us

PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.