How to Style a Flannel Shirt Like a Fashion Editor

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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 a flannel (when you eventually venture into society), we’ve got a few ideas. Here, 12 super fashionable women show off their best flannel outfits, so you can have your most stylish, plaid-filled winter yet.

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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.

Shop similar styles: L.L.Bean flannel shirt ($60); Prosperity Denim pants ($78); Oliver Peoples sunglasses ($566); Coach bag ($350; $175); Everlane flats ($115)

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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.

Shop similar styles: Madewell flannel shirt ($88); Nike T-shirt ($35); Levi’s jeans ($98); Cole Haan boots ($190; $140)

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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.

Shop similar styles: Outerknown flannel shirt ($168); L.L.Bean jacket ($159); BB Dakota skirt ($79); House of Want clutch ($78); OluKai sneakers ($100)

4. sport Head To Toe Black

Give your multi-tonal shirt time to shine with an all-black base. A turtleneck, skinny jeans and pointy-toe boots will look chic for casual Fridays, but Coterie member Tyla-Lauren Gilmore looks equally sleek—and infinitely cozier—in slim-fit sweats and cool black kicks.

Shop similar styles: The North Face flannel shirt ($65); Yankee’s hat ($18); lululemon top ($78); Outdoor Voices sweatpants ($88); Adidas sneakers ($75)

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5. pair Plaid With Stripes

Plaid can be a tricky print to mix with other patterns, but it works beautifully with classic stripes. Beginners should start with stripes in neutral hues, one of which should coordinate with your flannel shirt.

Shop similar styles: Rip Curl shirt ($50); Amour Vert top ($68); Commando pants ($158); J.Renee shoes ($90)

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6. 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.

Shop similar styles: Levi’s shirt ($80); Mare Mare skirt ($148; $100); Schutz boots ($238); Zac Zac Posen bag ($195)

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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.

Shop similar styles: Kirundo flannel shirt ($37); Cami NYC top ($161); Frame jeans ($225); H&M beanie hat ($30); AllSaints bag ($148); Sam Edelman boots ($170)

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8. 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.

Shop similar styles: J.Crew flannel shirt ($90; $60); Bombas T-shirt ($36); Levi’s pants ($60; $53); Tory Burch bag ($548); Open Edit shoes ($60)

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9. 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.

Shop similar styles: O’Neill shirt ($52); BB Dakota by Steve Madden top ($69); Grey Lab pants ($80); Converse sneakers ($55)

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10. 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.

Shop similar styles: Favorite Daughter flannel shirt ($178); Naadam sweater ($75); Agolde jeans ($188); Dr. Martens boots ($200)

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11. 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.

Shop similar styles: Cyrus coat ($50); Tory Burch blouse ($398); Scotch & Soda pants ($148; $103); Louise et Cie heels ($100)

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12. 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 white or beige pants, strappy sandals and a springy handbag.

Shop similar styles: Fjällräven shirt ($95); Topshop pants ($67); Ego bag ($38; $27); Rebecca Allen shoes ($145)

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Abby Hepworth


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...
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