With the first cool autumn evenings those who love to feel snug and warm rediscover the warmer fabrics – the ones that make us feel cosy, such as the timeless flannel, a must-have for comfort fans and also for those who follow closely the latest fashion trends. The main characteristics of flannel are its incredible softness, its furry surface and also the fact that it is lightweight and easy to wear. Usually made of cotton, wool or other fibres, flannel fabric is created by combing or brushing the surface of a cloth with small, fine steel brushes. These processes make flannel a particularly warm, heat-insulating material, and enable it to hold the air in between its fibres. Soft to the touch, its brushed surface makes it highly resistant and it is perfect for giving that inimitable vintage-chic flavour to the famous flannel shirts.
An “evergreen” with a casual flavour.
From its origins as a cloth for creating workwear and especially common among farmers and labourers precisely because of its properties, in the 1990s these warm shirts were brought back into fashion by the grunge sub-culture, and also by figures like Gianni Agnelli who was a particular fan of this fabric and had suits and ties made from it. The flannel shirt today is a basic garment in any wardrobe and, thanks to its deep, bright colours, it represents one of the “hottest” trends of the moment: the workwear look. The ideal casual combination is with dark blue jeans or cargo trousers, matched with shirts in colours ranging from sand, plain red or red madras check, buttoned-up cardigans or zipped sweatshirts, a tough work-jacket or comfortable parka and the essential hiking boots, walking shoes or the famous Red Wing footwear.
Perfect for a sporty-chic look, too.
Notwithstanding its origin as an informal garment, the flannel shirt may also be worn for a more elegant, sporty look to be displayed on a romantic date, or even in the office. A flannel shirt in denim or with micro-checks may become that small detail that makes the difference if combined in an ensemble, for example with slimfit chinos and a destructured blazer – an ideal outfit for the weekend. But if we imagine a more formal, elegant version, we can opt for a plain-coloured flannel shirt in a quieter, more sober colour, such as a classic blue or grey, to match with a contrasting suit or a jacket-and-trouser combination, with a woollen tie and a pair of suede shoes to give an interesting contrast of textures.
So if you want to stand out this winter, whatever your style, you really must include all the warmth and softness of flannel shirts.
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