Flannel is an outdoor attire staple. You’d be hard-pressed to find a sportswear catalog without it, and for a good reason. Aside from practicality—we’re talking warmth, function, and durability—flannel has led its march into outdoor fashion. Those enjoying nature, whether it’s with camping, hiking, hunting, or fishing, often wear the popular checkered fabric in the process, and look good doing it.
For most people heading out into nature, flannel is their first choice out of practicality. Flannel is warm, durable, and requires little care. Plus, it’s an excellent option for layering in unpredictable weather. If you’re starting a hike in the early hours, for example, you’ll most likely need some warm layers until the sun rises through the sky. At that point, flannel is swung around your hips until you start to gain altitude, rescuing you when you reach chillier conditions at a higher elevation.
It’s also the perfect insulator, fitting well under fleece jackets or vests, especially when hunting and fishing. And when you’ve finished the day, it’s easy to clean. You can throw most flannel in the washer in warm or cold water on a gentle cycle.
Flannel is a practical and fashionable choice in outdoor clothing. Let’s look at five ways to wear flannel for men and women.
Flannel Under Layers
As mentioned above, flannel can be a lifesaver when spending time outdoors. Easy to layer and store, it can get you through various temperature changes, whether on the trail or the water. Flannel works best when layered under jackets and vests, working as an insulator. Both fleece and polyfill, when layered with flannel, can help protect against the cold and wind acting as an added barrier.
Tie it Around the Waist
Continuing along the theme of layering, what do you do with your flannel once it gets too hot to wear it? Both men and women can easily tie it around the waist in both a practical and fashionable way. While at the torso, it’s easily in reach once temperatures dip, and you need to relayer. It also protects legs against any twigs or sticks that might scratch you while hiking or hunting.
Because flannel is a thick, warm fabric, many sportswear brands use it as a lining in essential clothing. You’ll find many brands featuring flannel-lined pants, jeans, jackets, and shirts. This way, you’re still wearing standard gear as needed, but have the warmth and insulation of flannel without having to buy multiple articles of clothing. This type of styling is particularly beneficial when hunting, as you must blend in with your surroundings while staying dry and warm.
Shirt and Jacket in One
Many brands are hitting two birds with one stone and creating a shirt or jacket with flannel material. It’s similar to a regular shirt, but with several layers of flannel in combination with an insulating material, creating a thicker version of a flannel shirt that can be worn on its own or as a jacket. Flannel jackets are great for backpacking or camping when you want to keep your gear to a minimum.
Lastly, flannel makes an excellent material for sleepwear, especially when catching your z’s outside. Again, its warm, sturdy nature protects against the cold and makes for an exceptional layer inside a down sleeping bag. Even if you’re sleeping inside, not much beats the cozy feeling of flannel pajamas.