How to Wear Flannel Without Looking Like a Lumberjack

Lindsey Lanquist
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How to Wear Flannel Without Looking Like a Lumberjack
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Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.

Flannel is fall‘s go-to fabric for a reason. It’s equal parts cozy, practical and versatile; like leggings, flannel shirts are comfy enough to lounge around in, but not so pajama-y you can’t wear them outside. The only issue is that without enough care, flannel outfits can go from grunge-casual to full-on lumberjack real quick.

Obviously there’s nothing wrong with the lumberjack aesthetic. (You do you, etc., etc.) But if you’re not trying to look like a lumberjack, finding ways to elevate your favorite flannel shirt is pretty damn necessary.

MORE: Cold Weather’s No Excuse to Let Your Sunglasses Game Slip

A deep dive into flannel street style reveals the fabric’s a lot more versatile than we give it credit for. Sure, it’s easy to throw on with a pair of skinny jeans and some kind of fall boot. But it also looks great when layered atop overalls, or combined with pencil skirts, or worn with neon statement pieces.

It’s honestly a shame we’ve grown so complacent in our flannel styling; plaid flannels offer a solid foundation for any maximalist look—a starting point for all kinds of creative, head-turning magic.

MORE: 34 Surprising Plaid Pieces Your Fall Wardrobe Is Yearning for

Ahead, you’ll find 23 street style-approved ways to wear flannel—none of which (unintentionally) veer into lumberjack territory. So stop sleeping on fall’s oft-underestimated fabric (but feel free to keep sleeping in it), and let the following flannel outfits guide you to autumnal fashion nirvana.

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STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Opt for a maximalist approach: Pair your most vibrant flannel with a turtleneck sweater, overalls, statement sunnies and big hoops for optimal results.

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Hard for flannel to skew grunge when it's rendered in Burberry plaid.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Because flannel isn't (and shouldn't be) exclusively reserved for oversized button-downs.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Your favorite flannel would probably look a lot cooler when paired with a plaid skirt, don't ya think?

Photo: Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Combine with a tailored wide-leg pant and bright aviators for a '70s chic take on fall.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Millennial pink will make any neutral plaid look more delicate.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

The easiest edgy outerwear around.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Introduce your go-to flannel to your favorite neon piece—see what happens.

Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

All plaid everything. (Extra points if you can do all flannel everything, too.)

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

If you ever come across a plaid flannel matching set, buy it. You won't regret it.

Photo: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Opt for a not-so-basic flannel shirt. You can pair it with anything, and it'll carry the look. (Statement shoes don't hurt, either.)

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Flannel shirts serve as excellent undercoats once layering season enters full swing.

Photo: Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Shop a flannel top in a surprising palette. You'll thank yourself later.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Because flannel tops and skirts aren't mutually exclusive.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

A hyper-saturated flannel layered over a white-on-white ensemble? Don't mind if we do.

Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Unleash your inner Gossip Girl and pair your favorite plaid top with a mini skirt, heels and knee-high socks.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Flannels often come in fall shades, but that doesn't mean the rest of your outfit needs to adhere to the same color story.

Photo: Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Amazing how the right stilettos can dress up a flannel and denim bermudas, huh?

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Go full lumberjack and wear an oversized flannel over jeans. It's like '90s dad style—taken to a whole new level.

Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Because it's too cold for you to wear your favorite summer maxi sans outerwear.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Great over turtlenecks and leggings. Also great under denim and leather jackets.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Once holiday fun starts to set in, you'll want to wear a cozy red flannel every day. Here's a visual lesson in how to do so with a grunge twist.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

Because sometimes it's too cold to go jacket-less, but too hot to wear a full-on coat.

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images.

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  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way
  • STYLECASTER | How to Wear Flannel—the Street Style Way

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