First, the bad news: your favorite flannel shirt is making more of a statement about you than you thought.
But the good news is we’ve got you covered, with a cotton-to-English translation of exactly what your choice of plaid workwear is saying. Because whether you’re backwoods, Brooklyn or just plain Borland, you wouldn’t want your brushed-cotton shirting projecting anything but.
It is the everyman of your fall wardrobe. It’s burly. It’s loyal. It’s got a no-nonsense attitude. It’s... a lot like Al Borland.
Which explains why he was rarely seen outside of one. Granted he was a television character, but still, he managed to exemplify the workwear staple in its Platonic ideal. He wore flannel shirts the way they were meant to be worn (and we doubt he was using a Japanese proxy to buy them). In an impressive array of plaids to boot. So we’d like to celebrate the man who unsuspectingly became the poster boy for the season’s most reliable item of clothing--by acknowledging his lifetime achievement in the art of napped cotton.
There seem to be only two kinds of scarves out there: the woolen protect-ya-neck-in-the-dead-of-winter type, or the silk/cotton ones made for springtime (and bohemians anytime). Which leaves you in a bit of a lurch during the brisker days of fall—when your neck could use a wind-guard but isn’t quite ready for the itch of wool.
The answer: this flannel scarf from the newest batch of the Hill-Side’s always-on-point neckwear that’s just landed at Hickoree’s. It’s hard to believe there aren’t more flannel scarves out there for fall use—if there were ever an official fabric of the season, it would be flannel (if fall were a country, its flag would be woven from the stuff). And depending on how warm your neck runs naturally, it might even serve you well into early winter.
On the heels of our Friday post on Ian Velardi’s robe-style outerwear, it seem the gents over at Four Pins managed to dig up another equally handsome robe: this polka-dotted flannel number from Engineered Garments. And we’re inclined to call two a trend on this one. Unlike the down-filled parka-robe, this one doesn’t quite have the outerwear chops—most likely to become the extra layer to your game-day sweats and morning patio-wear. The fact that it’s cropped above the knee might give you a bit of leeway in the not-accidentally-dapper-coffee-run department, but proceed with extreme caution.
Ships doesn’t get the press of Beams or Honeyee, but they’ve been one of the main players in Tokyo’s heritage revival. And more importantly, they’re currently finishing up a pop-up shop at Tribeca’s Grown & Sewn—a khaki artisan you might remember from the Pop Up Flea. We stopped by today to check out the goods, including Inverallan sweaters and some of the finest sweatshirts known to man.
Here’s one for the woodsy crowd: San Francisco’s Pladra just unveiled a new batch of their trademark pattern-lined flannels, including this holiday-colored shirt and, of course, a blackwatch model. Roll up the cuffs on either one, and you’ll get a splash of Eisenhower-era forestry kitsch. Not bad, if you’ve got room for another shacket in your wardrobe.
You may have noticed a certain shift in neckwear over the past few weeks, with shantung and linen ties giving way to herringbone wools and rough flannels. It’s one of our favorite seasonal shifts, and the source of some of the best stuff in our closet. So we thought we’d take a moment to recognize the bucolic charm of the fall/winter tie... and highlight a few of our favorite specimens below.
The good news is that you’re coming up on a three-day weekend. The bad news is, you’ve got four days left before you’re honor-bound to put your white bucks back on the high shelf. Along with a few other items…
File this one along with your pre-fall wishlist. It’s from Adam Kimmel’s forward-thinking Carhartt collab, and a sharp twist on the plaids you’ve been seeing just about everywhere. We’re calling it “futuristic lumberjack.”
That means muted colors and line arrangements that look straight out of Tron. It also means a surprisingly versatile item: Throw a blazer over it and you’ll be straight out of a Woody Allen movie—we mean that in a good way—but leave it untucked and you won’t look out of place at a Fruit Bats show. Not bad, Mr. Kimmel.
It’s not the fabric; it’s how you use it. This, for instance, is a handsome tie—but once upon a time, it was an extremely ugly shirt.
It’s a product of 10 Tie Co, an Etsy shop stitching together from vintage dress shirts, flannels, and at least one wool skirt. Once the fabric’s set, the ties are backed with Egyptian cotton and folded together to a 3.5-inch point—resulting in a brand new item with a minimum of vintage mustiness.
And more importantly, now we’ve got a plan for what to do with our old flannels.
It looks like our favorite baseball nostalgics have a few extra tricks up their sleeve. This hat comes from the vintage baseball jersey shop Ebbets Field Flannels. It’s the same wool flannel with all the nostalgia stripped away—or most of it anyway. What’s left is a classic, sturdy item that holds up pretty well against spring drizzles. Just don’t wear it to dinner.
There’s a lot to love about fall style—including the mysterious art of layering—but our favorite perk comes from the simplest item in our closet: the flannel shirt.
Granted, we’re in the midst of a full scale plaid overload, but for this, we’re willing to make an exception. As you can see from the latest Band of Outsiders offering, the checks might get a little larger this year, and the colors a little less flashy, but otherwise nothing’s changed. It’s warm, it’s utilitarian, and it’s classic enough to remain unchanged since the Eisenhower days without ever seeming retro.
Unis also makes a great fine-combed version for more formal occasions (or if you feel like throwing on a wool tie), but you can find some surprisingly handsome and surprisingly cheap items trolling through your local vintage shop. Good hunting.