The New Flannel, a Refinement in Fabric:
Flannel is back. You’ve heard this before; Kurt Cobain, the grunge revival, and whatever the hell else flannel used to mean is still cool. The thick fabric, full of pills, you wore to that one bon fire, that one time, to make that one girl think you were edgy or something is still cool? Well, kind of. Flannel has been synonymous with grunge, art students, lumberjacks, and that shitty acoustic guitar player from high school for decades. That’s just the way it is, and that’s the way flannel, as the masses know it, will continue to be viewed for a while longer.
However, there is another flannel shirt making its way onto the horizon, a modern option for the sartorially inclined man. Over the past five years (as you probably already know), there has been a movement in menswear, calling for tailored clothing that can be worn casually. The product of this movement, in a few words, is an image of casual elegance, and the flannel shirt has started to follow in this menswear movement’s tracks.
Over the past few seasons, the presence of lightweight flannel in shirting has increased steadily, and the pieces have been far from the heavy, point-collar flannel shirts of the past. A lightweight flannel allows for a more elegant drape and youthful cut. The fabric lends itself quite perfectly to the casual elegance, sought after by today’s man. The softness and comfort of flannel, paired with modern cuts, details, and furnishings, creates an incredibly beautiful shirt that doesn’t immediately bring Seattle and the grunge movement to mind.
Since lightweight flannel acts in the same ways a poplin or oxford fabric would, the possibilities in shirting are endless. That being said, above I’ve chosen a few different styles of lightweight flannel to share with you guys. The popover is having a moment right now, and this forest green popover from Piombo is a perfect example of how the modern flannel fabric finds its place in casual Italian tailored clothing. Similarly, this refined fabric has a place in the world of dress shirts.
The dark blue, green, and gray plaid dress shirt, custom made by Modern Tailor, is a perfect example of the elegance of this refined flannel. Finished with a wide spread collar and thick mother of pearl buttons, this shirt brings flannel into the world of the modern custom dress shirt.
The oxford cloth shirt, commonly found with a button-down collar, is a classic staple of the American prep enthusiast. Lightweight flannel is an easy substitute for the oxford fabric, as seen in the striped button-down shirt from Breyburn above. These small changes, like collar style and mother of pearl buttons, distinguish the new flannel trend from its tired older brother.
Lightweight flannel is a fabric that will be very much present in the coming seasons, providing warmth for fall and winter, while remaining wearable and breezy for spring. The refinement, found in menswear today, has reached the world of flannel. It is a new age for the flannel shirt, an age of elegance and personality.
Location: Lavallette, NJ
Photography: Greg Costanzo
Styling: Alex Delany
Art Direction: Alex Delany