7 Ways to Make a Flannel Shirt Into Your Fall Favorite

Allison O'Dell
by Allison O'Dell
1 Material
5 Minutes

My sister was visiting last weekend and we ended up at Target. I was mulling around as she was picking out Christmas pajamas (the earliest she’s ever bought them) and saw an olive and grey buffalo check flannel shirt in the Men’s Department.

I’m not sure if it’s my shopping problem or the crisp fall day, regardless, I bought it.

On my way home the buyer’s remorse hit. Yet then I went back to my ol’ standby, “it’s for the blog” excuse. Yes, I use this form of rationalization WAY too much. But seriously, I thought I would share a bunch of ways that a flannel shirt can be worn for YOU and that, in turn, will help ME get a lot of use out of it. WIN-WIN!

Guess what? It worked! It’s now become my fall favorite.

As a giver, I want you to have the same experience, so take a look at these 7 outfits. Flannel is so versatile! You definitely need one too.

Layers for a Day on the Lake

Continuing the story, with family visiting, we went out on the lake for a fall foliage ride. Getting temperatures on the water right in fall is tough. The sun comes out and it gets warm. A cloud goes by or the wind picks up a touch and it’s suddenly super cold.

Hello fall flannel!

It’s perfect for layering over a thin henley with jeans.

I kept it on all day and felt perfect as I sipped my hot cider with Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum.

Yoga Cover Up

The next morning I had to run out to teach a Yoga/Pilates class. My flannel shirt was hanging up in full view so I pulled it on over my Lululemons and headed out.

As the class was outside, I actually kept the flannel shirt on through the warm-up. It was perfect! The sun was shining and there was just a hint of cool air in the breeze.

Running Out to Do Errands

I didn’t pull my flannel out the rest of their visit BUT as soon as they had left town (so they wouldn’t judge me for not changing my shirt), back it came! I was heading out to run errands and it happened to match great with a long cardigan and riding boots.

By tying it at the waist, it has a more fitted look and doesn’t make me look like I’m trying to look like my teenage (that comes later, lol).

My faux Goyard matches it great too! (Yes, it’s fake. I love haggling with street vendors when we’re in NYC. You too?)

Going Out for Drinks

Locally, we have a vineyard called  Anyela’s. While it’s not on the lake, it’s perched high up on the hillside overlooking the lake shores. The vineyard boasts really beautiful grounds and patios. The only problem is that it closes daily at 5:00 pm.

We decided to go for an early happy hour but since it was only 3:30 pm I wanted to keep what I was wearing transitional. Just in case happy hour turned into dinner.

Skinny jeans, Icebreaker layering scoop-neck long-sleeve shirt, black leather jacket, and black low-boots. And the shirt, tied at my waist. I felt young and ready for fun! The job is done!

The black leather jacket has been in my closet for years! It’s a soft Ralph Lauren with contrasting thread and a simple zipper in front. It’s SO versatile. If you ever get the chance to but one like it, DO!!

A Walk Before Dinner

In the end, we decided to go for a walk after our visit to Anyela’s Vineyard. The village is bustling in the fall, especially with limited restaurant seating due to COVID, so it’s hard to get a table right away.

What we often do is get our name on the list of our favorite restaurant (Gilda’s btw) and head out for a walk until our table is ready.

That means that I need sneakers. Gilda’s is casual so I can go from a cool fall evening walk right in to be seated. I changed out of my leather jacket, pulled on my fuzzy Patagonia vest, and we headed out!

Trial and Reversal of the Flannel Shirt

Before we left for our walk, I did try on another outfit but decided that I preferred to have my arms free for our walk. Still, I like the look even though it didn’t leave our house.

Here I borrowed my daughter’s Topshop faux leather biker jacket and intentionally left the shirt unbuttoned to offer a little more attitude.

Working in the Yard in My Flannel Shirt

The final look was taken in our yard as Dan and his brother, Craig, worked on fixing our riding lawn mower. I had been outside trying to decide what to do with our front porch (more on that soon) and ended up playing for a while with Pudder, Craig’s dog.

It was much cooler so I pulled out my Ugg’s, a knit cotton turtleneck, and a knit hat (confessions of dirty hair). It was so cozy.

I love these Ugg boots. They tie in the back and don’t have the inflated toe box that a lot of the Ugg boots have. So warm and soft inside. Love!!


One thing I LOVE about flannel shirts is that they get better with wear. If the edge frays or the elbows wear out into holes, it just grows with the sentiment of shared experiences, like a lovely old friend.

This shirt is definitely going to be in my closet for years to come. It may transition into a pajama shirt, painting cover-up, or stay as one of my fall staples. I feel my buyer’s remorse has been lifted.

Your turn! Find a flannel shirt that's perfect for YOU!! Go ahead, it’s okay to say YES.

If you want to see all of the pieces shown in this post, head over to my blog, AmericanSchoolofCharm.com.

Suggested materials:
  • Men’s Standard Fit Long Sleeve 2-Pocket Flannel Button-Down Shirt - Go   (Target)

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