How To Style Flannel In A Feminine Way This Fall

Now that fall is here, everyone is excited for pumpkin spice and everything nice – and that includes breaking out your favorite flannels to ward off the chilly weather!

By Evie Solheim3 min read
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Flannel shirts have been a fall staple for both men and women for years…which means it’s time for a refresh on how to style flannel for autumn. Keep reading for tips to keep your cozy fall wardrobe fresh.

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“Shackets” Are a Girl’s Best Friend

“Shacket” may be an awkward word, but these combination shirt-jackets are a girl’s best friend when she wants to look comfy yet cute. Look for a plaid shacket made of material that’s on the thicker side so that you’re not shivering once the sun goes down. 

A shacket with black or brown overtones can be super versatile – wear it dressed down with boyfriend jeans and flats or dress it up with black jeans and heeled booties. I especially love this two-toned option from Princess Polly, available in beige or brown, since it’s unexpected but still easy to pair with items you already have in your closet.

Princess Polly Myley Jacket in Brown, $83

Or if the weather is a little chillier where you are, try a longline flannel jacket for the perfect statement piece to carry you into winter.

NastyGal Longline Oversized Shirt Jacket, $39

Flannel Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Plaid

Flannel shirts and plaid shirts aren’t the same thing – but flannel shirts are often plaid shirts! Flannel refers to any “woven fabric most typically made from wool or cotton,” according to iconic clothing brand Lands’ End. Yes, they sell so many flannel shirts that they literally have an entire FAQ page dedicated to it. 

“What distinguishes flannel from other woven fabrics is its ‘napping,’ which refers to the slightly raised texture of the fabric. This feature, often accomplished by brushing and sometimes done on both sides, is what gives flannel its signature softness,” Lands’ End states. “But the nap provides more than just a soft touch. The raised fibers of the fabric also allow it to more easily trap heat, making it a naturally insulating fabric. This is why flannel shirts, pants, blankets and more have been a favorite way to keep warm for centuries.”

Solid-colored flannel shirts are an underrated way to look stylish and stay warm this winter. This charcoal popover from Everlane is a super versatile option – style it with a beanie, leggings, and oversized denim jacket for a granola girl look, or pair with gold jewelry, dark wash jeans, and heeled Chelsea boots for an understated holiday look.

Everlane The Organic Cotton Flannel Popover, $32

Turtleneck + Flannel Is an Elite Combo

Sometimes, what’s old is new again…and the combination of a turtleneck under a flannel shirt is both a throwback and a popular trend for 2022! But we don’t have to style it like our moms did in the 1980s. A cream turtleneck, your favorite flannel, black contrast stitch jeans, and sneakers add an edge to an otherwise basic outfit. 

Try this cropped flannel shirt from Urban Outfitters with high-waisted jeans and a turtleneck if you want to test out this look. And as a reminder – you can “cheat” with your turtleneck option so that you don’t overheat. After all, only the collar will be visible if you button up your flannel! Wear a turtleneck dickie like this one from H&M (available in black or beige) or a cropped, sleeveless one like this mockneck sweater from Cider.

Urban Outfitters BDG Joey Flannel Cropped Button-Down Top in Red Multi, $59

Gap Factory Flannel Easy Shirt, $35

Just a Peek

We tend to think of a flannel shirt as something to toss on over an outfit – but using a cozy flannel as a base layer is a great way to add a peek of pattern! Be sure to avoid a bulkier flannel shirt for this outfit formula – pick a thinner flannel shirt in a more feminine cut to go under your favorite sweater, à la style influencer Sarah Patrick. Grab your favorite pair of blue jeans and a classic loafer or mule, and you’ll be ready to sip cider as you watch the sunset.

Old Navy Plaid Flannel Classic Shirt for Women in Green/Blue Plaid, $20

Go Vintage

Sure, you can buy a new flannel shirt off the rack, but what’s better than a vintage flannel from the thrift store that’s already worn-in soft? Hit the men’s or women’s section to find cozy additions to your flannel collection – and you can be sure you won’t run into someone wearing the exact same flannel from Target on your next outing. And if physical thrift stores aren’t your thing, there are lots of options on online thrift shop ThredUp.

Abercrombie & Fitch Relaxed Flannel, $60

Go Really Vintage

Before women were wearing flannel shirts, we were wearing flannel dresses. Channel that vintage energy by opting for a flannel dress in an updated silhouette (no shoulder pads, you hear me?). 

This long-sleeved plaid mini dress from Gap is available in several colors and looks cute with boots or sneakers – a win for those of us still experiencing chilly fall mornings that turn into warm fall afternoons!

And, of course, if you really want to go vintage/retro, there are always reseller hotspots like eBay – you never know what you’ll find!

Gap Plaid Tiered Mini Dress, $55

Tuckernuck Blackwatch Daphne Dress, $248

Opt for Pastel over More Autumnal Colors

Fall is a time when you can convert your wardrobe to rusty reds, deep purples, and dark evergreen – or not! If you love autumn, but not autumn colors, stand out from the crowd with pastel plaids – lavender, pink, and baby blue.

Pair a pastel plaid shacket with a cream sweater, light wash jeans, and heeled booties for an elevated version of the classic flannel and jeans combo.

Abercrombie & Fitch Cozy Shirt Jacket in Blue Plaid, $102

PinkLily Undeniable Dream Pink Blouse, $27

Don’t Forget about Nighttime!

If there’s one thing everyone associates with flannel…it’s flannel pajamas! But you have a lot more options than just the matching red-and-green flannel PJs that are made for Christmas (those are cute, too though!)

Urban Outfitters Out From Under Joslyn Flannel Button-Down Shirt & Short Set, $75

Old Navy Printed Flannel Pajama Set, $40

Closing Thoughts

We’re all embracing fall fashion as the cooler days arrive, and flannel items are no exception! What’s your favorite flannel item to wear during the fall?

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