If you’ve been consistently overlooking your flannel shirts each time you get dressed for work because you’re unsure whether they’re appropriate for the office, you’re certainly not alone. It’s only natural to wonder about the concrete formality of the flannel. After all, they are technically collared shirts, aren’t they? It’s an unspoken debate, but the question still stands: can you wear a flannel to work?
In most cases, yes, you can wear a flannel to work. As long as your employer allows you to dress business casual, then a flannel can be a great style choice for work. However, if your employer favors more formal attire, then it’s probably best to reserve your flannel for casual Fridays.
Now, I know what you might be thinking. Flannels are definitely not business-worthy. They’re only fitting for lumberjacks and hipsters. And honestly, the origins of the flannel undoubtedly validate that point.
However, if you’re hoping to step into the flannel game on more of a regular basis, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to dive deep into all-things-flannel and explain precisely why this versatile option can make for the perfect workplace shirt.
Can You Wear A Flannel To Work?
Keeping things comfortable at the office isn’t always the easiest when your workplace requires a particular dress code.
I mean, slacks and ties only have so much versatility.
However, once the tech industry introduced basic tees, hoodies, and sneakers into the office, corporate dress codes have begun to change.
While every workplace differs in its production guidelines, the same goes for dress codes.
That said, whether a flannel is a good option for your particular office does require taking some important factors into consideration.
Your office may require business-formal or business-professional dress while hard at work, and if that’s the case, saving your flannel for casual Friday is probably the safest option for you.
It’s best to assume that if you should be wearing a tie, don’t opt for the flannel.
However, in less-strict office environments, even with its country-vibe and casual connotation, a flannel can be a great shirt for the office, too.
Is A Flannel Considered Business-Casual?
Business casual is an ambiguous term that isn’t necessarily clear-cut in today’s society.
In today’s modern age, the line between business casual and casual is growing hazier every day.
It’s seemingly true that millennial businesses are beginning to recognize that professional attire doesn’t get work done—people do. In any case, what business casual means for one workplace isn’t always what it means for another.
One of the most lovable attributes about the flannel is its versatility; it can easily be dressed up or dressed down. So, whether a flannel is business casual is almost entirely in your hands.
Depending on the style, the fit, and the complementary wardrobe pieces you choose, a flannel can easily become one of your most beloved workplace garments. Not to mention, you can certainly wear a flannel and stay in good standing with your boss.
So long as you know how to pull it off.
How To Wear A Flannel To Work
Various factors come into play when you’re trying to make the most comfortable piece of clothing you’ve ever had on your body look sophisticated enough for the office.
But how can you cope with leaving a piece of heaven hanging in your closet and instead buttoning up a stiff dress shirt at six in the morning?
Wearing a flannel shirt to work can easily make your day a bit cozier—and thus, all-around better—even before it begins.
Regardless, before you just toss one on and head to work, let’s cover some of the most essential characteristics you should be looking for in a work-suitable flannel.
Deciding On The Appropriate Flannel
It’s common for the first word that pops into your head when you think of flannel to be “plaid.” However, as I mentioned earlier, flannel is a material, not a print.
In that case, there are hundreds of different styles to choose from.
The print can be one of the most telling aspects of your entire get-up. So, decide carefully between patterns to ensure that you ultimately achieve the look you’re going for.
If you think that a flannel may be a bit too grunge for your office, opt for a solid flannel.
Plain, solid colors can give off a sharper, more professional feel compared to a flannel’s plaid counterparts. However, if you do want to give the check flannel a go, plaid patterns that feature white and cream give off a dressier energy, while darker plaids emulate casualness.
When settling on any patterned fabric, keep the remainder of your outfit on the more minimalist side to allow the boldness of your shirt’s print to work its magic and keep you sophisticated at the same time.
Balance is key when you’re aiming for a smart, polished-yet-cool vibe.
Consider The Fit
Just because they’re comfortable doesn’t mean they need to drape your torso in a way that makes you look frumpy. Flannels can quickly become one of the boxiest shirts if you overlook their fit.
Find a sleek, form-fitting flannel to complement a more professional look. To keep things a bit more business-like, try to find flannels that are built similarly to dress shirts. In other words, you’re going to want to keep a special eye out for length.
If a flannel shirt isn’t long enough to stay comfortably tucked in, probably avoid it when dressing for work. While it’s not wrong to wear a flannel untucked, it will automatically look more casual if it’s too short to be tucked in anyway.
Dressing Up A Flannel
How you layer and pair a flannel makes a world of difference. Opting for a solid print won’t automatically place you in the realm of business casual.
There are a variety of clothing options that you can unite to complement a flannel and ensure that you’re still meeting your office’s dress-code requirements. However, watch out for dressing a flannel up too much—there are still guidelines to follow when trying not to clash formalities.
Regardless, there are a few ways to wear flannels that create the perfect smart-casual appearance that you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of in the mirror before heading out the door.
One of the easiest ways to dress up your flannel is to layer it. Whether it’s under knitwear or a sports jacket, around here, layers are the way to go. If you choose a patterned flannel, tone things down by tossing a neutral knit sweater overtop and allowing the collar to peek out.
Layer a solid flannel under a suede blazer for a nice, polished look.
As far as pants go, you have options.
Flannels quickly go from casual to dressy when tucked into a pair of chinos and paired with a quality belt. You can even add flannel to a nice pair of well-fitted, dark-wash denim jeans.
Factor it into business casual even more smoothly with a crisp pair of dress slacks.
Avoid sneakers and overly-casual shoes at the workplace—unless it allows for them. It’s also important to not go too formal in this case, either.
When in doubt, go for a sleek Chelsea boot or some classy loafers in addition to your workplace flannel.
All in all, yes, you can wear a flannel to work.
Although no two workplaces are the same, most corporate offices allow for business-casual attire, which is ultimately the perfect invitation to pull your flannel out of your “weekend” drawer.
Despite their masculine, woodsy symbolism, flannels have become one of the most multifunctional garments in today’s world.
Not only do they embody the feeling of true bliss, but flannels also add plenty of style when paired with the right additional wardrobe pieces. Always be sure to double—or even triple—check your office policies before wearing any old thing to work.
But rest assured knowing that flannel has sufficient versatility to go from casual to dressy with a few simple measures. So, what are you wearing to work tomorrow?