Which gray flannels are best?

Flannel shirts are one of those rare pieces of clothing that fit almost every event. They’re easily dressed up or down, they can be thick and warm or thin and soft and come in a huge variety of designs. Gray flannels are neutral so they can be paired with almost any other kind of clothing.

One of the best options is the Land’s End Traditional Fit Flagship Flannel Shirt. It comes in 15 size options and three gray designs. It can be buttoned up or down to be casual or professional.

What to know before you buy a gray flannel

Design

Gray flannels have a few design options that lend themselves to different looks. Most flannels use a checkerboard, plaid or tartan design. Many people confuse plaid and flannel to be interchangeable. In reality, flannel is the material and plaid is the design. Some rare gray flannels are simply a solid color.

Many gray flannels mix elements of black and white together to create a highly contrasted, bold look. Others use gray as a base and cross the surface with shades of blue, brown, yellow and red. Gray is a neutral color and can pair with most colors, even strong colors like purple and orange.

Material 

Most flannel shirts are made entirely from cotton, though some mix in polyester or use wool rather than cotton.

  • Cotton flannels are soft, light, breathable and warm. Polyester is occasionally added to lower the cost. Depending on the brand there may not be a noticeable difference if it includes polyester.
  • Wool is typically only used for flannels that are designed to be used in frigid environments. It’s much warmer than cotton and their design leaves extra room inside to allow for comfortably wearing multiple layers.

Cut

Flannel shirts are designed to leave more room inside than other shirts. This allows the wearer more range of motion and the ability to more comfortably wear excess layers. Some cuts also extend the length of the shirt as far down as the upper thigh, for various reasons.

What to look for in a quality gray flannel

Pockets

Many flannel shirts feature pockets on their front. Only one pocket, on the left breast, is more common than two. These pockets are designed to be anywhere between fully functional and simply fashionable. Functional pockets tend to be larger and have either buttons or snaps to allow the pocket to be sealed. Fashionable pockets may not be pockets at all, being a sewed-on patch that only looks like it’s a pocket.

Sleeves

Flannel shirt sleeves share much in common with dress shirts. They have buttonable cuffs that can secure around the wrist or be left undone for rolling the sleeves up. As flannels are popular for outdoor-related work, many also have buttons for securing the sleeves once they are rolled up.

How much you can expect to spend on a gray flannel

Gray flannel shirts are available in every price point for your budget. Many great options are as expensive as $20 while thick, protective shirts rarely exceed $100.

Gray flannel FAQ

What should I wear under a gray flannel shirt?

A. That depends on if your flannel is buttoned up or open-faced. If it’s buttoned up and you’re plenty warm already then don’t wear anything. Flannel is supposed to be soft and comfortable. If you need extra warmth you can wear thick, cotton undershirts in both long- and short-sleeved varieties. If it’s open-faced, it depends on the design of your flannel. If your flannel is a solid gray, feel free to wear undershirts with some kind of design. If it’s checkerboard or patterned, try to stick to solid undershirts. Color-wise, reds, browns and blues are good choices. If it’s dark gray, wear white to make the gray pop. If it’s light gray, wear black.

Should you iron a gray flannel shirt?

A. Ironing a flannel shirt is rarely necessary as they typically don’t wrinkle easily. Some of the thinnest options might need some minor ironing if you’re averse to any wrinkles whatsoever. Remember to be cautious when ironing. Ironing incorrectly can flatten the material or give it an artificial shine.

What’s the best gray flannel to buy?

Top gray flannel 

Land’s End Traditional Fit Flagship Flannel Shirt

Land’s End Traditional Fit Flagship Flannel Shirt

What you need to know: This flannel is made from 100% cotton for warmth and comfort.

What you’ll love: This shirt is available in 15 size options, including a variety of big and/or tall options. There are three gray options: solid light gray, gray with elements of blue and brown and a white/black/gray checkerboard. The collar and cuffs can be buttoned down. 

What you should consider: Some consumers had trouble ordering a properly fitting size, especially with the slim-fitted options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Top gray flannel for the money

Amazon Essentials Men’s Slim-Fit Long-Sleeve Flannel Shirt

Amazon Essentials Men’s Slim-Fit Long-Sleeve Flannel Shirt

What you need to know: This low-cost option directly from Amazon is a perfect choice for saving money.

What you’ll love: This shirt is available in six size options from extra-small to double-extra-large. There are four gray options: white/black/gray checkerboard, gray/black checkerboard, gray/white plaid and light gray/white plaid. The shirt is designed to be tucked or untucked.

What you should consider: The buttons on this shirt are small and those with dexterity issues might find them difficult to use. Some consumers had issues with the stitching quality.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Legendary Whitetails Men’s Buck Camp Flannel Shirt

Legendary Whitetails Men’s Buck Camp Flannel Shirt

What you need to know: Another excellent, all-cotton flannel shirt.

What you’ll love: This shirt is available in 13 size options, including a variety of big and/or tall options. It’s long in length and wide in the shoulder for a better fit. Very warm in colder months. The front pocket can be secured with a button.

What you should consider: This shirt may appear boxy on some body types. There is only one predominantly gray design: solid gray with tan on the interior.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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