How to Wear a Flannel Suit
It’s tough to wear a suit in the summertime. Even with a 100% linen suit, it’s pretty easy to overheat.
But come autumn, a suit jacket just feels right. It actually serves it’s purpose of keeping you warm (which is kind of the point of a jacket, after all).
Sure, your “four season” wool suits will do just fine during the fall and winter. But if you want to step things up a notch in terms of warmth, texture and seasonality, you’re going to want to buy a flannel suit.
But what is flannel? Let’s get a one thing straight:
Originally, flannel was made from wool. So, all flannel was wool, but not all wool was flannel.
Now, flannel can be made from different materials like cotton, but there are two types of wool flannel: woolen and worsted.
Woolen flannel is the type you’re probably picturing right now: soft, fuzzy and thick. Like those pajamas you wear when you fake a sick day and binge watch ten episodes of Mad Men.
(What, you’ve never done that? I don’t believe you.)
Worsted flannel, on the other hand, is a bit smoother and not as soft as woolen flannel. It’s still heavier, more textured, softer and warmer than regular suiting wool. But it’s not as rough and rugged as tweed.
A suit made from worsted flannel is perfect for fall, winter and even early spring. It can be dressed up or down, and it’s easy to wear the jacket and trousers separately (especially with a neutral color like brown or grey).
For this post, I’m wearing a light brown flannel suit from a made-to-measure clothier called Oliver Wicks.
Oliver Wicks used to be called Dragon Inside. I actually did a review of one of their suits back in December 2013, which you can find here:
Dragon Inside Review
Compared to other companies I’d worked with at the time, that first suit turned out really well. In fact, after having a couple of subpar experiences, Oliver Wicks pretty much renewed my faith in the online made-to-measure process.
And while the company’s brand has changed, their commitment to customer satisfaction has not.
This brown flannel suit is my third Oliver Wicks suit, and there’s been plenty of measurement tweaking along the way.
Compared to my first OW suit, this one has a slightly more relaxed silhouette. It’s still slim, but there’a bit more give in the torso, sleeves and thighs.
suit | shirt | tie
Maybe I’m just getting older, but I think it’s important to find a nice middle ground between fitted and comfortable.
Remember: slim fit ≠ proper fit. Never sacrifice comfort for looks!
Even in a full suit, you should be able to move around a bit without feeling too much restriction or pulling.
Let’s talk about the suit. Here are the specs:
- Price: $549
- Half-Canvas Construction (Full Available)
- 100% Super 120s Worsted Flannel
- Woven in Italy (Vitale Barberis Canonico)
The color is a neutral light brown. I’m wearing it here over a white shirt with thin red stripes and a burgundy tie with yellow pheasants on it.
Note: For neckties, I generally prefer a four-in-hand knot (it compliments my narrow face), but I tied a half-Windsor here to use up some extra length.
The pocket square plays a supporting role here. Its pale yellow tones work with the yellow in the tie and the gold metal on my watch and belt.
The socks, on the other hand, are pretty bold. They work well with the tie, and I really like this mustard yellow color.
But a more conservative choice would be medium brown socks (slightly darker than the trousers).
Let’s Check Out a More Casual Look
Let me just get changed real quick…
For an informal look, you can swap your dress shirt and tie for a more casual button up – in this case, a plaid flannel shirt.
It’s a good old fashioned flannel fest.
Whether you dress it up or down, a flannel suit is a great addition to any man’s wardrobe – especially if it gets cold where you live.