Which oversized flannels are best?

There are few pieces of clothing with as much staying power as the flannel. Through multiple generations’ worth of trends and fads, the flannel has stood strong as a timeless and essential part of any well-rounded autumn wardrobe. In recent years, oversized flannels have seen an uptick in popularity for their relaxed, casual aesthetic and coziness. There’s a ton of fantastic flannels to check out, but the best one is Dickies’ Women’s Long-Sleeve Plaid Flannel Shirt. This 100% cotton flannel manages to be soft enough to wear without an undershirt and thick enough to keep you warm throughout the fall months.

What to know before you buy an oversized flannel

What is flannel?

Flannel is a soft woven fabric that has gone through a lot of changes in its long history. Initially, flannel was exclusively made using carded wool, but over time, manufacturers began to use cotton and synthetic fibers for flannel weaving. Due to its durability, warmth and softness, flannel fabrics are also used to make linens, upholstery and drapery. 

What are oversized flannels made from?

Clothing manufacturers typically use cotton, wool or a blend of both to make oversized flannels. It’s also common to find synthetic fibers such as polyester in flannels. Despite the differences in materials among various flannels, the one commonality they share is in the manufacturing process. To achieve that recognizably comfortable flannel feel, manufacturers “nap” the fabric with a fine metal brush that pulls at the fibers to create a softer texture.

Why buy oversized?

Oversized flannels are a savvy fashion choice for a number of reasons. First and foremost, their baggy fit makes them a great option for laid-back casual daywear or just for lounging around the house. You can wear them open to show off your undershirt or closed to keep warm. Not to mention, from jeans and skirts to hoodies and sweaters, oversized clothing is on the rise – looking and feeling comfortable and cozy has never been so in vogue.

What to look for in a quality oversized flannel

Warmth

One of the most important things to consider when looking for an oversized flannel is warmth. The type of material used and the thickness of the fabric determine the warmth of flannel. While wool flannels are generally considered the warmest and most durable, they can also be itchy, difficult to wash and cause allergy issues in some people. Cotton flannels can be quite warm, especially if the fabric is chunkier. Synthetic fibers like polyester are great for making soft flannels, but they’re not always the warmest. Some flannel manufacturers will blend two or more types of fibers to achieve a fabric blend that covers all its bases.

Patterns

The most common pattern you’ll find on oversized flannels is plaid. In fact, plaid is such a popular flannel pattern that many people use the terms “plaid” and “flannel” interchangeably. Misconceptions aside, flannel shirts can and do feature all different types of patterns. Flannel patterns can include solid colors, checkered prints, stripes, argyle and anything in between.

Sizing

Finding the right size oversized flannel can be a bit tricky. If you go too small, it just looks like a regular flannel shirt. If you go too big, you run the risk of looking like you’re wearing your big brother’s hand-me-downs on the first day of school. Keep in mind that manufacturers design oversized flannels to be loose-fitting in the right places. If you’re a size medium in a normal flannel, you should look great in a medium oversized flannel. It’s important to note that sizing charts fluctuate from company to company, so be on the lookout for those to check, especially when shopping online.

How much you can expect to spend on an oversized flannel

The majority of oversized flannels range from $20-$100. However, high-end boutique fashion companies have options that cost well above $100.

Oversized flannel FAQ

When did flannel shirts become popular?

A. Before the 1990s, the public primarily viewed flannel shirts as functional outerwear. With the birth of the grunge movement, flannels became a fashion statement. Bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden wore flannels to set themselves apart from more flamboyant 1980s rock and metal bands. Since then, flannels have continued to be a stylish and practical fashion choice for people of all ages.

What’s the difference between flannel and plaid?

A. Plaid is a pattern, while flannel is a type of fabric. The confusion around the two terms is due to plaid being the most common pattern found on flannel shirts.

What’s the best oversized flannel to buy?

Top oversized flannel

Dickies Women’s Long-Sleeve Plaid Flannel Shirt

Dickies Women’s Long-Sleeve Plaid Flannel Shirt

What you need to know: Dickies’ affordable long-sleeve is a relaxed-fit, button-down flannel ideal for the fall months.

What you’ll love: The fabric has a comfortable mid-level of thickness that isn’t too warm or too cold, and Dickies offers 11 cool patterns to choose from. 

What you should consider: Some owners report that the sizing runs a bit large.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top oversized flannel for the money

Yeokou Womens’ Fall Color Block Plaid Shacket

Yeokou Womens’ Fall Color Block Plaid Shacket

What you need to know: This gorgeous shirt jacket from Yeokou has a flowy fit and is available in 11 colorful plaid patterns.

What you’ll love: The large turn-down collar blends in nicely with the oversized fit, and the big buttons are fashionable and easy to use.

What you should consider: Some owners report that the inside of the shirt feels scratchy, and it’s made of polyester, so it might not be the warmest jacket.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

OLOLABoutique Plaid Flannel Oversized Shacket

OLOLABoutique Plaid Flannel Oversized Shacket

What you need to know: This stylish oversized flannel from OLOLABoutique has thick, durable fabric and a unique design with side pockets.

What you’ll love: The arms and shoulders have a more tailored cut while the body is looser. The side pockets are an innovative and convenient touch.

What you should consider: It’s only available in three color options.

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

 

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

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