Put Your Faith in Flannel

Put Your Faith in Flannel

In a world of uncertainty and confusion, you can always depend on the humble flannel shirt.

George Henderson in Harry and the Hendersons. Big Ed Hurley in Twin Peaks. Al Borland in Home Improvement. What these men have in common – other than being fictional Americans and icons of the 1990s – is their undying faith in the powers of the humble flannel shirt. Without his trusty red buffalo-check number, would George Henderson have succeeded in protecting Harry the sasquatch from the dastardly Jacques LaFleur (who, incidentally, also wears a flannel shirt throughout the film, paired with a navy beret and a worn-in M-65)? Without his impressive stable of rugged flannel shirts, would Big Ed Hurley have become a successful small business owner? And would Binford Tools have chosen Al Borland as a brand ambassador were it not for his indefatigable uniform of heavyweight checked cotton? The answers to these questions aren’t clear, but what is clear is the enduring appeal of the flannel shirt.

No shirting is cosier for the winter months than a soft, brushed flannel; it is the kindred spirit of wide-wale corduroy, Shetland wool, and spongy tweed. It calls to mind the ascetic, utilitarian style of outdoorsmen with strenuous labour to undertake and distances to cover. 

For the past few seasons, we have been offering what we call our ‘work shirt,’ which features twin flap pockets on the chest, and a soft semi-spread collar. It has appeared in hardy cotton twills and washed-out denims, but this season we elected to make it up in flannel. Though not just any flannel. We sourced an extraordinary heavyweight fabric from a Japanese mill, with rich, warm colours and a textured, slubby weave: the perfect material for a no-nonsense cold-weather garment. The finished product is something quite special, a hard-wearing shirt with workwear credibility, elevated by a cloth that is anything but workaday. 

So, follow in the footsteps of great men – gas-pumping, bigfoot-harbouring, tool-mongering men – and put your faith in flannel. 

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