Flannel trousers should be a core component in every well-dressed man's wardrobe.
In particular, I love gray flannels because:
- They match almost anything.
- They look sharp — as dressy as worsted wool trousers.
- They are very comfortable.
- They introduce texture into your outfit.
- They are durable and resist staining.
Yet despite all these advantages, purchasing a pair of gray flannel trousers is hard to do. Heck – purchasing a pair of black, navy, brown, or any color of flannel trousers is a challenge.
My Question: Why Is It So Hard To Buy Flannel Trousers?
I only know of a handful of sources, with the most affordable ($150-170) merchant having just a limited range of sizes in a casual style made for fishing. Brooks Brothers has a good selection, but not everyone considers $250 for off-the-rack flannels a great deal.
Fifty years, ago flannel trousers were much easier to find – they were a staple piece of clothing carried by almost every store that sold menswear.
But somewhere along they way they fell out of favor, were replaced by jeans, and regulated to the back shelves of high-end clothing stores. Well, I feel the pendulum is swinging back and it's time for flannels to return. The're just too versatile not to have!
Let's get into the details…
Why Flannel Trousers Should Be A Part Of Your Core Wardrobe
Let's start with the greys — from left to right we have light grey, medium grey, charcoal grey, and black. Now you might be thinking – these trousers are boring. There's no color.
That's exactly the point — the VAST majority of the time a well-dressed man does not want to draw attention to his leg line. He simply wants them to elegantly connect his shoes to his shirt/jacket. Flannels — in any variation of gray (and black to a lesser extent) do that perfectly.
Dressier than any type of jean, grey flannels can be worn with a blazer/sport jacket or even a dress shirt by itself. Now, let's talk about other classic flannel trouser colors…
Above we can see (left to right) tan, coffee, dark brown, and navy. These classic colors vary from the four above in one very important aspect – they leave the grey scale and introduce color to the leg-line.
Now, we're not talking neon green, but because we now have color in the lower-half these trousers are by definition more suited to some colors than others and therefore not as versatile. Which is why I always recommend one of these colors as only a 2nd or 3rd flannel trouser to purchase when building a core wardrobe.
However these classic colors do add more vibrancy to an outfit than greys/blacks. Brown trousers mixed with blue check sports jackets can give a ruddy colored man a bit more color without turning him red. Navy trousers with a tan hopsack jacket and white shirt works well when a dark skinned man want's to set himself apart in a crowded bar.
So, my question to you…
Is there a need for these classic trousers to return?
I think there is. What do you think? Leave your comments below!
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