What to Wear Daily

Women's flannel shirts: what to wear in Boston this fall

It's fall here in New England and that means cool days, cooler nights, and flannel shirts, those warm and often colorful shirts that go great with fall foliage.

Choosing a flannel shirt comes down to the look you want. Flannel is surprisingly versatile; you can wear a flannel shirt on most occasions. And by the way, when people say "flannel shirt" they are usually referring to a plaid cotton shirt, but flannel doesn't need to be plaid, nor does it need to be cotton. Flannel technically just refers to the type of fabric. Below we've given you three different looks to consider: the outdoors look, the casual look, and the business casual look. Flannel can be used for each of these looks easily.

(Go here for the men's version of this article)

The Outdoors Look


This look is for the woman who works or loves going outside. For this look choose heavier-weight, chunkier flannel shirts with the bolder and bigger plaids in natural or bright colors, like the Scottish tartans. The classic New England version of this is the L.L. Bean Scotch plaid flannel shirt. These outdoorsy flannels will usually come in regular or relaxed fit and can be worn over other shirts for extra warmth. Pair with a puffed vest, worn jeans, riding boots and hair blowing in the wind.


Good shirts for the outdoors look:

The Casual Look


To get a casual look choose mid-weight flannel shirts that are smooth and not heavily brushed. These shirts tend to have good-sized patterns in fun colors but aren't as bold or chunky as the outdoorsy flannels. You would typically wear these in a regular or slim fit. Pair with a cotton jacket, jeans or casual chinos, and sneakers and you can wear it for almost any occasion here in New England.


Good shirts for the casual look:

The Business/Casual Look


Yes, you can wear flannel shirts to work. It requires a slightly toned-down version of the shirt, with a smoother appearance (not as much brushing for softness) and a more conservative, small pattern (or even no pattern). Flannel shirts are also going to be a little bit warmer in the office, and you'll probably want to tuck them in behind a good belt. Pair them with chinos and plain toe oxfords.


Good shirts for the business/casual look:

So those are three classic looks for wearing flannel shirts. We've also wrapped up these recommendations in a graphic you can save to Pinterest...enjoy!