A couple of years ago, a friend asked me for advice on dressing down his normal suit-and-tie wardrobe.

Like many men, he wore suits (in worsted wool) to the office, and jeans or chinos at the weekend.

The office was becoming more casual, however, and he wasn’t sure how to dress down without becoming too casual and unprofessional.

My first tip to him was: flannel.


Most men today will have never worn flannel trousers, let alone a flannel suit. Suits for them are worsted wool – wool that has been combed and pressed, made sleek and sharp.

‘Woollens’, without that treatment, are alien, yet it is they that populate much of this gap between suits and jeans. And their king is flannel.

Flannel trousers – classically in grey but also in navy and other colours – are clearly smart. Yet their fuzzy (milled) texture separates them from normal suit trousers.

They can be worn with a sports jacket to the office – for that dress-down option – or at the weekend with knitwear, for a nice lunch or gallery visit, perhaps.


They are so perfect at this in-between role that readers often ask me what the summer equivalent is – when it finally becomes too warm for flannel.

Unfortunately I don’t think there is one; neither linen nor the various cottons quite fit the bill.

My friend now has three pairs of flannels, in two shades of grey and one navy.


And is considering a fourth.

There is of course, to confuse things, both worsted and woollen flannel.

Flannel can be made with worsted yarn (which uses generally longer fibres, and is then combed) or a normal woollen.

What generally defines a flannel is the milling process, where the cloth is beaten about and the fibres broken, producing that fuzzy effect.


A worsted flannel reacts differently to the milling and will have less texture.

It is generally used for making lighter-weight versions of flannel. (As woollens have shorter fibres and therefore can’t be spun into fine – and so lightweight – yarn.)

But to most enthusiasts of the stuff, worsted flannel is not worth bothering with. It doesn’t have most of the body and texture that is the whole appeal of flannel.

Woollens as a larger group include most other things that don’t look like a classic worsted suit: tweeds, cashmere jackets, cloths for overcoats and so on.

Although flannel is best defined by the milling process, it is also (like most cloths) in practice defined by its use.

So a milled woollen cloth used for a coat is not normally called a flannel. Flannel most generally refers to a milled cloth (worsted or woollen) used for trousers or suits.


This is actually a fairly clean and universal definition for a cloth. Others aren’t so easy.

For example, ‘serge’ is used to refer to a certain type of trouser, but is strictly speaking just the weave (the name of a 2×2 twill in French).

You can use that type of weave in any material, but serge has come to mean a woollen cloth, with a visible 2×2 twill, that is slightly milled. (There are gradations of milling too – did I mention that?)

To a certain extent, recommendations as to the ‘best’ cloth also begin to merge into its definition.


For example, we have said that the flannel enthusiast will insist that worsted flannel is not really flannel. For good, practical reasons around body and texture.

He may then suggest that real flannel should be of a certain weight – again, with good reason.

Flannels that aren’t heavy and closely set are lovely to wear, but rather impractical. They lose their crease quickly; they bag at the knees; they can even rip when wet.


This often puts off the flannel novice. After a few wears, they appear shapeless and unattractive, and he is unlikely to be able to press them effectively.

An argument can be made, therefore, that a flannel should really be 13oz or more – even 15oz. It is only at that point that it can be worn a few times without having to be re-pressed.

In general, English flannels tend to be closer set (more yarns, denser, in the warp and weft) and use thicker yarn. As a result they tend to be heavier.


Italian flannels tend the opposite way, sometimes searching for style at the expense of substance.

If you have no experience and are picking a flannel, an English one is therefore a safer bet.

But there are many exceptions on both sides – particularly given the Italian reverence for English cloth.

Finally, grey flannels tend to be a melange of different shades (one reason they are so attractive).


This melange can be achieved in different ways, in the fibre or yarn; but it’s a minor difference not worth going into here. Every technical piece must have its limits.

Flannel is one of the great pleasures of classic menswear, and one that communicates readily to the novice – hence my recommendation to my friend.

And while there are many different variations, I would suggest the important thing to focus on is weight.

Get a 13oz flannel, 11oz at worst – particularly in trousers. Your legs don’t have as much blood flow as your upper body and don’t get hot nearly as easily. Your creases will thank you.

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Vince

A very nice and simple guide for a noob like me. Thanks Simon.

Johnnydevore

Great post!
I‘ve come to conclusion that the summerversion of Flannel for me is grey and cream/tan crispaire. As grey Flannel they work with almost any Sportcoat. Grey Flannel in Winter and Grey Crispaire in Summer paired with all forms of sportcoats and a blue oxfordshirt became a bit of an uniform of mine.

Hristo

Absolutely agree. Same with me. I have 2 pairs of tan crispaire trousers and I am very happy with them.

AJ

Hi Simon,

Great article! I once had a flannel suit and loved the matte look. Indeed it’s just different from all the worsted suits.
One aspect i was looking for in this article, yet didn’t find is the durability. The suit I had wasn’t expensive, quite lightweight, and slimfit. As a dutchman I ride a bike to work. The result was that my pants lasted only two months (!)
Do you have recomendations? I would love a grey flannel for the office, but cannot skip the bikeride. And changing clothes in the office isn’t really an option.
So basically what i’m asking is this: Is there a more hardwearing flannel out there?

JB

I find my trousers wear out quite fast due to biking regardless of being flanell, worsted, cotton or denim. Since I moved further away from the office, I don’t ride my bicycle to work anymore, but I’m always intrigued by what the dutch and the danes do about this issue, since they all seem to bike every day in normal clothes.

AJ

I have a leather Brooks seat, which is more narrow in the part that sits between the legs. I then use a plastic seat cover which eliminates part of the friction. I avoid cycling in tight pants as they wear out the quickest. This is especially true for jeans which are stiffer.

BespokeNYC

AJ, would it be feasible to switch out just the trousers? I cycle to work every day and wear a pair of jeans (from Rapha) for the ride. We don’t have proper changing facilities at my office, but it’s pretty easy to swap out a pair of trousers in the bathroom.

Anonymous

I like flannel because it can be dressed down,perhaps with a fine knit roll neck sweater but I also find that a grey worsted suit with a pick and pick weave also achieves the same result with a roll neck.You could also choose a multi-colured grey cloth exemplified by Reid & Taylor or their modern equivalents.I had the latter point because R&T suiting cloth of 1970s vintage is not easy to find.What do you think Simon?

Hristo

I think it is very sad that Fox Brothers did their Queens Award Flannel bunch in 230g. They have a wonderful variety of colours in a weight that is virtually useless as it is too light for any possible use.
For trousers 230g flannel is unsuitable. This makes it unsuitable for a suit. And for an odd jacket it is also not the best choice as it will not drape as beautifully as a heavier cloth. At the same time it would wear too hot in the summer (for example compared to a 300g fresco) as the flannel does not allow good air circulation.
I really just don’t get it why they did this bunch in this useless weight.

kmartin

HRISTO — I had an unlined sport coat with no shoulder pads made from this fabric. Believe it or not, it is very comfortable in the summer and hangs and wears well. Even on long flights it does not wrinkle very much. I was pleasantly surprised. However, I still prefer Minnis fresco for the summer but this was a nice change up.

Fred

Dear Simon,
As ever enlightening and inspiring.
You asked what might be the summer equivalent of flannel.
Might it be Fresco? Also a wool material with a texture that dials the formality down a notch?

Anonymous

What about a cotton canvas, or canvas linen mix?

David H.

I think this is the right approach. Luxire carries some 11oz linen-cotton canvas, presumably from a no-name mill, and it’s phenomenal. It holds a crease and resists wrinkles well (for linen) and is comfortable at any temperature (well, up to 102, at least—that’s as high as it got where I live).

Rabster

I think this is an appropriate time to pose the question how long would a pair of flannel trousers last ? Or for that matter any item trousers, suit , jacket ?

And I won’t let you use the easy get out “depends how you wear and treat them”. so lets assume a flannel suit worn 8 hours a day , twice a week for 4 months ?

What I’m trying to get at is cost per wear .
Bespoke / MTM / quality RTW items often appear expensive but the normal refrain to this is that “in the long run etc etc”
I think now is a time to get some quantifiable clarity.

Bob

It isnt quantifiable, get a dozen pairs of trousers made in a different fabric and irrespective of if they are RTW, MTO or bespoke you’ll get a dozen different lifespans even if you wear them in the same way.

I’ve had trousers made from 12-13oz fabrics that have worn out from thigh rub in 2 years and others that are still going strong after 5 years of heavy use. You’ve then other considerations like getting shiny spots, baggy knees etc which again depends on fabrics and cut etc.

K K

It also depends on the shape of your legs, your gait, and your walking habits. And sometimes whether a cloth is cut straight or on the bias.

Alex

Great guide, thanks. Grey flannels in a range of tones and weights have proven very useful, especially since the temperature dropped in the UK. I have even wondered about having some jeans made up in flannel.

Do you know how your friend uses the navy flannel odd trousers? I could see them being a bit less useful.

Finally I would underscore your point about lightweight Italian flannels: I have had lightweight Loro Piana flannel practically dissolve under fairly modest use, and will err on the side of extra weight in the future.

M

I actually got a pair of navy flannels (maybe more of a royal blue shade rather than dark navy) from Cerrato and it actually ended up being almost as useful as my grey flannels. Because of their texture, they still work nicely with Suede, be it with a nice pair of brown chukka and/or a suede blouson. Still great for that restaurant outing in the evening where you want something a bit smarter and with an interesting texture. I know Simon that you are not necessarily a big fan of variation of blues but I do find that my navy flannel trousers work quite nicely with a light blue shirt, denim “shacket” I have made with W&S (so another layer which is smart but not too formal and with a very nice contrast on top of the flannel). A mid-grey or charcoal outerwear also works nicely on top. That being said, that one needs to be well aware and confident about colour and texture combinations so it is subtle and nice ! 🙂
Cheers
M

Alfonso

M i agree with you. I have a Cherquers by H&S royal blue trousers, not actually a flannel because of 1% cashmere and 1% silver mink, that is a great odd pair! It goes good with cashmere kintwear also.

Gonzague

The 98% Super 160 ones? Do you find they are not fragile or shiny?

Peter

What are your thoughts on navy flannel for a suit? I’ve been told in the past to avoid navy and stick to grey

Anonymous

The blue chalk stripe looks nice, but wouldn’t you expect pattern matching on the jetting?

John

Hi Simon,
Thanks for this very instructive post! Flannel is a lovely fabric indeed!
A follow up to your reply: In general, how do you estimate the importance of pattern matching at the level of the pockets? For jackets that haven’t been made bespoke, it usually seems hardly achievable, especially when alterations come into play.
I do have a very nice Glen Check wool jacket, which has undergone at least two alterations over the years, but I still wear it without bothering that much with its mismatching pattern at the level of the pockets.
John

Rups

Grey is a bit boring. All subjective but Ive always found blue to be more flattering. Can wear the blue flannel jacket with grey flannels too (and thus prolong life of your suit trouser at the same time 🙂 )

On another note, Simon what cloth books would you recommend? As other posters have mentioned a lot of flannel bunches are in the 11-12oz range. They pitch it right in the middle I think to appeal to as many people as possible. I’ve not seen a 15oz flannel anywhere.

BW

Are your flannel suits in worsted or woolen? Thanks

BespokeNYC

Wish this article had come out a few months ago as I just recently received delivery of a pair of flannels in 310g; sounds like I’m going to need to treat them very carefully!

And yes, the lack of a flannel equivalent for the summer is a real shame. Like many men, I’ve turned to Fresco as the best alternative, but it doesn’t look quite so casual, and it’s also a bit scratchy and uncomfortable against the skin. Is Crispaire a better option?

Also, I seem to recall reading somewhere that flannel used to be considered a summer fabric, which I find a bit hard to believe. Did men in the ’20s not sweat…?

Mike

Yes, white/cream flannel was the classic summer trouser. They also wore three piece suits year round and never took their jackets off. I have to think they were fine because they were conditioned at such a young age or something like that.

Anonymous

Global warming’s the culprit!!

Ramon

I ordered last week a flannel trouser from Marco Cerrato. Cloth was a lovely mid grey in 11 oz.
Would you suggest to go for 13oz instead? I live in a Mediterranean climate so it might be too much except for 1 or 2 months a year.

Bradley Owen

I’ve been looking for an alternative to denim jeans beside chinos. I came across some flannel pants in a 5 pocket style in navy that fit the bill. They appear to be jeans, but look just different enough to draw a double take. The pair I found are quite light and I’m already looking for something a little heavier.

Matt Spaiser

Great article, but I have a question relating to this passage:

“For example, ‘serge’ is used to refer to a certain type of trouser, but is strictly speaking just the weave (the name of a 2×2 twill in French).

You can use that type of weave in any material, but serge has come to mean a woollen cloth, with a visible 2×2 twill, that is slightly milled. (There are gradations of milling too – did I mention that?)”

I’ve only understood serge to mean a worsted 2×2 twill cloth, famously used in military uniforms. Can you explain more about the woollen variety and its usage as a type of trousers?

Rik

Simon, could you recommend somewhere to get RTW flannel trousers on the lower end of the budget scale?

rob

don’t forget Drakes. I’m very happy with my pair:

https://www.drakes.com/trousers/grey-wool-trousers

joshgtv

Try Dapper Classics. They often have 25% discounts. Great trousers.

Rik

Thank you

Gonzague

I just touched a flannel from FT di Delfino today. It was so soft and silky that I thought it was 100% cashmere. It was actually pure wool but at 295g I guess I’d better not use it for a suit, maybe a jacket. Which leads me to wonder whether many flannel bespoke suits are made: at €4000+ a suit, one expect a decent lifetime, regardless of one’s wealth.
Second, I pleased to see that I am not the only one considering flannel jeans. I saw some sold by a tailor but maybe it was cotton flannel. Generally, which cloths (woolen, weight, density,..) may qualify for a jeans cut & wear? You may not like the idea, but I thought some PoW, pik&pick or dogtooth might work well.

GONZAGUE

Ok. Would a slim chino cut be more suitable with such fabrics then ?

Ben

Summer equivalent for flannel?

If the desideratum is simply a fabric of in-between formality, there’re lots of options imo. Consider cooler fibers (e.g. silk, bamboo) spun into uneven yarns (e.g. slub) woven loosely (e.g. hopsack, basketweave) with a melange of different colors (as with flannel for suits, different shades of gray > all other color mixes).

I don’t actually think the specific texture of flannel is appropriate for warmer climates. I always sweat looking at guys in brushed fabrics or with naps of any kind in the summer. My wont’s crispy in the summer and cozy in the winter. Though if you insist, linen flannel is a thing.

David

Simon,
A great article.
I always have a 13oz or 15 oz flannel suit in my wardrobe.
Also, on the trouser front the A&S Haberdashery have a great selection – I bought a fabulous grey pair last week to wear with an old navy cashmere/silk navy blazer that was savaged by my dog, rewoven by Zegna and is now been relaunched with new horn buttons from Bernstein & Banleys – that’s sustainable dressing for you!
With regards to wear, anybody who rides a bike in flannel trousers should seek urgent help! They are for occasional wear. That said, like linen, a level of creasing is not completely the enemy and the darker the cloth, the less they show and if they are the correct weight, you wear them occasionally and you take care of them they will last.
Simon, have you got details of the chalk stripe in the visual ? And will A&S have it ?
Regards,
David

H

Weren’t all the symposium cloths VBC, if I remember correctly? If so – could potentially be 404.598/3, 340g – or at least that would probably be the current equivalent.

I think that might even be the same bunch as Simon’s recent Panico commission in grey flannel…

G

Could you do a flannel black tie? Or is that just mental

Evan Everhart

My friend has a very handsome 1930s midnight blue flannel dinner jacket with black gross grain lapels and braiding. I think it is quite handsome. It even has its original waistcoat to match the lapels. It is…Singular! I might wilt in such a garment, but it is handsome (sans the darts). The cut is slightly structured but sloped and roped shouldered SB peak lapelled with high rise double pleated trousers.

Anonymous

Simon
Sorry to post here but nto sure where else. I would like to get my first good blazer. Probably nazy, in a wool with a little bit of texture (maybe a cashmere blend??) in soft construction. I don’t want to spend more thant 6/700£. Is there any hope for me?

Anonymous

How much is someone like Graham Browne for something like this, or Whitcomb and Shaftesbury? Would they be alright at making a soft construction?

Anonymous

I posted a suggestion that your reader would do well to try Steed MTM as a great solution for his blazer but you must have missed it as it hasn’t appeared.

jd

Go to suitsupply and look for a jort model. Fully canvassed and with patch pockets.

James

I’d try Richard James and Hackett. Both have served me well and usually have a range of navy blazers. Hope that helps

Anonymous

Thank you., all of these comments appreciated

Anonymous

Pal Zileri outlet at Bicester Village worked well for me. pick the right time and you might get a bargain

joshgtv

Try Eidos or Sartorio if you like Neapolitan style. Good prices available on eBay.

joshgtv

Forgot to mention Caruso… also try eBay

ed

Fantastic article Simon; I’m a recent convert to flannel so this was very informative. Just thinking about some of the comments above re. cycling – I wondered if there could be a future article on cloth durability (apologies if this is contained in another article). I’d love to get your opinion and experience on which materials are the harder-wearing. I’m a primary school teacher by day, and so my clothes get a bit of a thrashing (!).

Chancellor

I’d like to add my support for this suggested topic. Thanks!

Anonymous

For anyone looking for heavier weight flannel cloth, try Huddersfield Fine Worsteds. I’ve had some trousers made up in their flannel and I’m over the moon!

https://shop.hfwltd.com/collection/47

john henwood

nice looking cloth….who did you use to make them up?

Anonymous

Sartoria Vergallo. Very happy with the trousers. I’ve just bought another length to make up into trousers.

LL

Simon,
Very Informative article, do you plan to write something on tweed as well? I would like to learn more on what makes it hardwearing but meanwhile why some tweeds are suitable as suit but some are not.

J

Hi Simon – I am new the bespoke scene and I have recently spent hours reading your blog. It is amazing – thank you and keep it up!
Flannel is an superb fabric – I have recently commissioned a pair of mid-grey flannel trousers (following your suggestion). I could not be happier, it is so comfortable and very versatile. I chose to go for a 12/13 oz mid-grey VBC flannel cloth. I live in a tropical country and I find it perfectly bearable. I might even consider going heavier for the next commission to get even better drape and durability.
My tailor was telling me that VBC flannels are great value for money. I went through the latest Fox flannels book and their cloth definitively feels more premium (also much more expensive) – prime choice for a suit. How would you rank heavy weight (480g) Zignone flannels compared to other mills?

GONZAGUE

I saw a worsted « fleece » wool Pow fabric at Piacenza1733. Although worsted, the PoW design was pleasantly looking blur. Any idea what a fleece wool is exactly when it comes to tailoring?

Tim

Hello Simon,

I am considering purchasing a flannel suit, likely in cloth of at least 13oz, yet I am wondering during what time of the year I can wear it. I get hot easier than others on average so I’m a bit scared I won’t be able to wear it for half the year, while I really want it to be versatile. Perhaps you could give your thoughts on this?

luca simoni

I’m a passionate lover of heavy worsted flannels. I had recently had two suits out of two cuts of the same flannel (but two differnt taylors, for the sake of variety). Navy chalk-striped flannel from Huddersfield archives, 15,5 oz approx. A weight nowadays used for overcoats. The result is simply stunning. The texture and the shapes of the suits made of such kind of cloth are absolutely a world apart. It’s really a shame those cloths are virtually disappeared.

KK

Hi Simon I see in a VBC post that you are having a grey worsted flannel suit made. Was curious given your comments in the flannel article didn’t seem to endorse the fabric. Just wanted to double check as I value your opinion. Thanks in advance.

KK

Hi Simon

You mentioned in the section above between the photos of the hanging trousers and you getting measured for your suit that flannel enthusiasts aren’t ‘bothered with worsted flannel’. but clearly that isn’t your view. Appreciate the clarification.

KK

Hi Simon I just emailed you a VBC Insta photo saying that the Panico suit you were having made was in their worsted flannel….sorry for all the back and forth..FYI the suit does look beautiful.

FIDELIO

Hi Simon,
Planning on commissioning my second bespoke suit, a grey flannel, after my navy hopsack. I asked my tailor for a 13oz flannel but he has English flannel swatches in 11oz and 14.5oz. I am leaning toward 14.5oz but fear it will be too warm. In your experience is there a big difference between 13oz and 14.5oz?
By the way I purchased the PS Oxford cloth and had a great shirt made by Simone Abbarchi. Great product again! Keep them coming.
Thanks

fergus

What is the heaviest weight flannel you’d want to make into a suit? I found a beautiful Fox Brothers flannel that’s 17/18oz that I’d like to get made into a suit for winter wear. Is that too heavy for a full suit?

Dhiren

Hi Simon,

I really like your work and I value your opinion on men’s style.

I am trying to rebuild my wardrobe and I would like my next sports coat to be a tan/beige/light brown – like our friend [attached]. I love how flannel feels but I am not sure if flannel is the right fabric for a sport coat [compared to tweed]. I live in a temperate climate so I can wear flannel at least 2/3rd of the year.
• What do you think of a 270gm Tan flannel fabric for a sport coat?

Thanks and keep up the good work!
Dhiren

john henwood

check the wording of your reply Simon..viz….’….generally avoid flannel…’ ‘Better to go flannel…’

Jj

Hi Simon,

One of my commissions for this year will be a pair of bespoke flannel trousers, to be worn on weekends.
My favorite fabric is a lovely mid grey, with a 300 gr weight. Is it too light or delicate?
Thanks very much

RICHMOND ADU-BOATENG

Hi Simon can flannel fabrics be used for overcoats as well. Because of the weight is quite close to the weight of an overcoat. Thank you

HC

Hi Simon,

I find that my flannel trousers always catch my over-the-calf socks, and thus making my trousers look very short when I stand up. For that reason I have to wear mid-calf socks with flannel trousers. Is there any solution so that I can wear flannel trousers and OTC socks together without looking silly with short trousers?
Many thanks!

John

Hello Simon,

you wrote a superb article!

I’ve recently chosen a cloth for my new (first) bespoke suit (mainly for business purposes) and it is a navy worsted flannel from Scabal. Dark blue colour (close to the third picture in your article), slightly glossy and with the nap. At about 10,5 oz which should be great for all seasons except summer.

As I read the article and comments, you are not a friend of worsted flannel. I do understand the arguments and agree that woollen flannel is even more appealing.

But I wonder if it is some kind of “rule” among bespoke suits connoisseurs (not just flannel enthusiasts) that worsted flannel should be avoided (as perhaps something that tries to bridge both categories but fails in their eyes) or a personal preference?

I have to say that I like the fact, that worsted flannel is more durable (like worsted wool, I hope) and also have at least some amount of the nap which I want to have on my suit (I consider the “fuzzy (milled) texture” of flannel much more appealing than that of plain worsted wool without the nap). It’s seems to me a great compromise.

But since I have no substantial experience and I want to make a smart investment with my first suit, I’d like to ask you (with your knowledge of taste and tradition) if I should reconsider my choice of cloth.

Thank you very much for your answer.

J.

Bernie

Hi Simon,

I agree with you that there are better options than flannel for SCs but would like to hear your thoughts on the 370g Pecora Nera winter weight jacketing, thanks

Bernie

I see – so Pecora Nera would be an exception to the rule? It is doubly attractive to me as I am very hard wearing on my clothes making cashmere an unpractical luxury leaving just tweed for me in the fall and winter.

Bernie

Hi simon,

You’re right even the “plain” options in PC have some type of texture or pattern like twill. Thanks!

ANONYMOUS

Hi Simon,

I am planning to commission a casual jacket. What are your thoughts on blue flannel blouson with stand up collar and blue flannel shawl collar (like the one from Anderson Sheppard)?

Thanks

ANONYMOUS

Thank you for the reply. Those are two different jackets. Just would like to hear your thoughts these two different style (make up with blue flannel) Thank you!

ANONYMOUS

That is very helpful. Do you think the shawl collar would be a bit too formal for casual wear? Also, would you suggest light grey over navy for the two jackets? Thank you once again.

ANONYMOUS

Would it still be too formal if I go for a shawl collar cardigan with style details like the one from Anderson and Sheppard but in flannel? I was thinking a cardigan, even with a shawl collar, is on the casual side and pair well with jeans etc. Thanks.

Lindsay Eric McKee

Brilliant post on flannel.
I intend to commission a “3 season” ( Autumn, Winter, Spring) jacket & trousers combination in a versatile and durable fabric as an alternative to a navy blue all-rounder lounge suit.
I am a jacket and trouser person who loves the versatility of separates.
2 questions.
1. What type of cloth would you recommend for a more durable alternative to flannel in a midweight and mid- grey colour , say 12-14oz fabric for TROUSERS ?
2. Same question but for a durable mid- dark navy JACKET?
Summer would for me be as above in Smith Woolens Finmeresco or Gilt Edge fresco, or H&S Crispaire for the Trousers and H&S Mesh Blazer or Scabal Finest Jacketings for a jacket.
What guidance can you offer me in this topic?
Many Thanks
Lindsay

Lindsay Eric McKee

Can you please correct above comment.
Smiths should be Smith Woolens Finmeresco or Gilt Edge fresco.
Thanks again.
Lindsay

CMW

Hi Simon. I hope you are doing well. Thanks for this informative article. I will be commissioning 2 flannel trousers within the next couple of weeks. It will be my first time to have flannel trousers. One will be mid-grey. For the second, what is your opinion on tan or sand color? Are they good choices for flannel trousers? And would they go well with a charcoal tweed jacket? Thanks!

Anonymous

how about cream (for flannels)?

Yi

Hi Simon, just picking up on this. Does this mean olive or dark brown might be the second colour flannel after mid-grey you’d recommend? Am thinking particularly in the context of building on the capsule wardrobe you outlined a while back. Thanks.

Aaron Daniels

In regards to the weight of flannel, does worsted vs woollen make any difference?

Aaron Daniels

Hi Simon,

Sorry, to clarify what I meant to ask: can you get away with flannel trousers in a lighter weight, say 10oz, if they are worsted rather than woollen or do the same issues exist?

Rupesh

Hi Simon,

Stoffa offer wool flannel (moss) trousers in pearl grey weighing 350g, do you think these would be a great option and practical? Also which fabric would you recommend for a pearl grey flannel from the English bunch mills?

Thanks

Rupesh

RT

Hi Rupesh,

I have two pairs of trousers in Stoffa’s moss flannel, though not in pearl grey. I have the walnut and dark indigo. I can highly recommend them. They’re excellent value for money and wear well in my experience.

Rupesh

Hi RT

Thank you for your recommendation, I am due to receive my first pair from Stoffa in Basketweave, dark indigo colour. Another question is doe the flannel trousers hold shape given the good weight.

Also Simon, you had a pair of Stoffa trousers or even more by now, hence you were impressed with their fitting and managed to achieve the drape as well. Would you say MTM can also achieve the correct drape and fit as bespoke to an extent?

Anonymous

Hi Rupesh, I have two pairs of Stoffa’s flannel trousers and can absolutely vouch for them. They hand very nicely and are as wrinkle-resistant as you can hope for in a flannel.

Rups

Rupesh, from another Rupesh, I have the flannels from Stoffa too. They are nice, but the cloth is thinner than its weight may suggest. I think that’s because they as they explained they are a pressed flannel. They therefore feel light and airy which fits with the rest of Stoffas aesthetic. They would work with light Italian tailoring better. They have shape but as you move they do sway around if that makes sense. Its more casual in style which is what I think Agyesh is going for however if you want a classical trouser I would personally go somewhere else.

Lindsay Mckee

Hi Simon.
I have several beautiful samples of Fox Heritage 17/18oz Flannel swatches. Obviously a sturdy and durable Flannel.
I don’t even have a ‘First Suit’ / Jacket commissioned… that would be a in mid weight navy worsted cloth.
Would this traditional very heavy weight flannel make a good durable winter suit, allowing for modern central heating or would it be way too warm and heavy. Perhaps this could one day be my second or a later commission. I think this flannel would make a striking double brested suit/jacket in the hands of a good Savile row tailor e. g. Anderson & Sheppard.
What is your thoughts on this beautiful Heritage flannel bunch from Fox?
Many thanks
Lindsay

Lindsay Eric McKee

Many thanks for your prompt reply. That helps a lot.
Lindsay

Dylan Mannikum

Hi Simon,

I am from a tropical island and I love Flannel trousers and our winters is similar to British summer.

What would you recommend as weight if I have to wear flannel trousers in summer (British summer)?

Thanks

Anonymous

What is your opinion about a navy doeskin blazer? Such a jacket was often used in the earlier James Bond movies paired with grey flannel trousers.

Jeff

Hi Simon,

I too have been considering a Navy doeskin blazer for colder months and because in general I run cold. I have felt a navy doeskin blazer and liked it, but how is that cloth classified? Is it a worsted? A woolen? I’ve never seen it mentioned as a group of anything just by itself. What are details of doeskin?

Second, how would that blazer pair with some mid gray flannel trousers?

Thanks again.

Anonymous

Would you pair a grey cashmere sweater with a grey flannel trouser e.g. Charcoal grey sweater and light to mid-grey flannel trousers and vice versa?

Would you wear your Luca Faloni nocciola brown sweater with grey flannel trousers?

What grey tone do you find most versatile for knitwear? Maybe mid-grey?

Besides navy what is your favourite colour with grey flannel trousers?

Sorry for so many questions at once.

Anonymous

Would you wear navy knitwear to charcoal grey trousers?

Ian

Hi Simon, great content! I’ve just read a few of your articles on flannel trousers and you’ve convinced me that maybe I should invest in one (currently only have cotton and linen trousers). I have a few questions on choosing my first flannel trousers. I live in a year-round hot and humid country and rains pretty often here.
1) What type of flannel trousers should I get? and what weight should I be aiming for?
2) How should I take care of the flannel trousers? I’m assuming that it is made of 100% wool and I should not wash it in the washing machine. So just dry clean a couple of times a year like my suits and brush regularly?
3) You mentioned that it may rip when it is wet, knowing that it rains pretty regularly here, should that be a point of concern and how to prevent it?
4) How does flannel trousers compare to fresco trousers?

Ian

Thanks for the reply. A few follow-up questions,
1) Can flannel trousers be machine wash and/or hand wash?
2) If fresco is the summer equivalent of flannel trousers, what type of fresco trousers would you recommend getting for their first? Any specific weight and colour?
3) Is the care and maintenance of fresco trousers the same as flannel trousers?
4) And since fresco trousers are also made of wool, I’m assuming that it will rip when it’s wet if I cycle in them.

Al

Thank-you for the article Simon!! I was wondering if you had any recommendations of where to get the best quintessential RTW charcoal flannel trousers for someone just getting into menswear? Thanks!

Anonymous

Hi Simon, you’ve commented before that “wool flannel” is not the same as “woolen spun flannel”. Can you explain the difference and which is sturdier?

Between the Huddersfield wool flannel and Harrison’s woolen spun flannel I’m looking at, the Huddersfield seems sturdier but not as beautiful in color and touch.

Anonymous

Hmm no, I don’t mean the difference between woolen and worsted. It was your comment on the green cotton trousers post: “Ignore the name. And no, wool flannel doesn’t mean woollen flannel. Worsted is short for worsted wool[…]”

Anonymous

Yes, that’s clear thanks. I was just confused by the swatch labels. So any labels that say Woollen spun just mean woolen?

Anonymous

Hi Simon.
What weight would you recommend for a flannel trouser that is wearable in temperatures between approximately plus 10 and minus 10 degree celsius?
More than 13 oz? I quickly freeze in the winter.

Alex N.

Dear Simon,
Have you ever had a suit made in the fox 18/19 oz flannel. I am considering it for a proper winter suit as it would hopefully be considerably warmer than my 13 oz worsteds. Should the weight worry me? Generally I run cold and don’t mind heavier cloth (I consider my 13oz to be fairly lightweight).
Kind regards and hope you are doing well,
Alex N.

Anonymous

What is your favourite colour for a business flannel suit and why? I think mid-grey, charcoal and navy all have their own particular appeal.

Anonymous

Hi Simon, do you find 15oz or 18oz flannel trousers too hot to wear indoors? How do you find your 18 oz Fox Flannel trousers in terms of how it feels when worn and how it has aged?

Drew

Hi Simon! I’m glad I found this old article. Thank you for the excellent information. I was thinking about having a charcoal flannel suit made. I’m leaning towards double-breasted with a chalk stripe pattern in 15oz English flannel. Do you think a chalk stripe works like that? Also, around what temperatures would 15oz be the most comfortable for wearing? Thanks, again!

Drew

Thank you, Simon! I’m in Pennsylvania in the US. Cold in the winters, but not Arctic cold. Maybe I’ll look at the 12 oz fabric instead.

Drew

I’ve narrowed down my fabric choices to a 350g flannel from Hardy Minnis and one of the same weight from VBC. Would you recommend one over the other? Are they comparable? Any quick thoughts? Thanks so much!

Dylan

Hello Simon, 

I have a cloth issue: I am a student, part-timing at an MTM clothier in MO, USA: cold, often lengthy winters. Mid-Grey Flannels are a logical next step in my wardrobe.  

I was a bit discouraged by the guide apropos what is available to me at the shop, and in fact anywhere. The heaviest flannels/woolens we have in the proper color (Mid-grey) are 360 gram Scabal Flannels, around 11 oz. It’s a considerable investment, and durability and low maintenance, through their relationship to value – are critical criteria for me. 
 
1) Do you think this fabric will wear to relatively quickly, and lose shape? 
2) What mills/suppliers can I go to to find something of more substance?
3) Do you think I would be as well served by a charcoal woolen in terms of wardrobe flexibility (we have a 480 g Scabal cloth i’ve considered. We also have an H&S 560g in charcoal or cream)
4) What type of fabric and weight would be your second choice to take the place of a mid-grey flannel trouser?
5) Bonus) You lean away from navy separate trousers. What about in a navy corduroy?

Rupesh Bhindi

Hi Simon, I am deciding on commissioning a pair of cream flannel trousers and I liked the texture in the Drapers book made by VBC. The weight is 340g, 11oz. Do you think it would be sufficient for London? Or would you recommend the going heavier like Fox Brothers 13-14 oz?

Michael

Hello Simon,
How does flannel trousers handle when it’s raining or snowing? What precautions do I have to take after the trousers have been wet?You mentioned on an article that flannel trousers should be flat front and slim cut but I can’t find nowhere this type,only single pleated ,for eg at Trunk and The Rake. Can these trousers be worn in a casual settings with a M 65 jacket or a bomber jacket? Can a peacoat made from melton wool handle in the same situations,like the one from Private White?
Thanks

Anonymous

Up to what approximate temperature can standard flannel trousers (~11-13oz) be worn?

How many months per year do you wear flannels?

William

Hi Simon,

It had recently come to my attention that I was not aware that people used oz/sqm as a measurement and had always assumed everyone was on the same page with it being oz/sq-yard. This actually stemmed from your post on the coat cloth weights while I was eyeing the raglan coat collab from private whiteVC.

On the coat cloth weight post you had also listed GSM which cleared much up for me. However per above, flannel is recommended at 13oz or above, I just want to confirm you’re referring to about 360 GSM or above? Thanks.

William

Thanks Simon. Yes I do wish we can standardize or at least always include the unit type.

yalin

So Simon, do most mills report in grams per square meters (gsm)? Usually just grs used in swatches…
Thanks for all the information.

yalin

And your suggestions in oz are in oz/square meter? Sorry for the noob question.

Chris

Simon, do you have any suggestions for a purveyor of the type of heavy English flannel trousers that you’ve recommended in this post? Coincidentally, I’ve just been giving a great deal of thought to recreating my first–and long lost–grey herringbone blazer bought in college and would like some well made charcoal flannel trousers to complete things. An excess of weight will not be an issue in Chicago. Thanks for an informative article.

Ben

Thanks for the useful article. What are you thoughts on wearing brown shoes with charcoal flannel trousers?

Anonymous

Hi Simon, what are your thoughts on using the EThomas 15oz 90% wool, 10% cashmere woollen flannel fabric for trousers (mid-grey)? Will they bag or hold a crease and drape ok? Do you know much about how its texture and how it’ll feel?

Anonymous

Hi Simon, what are your thoughts on using the 14.5oz mid-grey Minnis woollen flannel (510032) for trousers? How do you find its colour, texture, feel and ability to hold a crease and not bag? Thanks!

Anonymous

Thanks Simon. I’ve read that a little bit of cashmere in trousers like 10% just adds softness without taking away from durability, especially when the fabric is already quite heavy. Do you have thoughts on this?

Anonymous

Hi Simon, how do you line your woollen flannel trousers? Is it too uncomfortable to have them unlined?

Martin

Do you usually have flannel trousers fully lined? I like the look and drape of flannel trousers but they are very irritating on my skin (I don’t have any skin conditions).

Anonymous

Hi Simon, could you provide the fabric codes of your favourite mid-grey Fox Flannel at 13oz for trousers?

Teo

Hi Simon,

I’ve recently had a pair of flannel trousers made in the 13oz Fox mid-grey flannel you mention above. It’s a lovely deep grey colour but I find that the tone is rather warm which makes it excellent to pair with a dark brown Valstar but less so with a navy jacket where the combination looks slightly off. I was wondering if you have found the same thing in your experience and if it is something to be mindful of when putting an outfit together?

Teo

I also think it looks okay but certainly would have benefitted from a slightly colder tone. I find it works best with the striped PS oxford – the combo of light blue and the slightly creamy, warm white being very complementary. The light blue PS oxford also works but to a lesser extent in my opinion.

Anonymous

Hi Simon

Other than Fox Flannel, do you know any other books that have (quality) 13oz or heavier woollen flannel in classic greys?

What are your thoughts on light grey and charcoal flannel trousers for work? Is the former too casual? Is the latter difficult to pair with knitwear?

Thanks!

Anonymous

Hi Simon, at what temperature do you find it too hot to wear your 13oz Fox Flannel trousers? Thanks for your help.

Rupesh Bhindi

Hi Simon,

I have read several of your articles regarding what colours you recommend and my question is for flannel, the most versatile colour would be mid-grey as it partners well with Navy, Oatmeal or Brown sport jackets. However, would a navy/ink blue/ brown flannel trousers be useful? Also what colour sport jackets would these pair with if any as I appreciate the limited versatility.

Amit

Hello Simon. I’m in the process of building my own personal wardrobe for formal and tailored trousers I’m considering flannel. I’ll be wearing it with oiled tanned waxed and roughout leather Red Wing boots. I’m also looking at canvas, denim and corduroy as bottoms to compliment my shoes and my workwear look. As tops I’m looking at waxed, tweed and flannel jackets and suits. What would you suggest in shirts to go with these bottoms options I have mentioned above? Could you be kind enough to suggest anything else as options for trousers, since my shoes are oiled tanned waxed and roughout leather, I’m looking for texture in my overall balance of my look that’s overall complimenting.

Amit

Thank you Simon for your time. I really value your feedback. Thanks for helping me. Do you know, suggest and recommend any good tailors in India? Also if you could suggest a couple of good budget tailors in London I could connect with?

Amit

Hello Simon. I’m putting together the Barbour Lutz Waxed Cotton Jacket (Olive) and PS White Oxford – shirt. I’ll be pairing that with a Canvas Chino (Khaki) from USA with Cording’s Navy Silk Knitted Tie and Red Wing Boots. That would be my Winter–Workwear staple look that I’m considering. I picked these items as I have no access to quality tailoring at this point in time in India and want to dress up informal–smart for Christmas and other family events I would be attending this Fall/Winter. I wanted to know your thoughts, especially with the tie I’ve chosen. Also if you have any other considerations or suggestions?

Amit

Thank you Simon. I’m really looking forward to your PS Oxford Shirt – white. After all my research, I settled for this one as I would like to associate with someone like you who always give advice, have such an comprehensive knowledge and infuse all that experience and expertise in your clothes and come up with quality products. You’re my go–to person.

jmehpg

Hi Simon,

Have you had olive flannels made before? I couldn’t find any in the fox bunch and I had some Italian olive before but felt quite flimsy. All I could find to the commission was something from Minnis.

Thanks

jmehpg

Thanks, Simon. You are a good egg.

Juan

Good afternoon Mr Crompton. What are your thoughts on this particular cloth: charcoal grey flannel with a discreet herringbone pattern in white. Some metres away the pattern is not seen, but only when you are at some two metres from it. May this cloth be used for making a formal suit?

Graham Meek

Hi Simon,

Hope you don’t mind me asking this, on an old “thread”?

I recently bought my first pair of flannel trousers (VBC, ash grey, 12 oz/360g) and am having a pair of trousers made from Abraham Moon Lambswool Plain Weave bunch, in blue. I will wear these with knitwear, either chunky (e.g a shawl collar cardigan,heavy cre neck) or finer (cashmere, merino). No jackets.

I’d like to buy a simple white shirt that would suit these materials. Their texture seems too heavy for a smooth Poplin yet they aren’t Jeans/Chinos so seem too smart for an Oxford. Which weave would you recommend?

Cheers

Graham

Graham Meek

Many thanks for taking the time to reply Simon, much appreciated.

Graham

Noel Tay

Not sure ill get a reply since this post is so old… Anybody has any experience with Standeven’s Oxbridge Flannel Bunch? If so how do you find it as a cloth?

Michael

Hello Simon,

Thanks for posting this guide – it’s truly excellent.

I’ve also read your wedding style guide with interest and was wondering what your thoughts are on grey flannel for an Autumn wedding?

I am the groom. The wedding is on a working farm in a slightly colder part of Australia with an afternoon ceremony in the garden. The bride’s dress is slightly bohemian (I’m told).

Wa

Dear Simon

Do you think the double breasted jacket on Mr. Cordeaux here would work alone as a sport coat?

Thank you!

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