I’ve had a love/hate relationship with flannel for a long time. I’ve always loved the rustic and cozy look you can pull together on a moment’s notice with a soft plaid button-up, a good pair of jeans and some leather boots. I’ve always hated that so many of the flannels I’ve tried over the years were either too flimsy, a poor fit, or just completely uncomfortable.
Duluth to the rescue…again. As I mentioned recently in my camera bag post, I met the lovely folks from Duluth Trading Company at this year’s Haven Conference. They had a booth set up with some fabulous leather goods and outerwear for my touching and drooling pleasure. I fell in love with their leather bags instantly, but was more reserved when it came to the flannels and jackets (as I’ve been hurt before…). I assumed that because Duluth’s focus is durability and comfort, the apparel may be lacking in style and fit. I figured the shirts would be boxy, the jackets would be shapeless, and while the materials would be of the highest quality, I expected them to fall flat as part of an outfit intended for going out rather than wood chopping or deer hunting. WRONG.
The 2 pieces I chose from the women’s outerwear lineup were the Flapjack Flannel Shirt Jacket in Dark Red/Black Plaid and the Free Swingin’ Flannel Shirt in Russet Red Plaid. They were shipped out quickly, and when they arrived I couldn’t wait to do the style and fit test. I tried them on with jeans, a variety of heels, with and without accessories, etc. It all worked perfectly. I was blown away by the fit, quality and comfort. I’ve never owned a shirt that I’d proudly wear to a dinner downtown AND to bed.
One problem I always have with button-ups in general is the length. The sleeves and torso are always too short. Not the case here. The torso fell comfortably and modestly just below the hips, and the sleeves hit right at the wrists, giving me the option to roll them or not. The soft fabric falls in such a flattering way too, even though it’s not a fitted top, which I love.
Now for the jacket. I’ll share the specs straight from Duluth’s website so you can get an idea for the quality of this thing:
- Fuzzy-soft 8.3-oz. cotton flannel on the outside; 60 grams of lofty polyfill insulation inside
- Underarm gussets and bi-swing back for extra reaching room
- Speedy snap front and cuffs
- Princess seams plus adjustable side tabs to nip in the waist
- 6 pockets – 2 on the chest, 2 handwarmer side pockets, and 2 interior pockets with hook-and-loop closure
- Slick 100% nylon taffeta lining goes on easy over under-layers
- Shirttail Shammy™ gives you a clean sweep for your glasses, phone or camera lens
- Machine wash
Let’s talk about “machine wash”. You know that moment of anxiety when you’re about to pull something from the dryer, wondering if you’re going to spend the next hour beating it back into shape with an iron? No such misery with these gems. Both the jacket and the shirt emerge wrinkle-free with no shrinkage. Sold.
This jacket is surprisingly flattering. I expected boxy, but it’s so soft that it felt like I’d been wearing it for years. Same deal with the shirt! The jacket’s side tabs really do cinch the waist just enough to give it some great shape. It’s thick, warm and everything you’d want in a casual fall jacket. And who doesn’t love that classic plaid print?
I usually don’t mix plaids like I did for this look, but I really loved the result. The big black and red checks contrast and complement the warm pumpkin tone of the shirt really well. I paired them with the 1969 skinny jeans from Gap and the Frye Patty Riding Boots in Camel to give the outfit a bit more structure and length.
This orchard visit was a little late in the season, so the trees had been picked clean and the ground was littered with apples. But the gorgeous golden hues, crunching leaves underfoot and some spiced hot apple cider made this the perfect day for a stroll with a small group of lovely friends (including my youngest sister, the photographer!) — and of course my trusty new flannels to bundle up with for our mini adventure. Also, I vote that we change the term from “outerwear” to “adventurewear”. High fives on that?
Autumn will always be my favorite season…
Giveaway time! Duluth Trading Company is giving one lucky reader a $50 gift card, good for anything on their entire site! The giveaway is open worldwide, and you must be 18 or older to participate. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below!
Duluth Trading Co. provided me with the shirt and jacket to review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own! I test products thoroughly before writing about them, and I’ll only recommend something if I truly love it!