Flannel is Your Friend

August 12, 2022

Your hard-wearing, yet ultra-comfy winter sidekick is here.

Legend has it that Welsh farmers came up with an early ancestor of today’s flannel shirt. Unsurprisingly, being outdoors all day wrestling livestock in 16th Century Wales wasn’t always a barrel of laughs, so to cheer things up they developed an ultra-warm, yet comfortable woollen material - confusingly called ‘Welsh Cotton’.

Fast-forward a few centuries via England and France’s industrial revolutions, and what we now know as flannel landed in the good old US of A - the place that was arguably to become its cultural homeland. The plaid shirt became synonymous with Americana - cowboys, lumberjacks, ranchers - then made a somewhat surprising leap into the ‘90s grunge scene. Not many looks appeal to both Nirvana and Welsh shepherds… We take this cross-cultural popularity as an endorsement of the item’s classic status.

Sadly - not all flannel shirts are created equal. We asked our expert partners - you - what was leaving you cold about the flannels on offer out there. You four key complaints?

- They shrink in the wash

- They pill like mad

- They are itchy

- The fit is naff

A shirt that doesn’t shrink.

Not many things are more irritating than finding the winter shirt of your dreams, only to have it shrink in the wash first time. Well - our Winter Shirt won’t shrink on the first wash, or for many to come. What sort of flannel-y witchcraft is this you ask? Well, the fabric is pre-washed - that stabilises the material, which prevents misery-level shrinking over time. The Winter Shirt scored a hardy 4/5 on the degradation and rub tests, so consider this shirt worthy of it’s rough-neck heritage.

A fabric that doesn’t pill…

Pilling… The nemesis of the discerning outer-wear connoisseur. To keep those unattractive little balls of fluff at bay, we selected a super hard-wearing, toasty, 100% organic cotton. Confirmed by our lab test to score a cracking 4.5/5 for pilling, or, for not pilling. You know what we mean.

…or itch

Winter flannels should be comfy, and comforting. They need to be warm, but who wants warm if it comes with prickly, hives inducing itchiness? That’s right - not you, according to our survey. So, we went to Portugal to source this 180g/m2 flannel, and it’s brushed to a super soft finish. Consider this shirt a wearable luxury blanket. Soft on the skin, warm, and hardwearing. Really, it’s a kind of super fabric.

and with a tidy cut.

A plaid shirt down to your knees might have been fine for a rainy night queuing for a Mudhoney gig at Off-Ramp in 1991, but we got the feeling you were looking for something a little more, tailored. We’ve taken the fit for the Winter Shirt from our Button-Down Oxford  – which we’ve refined over the years. It’s tailored but not fitted. The collar is canvassed with light interlining for a nice laidback look. Just the right balance for the Winter Shirt to stay elegant, while feeling and looking comfortable.

There you have it. The Winter Shirt. All the classic flannel goodness with an updated cut, and painstakingly selected hardwearing materials. We feel it’s a pretty fitting testament to one of the clothing world’s longest-reigning champs.

Camel check :

Grey Marl :

Tartan Green :

All very well, but how do you get one? Well, the Winter Shirt will be available to preorder from Tuesday 16th of August for 89€.

If it doesn't work out, fear not, returns and exchanges are easy and the cost of the return is on us.

Need to know anything else? Drop it in the comments below or check our international Instagram page for the answer. Possibly.


The Asphalte Team

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