Trousers within menswear are often seen as uniform and standard. However, flannel trousers can pair well with your jacket to be modern, stylish, and full of textures with the proper cut and fabric. This Autumn Winter favourite is admired for its soft feel and melange of mottled colours. Flannel trousers are traditionally seen in grey, navy, and other earthy shades, promoting intelligence and luxury. However, their fuzzy and brushed texture is what separates them from regular classic trousers.
The unique texture and weave enable the classic flannel trouser to be completely versatile. It can be modelled with a formal blazer or unstructured jacket to the office for a smart look or paired with knitwear and layering for a cosy winter casual outfit.
Below we discover why flannel trousers can genuinely become the perfect fit in your life.
- What defines flannel trousers?
- What are the best colours to wear with flannel?
- Types of fabric used within flannel trousers
- What are the key components of flannel trousers?
- Benefits of flannel fabric vs other cloths.
WHERE DID FLANNEL ORIGINATE FROM?
Flannel has been made since the 17th century and is thought to be originated in Wales. Originally flannel was made of fine, short-staple wool, but by the 20th-century, mixtures of silk and cotton had become common. At this time, flannel trousers became popular in sports, especially cricket, which it was used extensively until the late 1970s.
What defines flannel fabric? Flannel is typically a soft, medium-weight cotton fabric with a napped or fuzzy finish on one or both sides. This napped finish comes from brushing, or its characteristic loosely spun weave. Its soft, cosy feel makes it the perfect fabric to keep you warm and comfortable all winter long.
Alongside its characteristics of being a soft, opaque, subtle cloth, it's made from carded wool with a napped surface where air pockets are trapped between interlocking fibres. As a result, flannel has texture, depth and a richness of tones within the base colour that absorbs rather than reflects light.
WHAT DEFINES QUALITY FLANNEL?
Our flannel trouser collection is from the finest yarns and premium fabric, produced in Italy from skilled craftsmanship with over 100 years of experience.
Premium flannel possesses a unique ‘mélange’ colour, achieved long before the actual yarn has been spun. In normal circumstances, fabrics are known as yarn-dyed, which lends the woven fabric uniformity of colour. Whereas with flannel, the unspun wool, referred to as ‘woollen silver’, is printed with the desired colours. The mélange printing method, named after its French inventor Vigoureux, refers to the mix of cross-dyed fibres to create a heathered effect.
Once the woollen silver is printed, the wool is spun into yarn with mixed colours. Once this yarn is woven, the mottled mélange colour effect is achieved. The resulting effect is what the French refer to as a trompe l’oeil (a trick of the eye) because when the fabric is viewed from afar, it appears to be a solid colour. Still, on closer inspection, the Vigoureux printing process creates a certain depth of colour not seen in a plain solid fabric. Connoisseurs of the cloth are drawn to this unique mélange effect, which lends a less formal and calm touch to the material.
WHY WE USE LORO PIANA FLANNEL
Flannel has always been the preferred choice for wool separate trousers and Loro Piana, the premium Italian mill, offer the most refined version. The addition of cashmere gives them a softer handle and superior drape and brings a bit of luxury to your every day outfits.
Loro Piana has been a world leader in fabric manufacturing for nearly a 100 years, and was founded in 1924 by Pietro Loro Piana in Quarona, Italy. The family-run business has been making fine fabrics for six generations of skilled craftsmanship.
The stunning textured fabric used on our trousers is a timeless flannel, which Loro Piana has created in a wool and cashmere blend ideal for impeccable suits, jackets and trousers that drape perfectly. Loro Piana flannel is offered in a wide selection of refined fancies, mélanges and solid colors.
Accentuating the extraordinary natural characteristics of this wool, Loro Piana has created a fabric with a springy hand-feel and a casual look. Within the collection feature checks and chevrons in discreet, full shades, perfect for matching with plain blazers and jackets. Lori Piana fabric is the ideal partner mill for Rampley & Co, as we look to serve gentlemen who appreciates unique quality and origins, an excellence that is 100% Italian.
WORSTED VS WOOLLEN FLANNEL
We at Rampley & Co only use semi-worsted flannel virgin wool as it’s the higher quality, cleaner hand-feel and the more luxurious version of the fabric. It encompasses the body and texture within the fabric and tends to drape better, feel more delicate, and just be all-around much more enjoyable. In addition, the depth and colour variation you see in it far surpasses woollen.
The wool fabric family has two main classes: worsted and woollens. What generally defines a flannel is the milling process, where the cloth is beaten about and the fibres broken, producing the classic fuzzy effect. Worsteds fabrics are made from tightly woven long strands of combed-out wool, while woollens are typically made from shorter ones.
The main difference between the two is the softness and hand-feel. Worsteds are smoother in texture and appearance but feel crisper in hand. On the other hand, Woollens are generally softer with a sponge like feel.
To explain in more detail, worsteds generally are made with a twill weave, which means you’ll see diagonal lines underneath the fuzzy nap surface. In comparison, woollens won’t have a twill weave and will generally look a bit more mottled and less clean.
WHAT MAKES UP A TRADITIONAL FLANNEL TROUSER
Pleated pants have folds or creases along the waist, whereas flat-front pants, as their name suggests, lie flat against the body. Pleated pants are created by sewing folds (pleats) into the fabric and attaching the waistband.
Pleated pants are typically roomier and more accommodating to fuller, athletic body types, allowing for versatility. They are also great for active lifestyles because they are easier to move in.
Our flannel trouser collection comes flat-fronted for a clean, contemporary look. Combined with the slim-leg silhouette, the prestigious fabric used can be combined as easily with sneakers and a sweater as they can with a blazer and loafers.
Side adjusters refer to the attachments on the side of your trousers that allow you to modify the width of the waistband.
The buckle side adjusters are the most intelligent and most formal-looking option for a sophisticated look. They work on a pulley system, where you pull a strap, and the waistband tightens. This allows the waistband to become approximately 5cm smaller. However, the trousers cannot get any larger. So ensure that the trousers fit you when you are at your largest, and then use the buckle to make the waistband smaller when you need it.
The side-adjuster is a simple and elegant way of keeping your trousers in place without the need of a belt. They are great for travel as it is one less thing to forget to pack and and there is no hassle or worry about matching the colour of your belt to your shoes.
The hem refers to the finish and bottom of the trouser legs, usually finished or unfinished, to determine the length to suit each gentleman. Typically, flannel trousers have a 2-5cm rolled hem to create a brilliant, layered finish to the trousers and differentiate them from formal suit trousers.
We offer our trouser collection in both finished and unfinished options. All our finished trousers are complemented with a 4cm but if this is not your style, select our unfinished option where your tailor can hem to your exact requirements with either a plain finish or a cuff of any width.
BENEFITS OF FLANNEL VS OTHER FABRICS
Flannel offers texture and warmth in its look, design and hand-feel. This means it can be styled and worn more casually vs smarter fabrics such as sateen and silk.
The flannel fabric gives a soft and textured finish but still provides a warm and smart appeal vs summer fabrics such as linen and lightweight cotton. This means you can wear flannel easily on many occasions, such as weddings, formal dinners or casual lunch settings.
The diameter of woollen flannel is minimal with shorter hairs, creating super soft yarns and delicate texture. This also means there will be significantly less itchiness as the density of fibres are much higher than worsted wool, and therefore the surface is not scratchy. This gives a softer hand feel to your skin.
Wool fabric has natural insulating properties within to help keep you warm but look stylish at the same time.
One of the main reasons wool keeps you warm is that it doesn't pull heat away from your body. In other words, wool is a poor conductor of heat. The cellular and chemical structure of individual wool fibres makes this magic happen. Because wool fibres have natural kinks and bends, they trap air to keep your body warm.
WHAT TO WEAR WITH FLANNEL TROUSERS
Your options are truly versatile in considering how to accessorise and wear a pair of grey flannel trousers. They'll look great with a t-shirt, casual jacket, and trainers at the most straightforward end of the spectrum. Alternatively, you could wear a cable knit woollen jumper, loafers, and a structured navy blazer for a smarter look. Below we explore some classic items to pair your flannel trousers with.
Grey and navy are perfect complementary colours, both cool in tone; they work within most menswear settings. A navy jacket can be dressed up or down depending on the shirt or jumper to layer. Flannel trousers add texture and warmth to this look, which will ease you from desk to dinner.
Cashmere is one of the softest fabrics available, and the warmth and cosy nature work perfectly with a flannel trouser. Keep the colours neutral in cream, greys or browns to create the perfect autumnal outfit.
White Oxford Shirt
Oxford shirts are a cotton twill that is superb to wear with flannel trousers as they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Worn with a jacket, they create a classic look that pairs perfectly with any flannel trouser. An open collar creates a less formal look whilst a button-down collar paired with a grey cashmere tie offers a smart outfit for any work attire with your trousers.
Flannel is one of the classic menswear fabrics used across the world on trousers to create a soft, textured and opulent look. Our flannel trousers truly are the perfect fit, using the finest Loro Piana fabrics from Italy, alongside iconic features such as pleat lapels and side adjusters.
Menswear Blogger - Linus Norrbom - Sweden
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