Vintage Flannel Shirts

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Vintage Flannel Shirts

New (not vintage) flannel shirts for women, starting at $19.99.

A Brief History of Flannel

Flannel's origins date back to 17th century Wales. Living in a cold, wet climate, people there wanted a garment to keep them warm. Thanks to the plentiful population of sheep wandering around Wales, the Welsh were able to source worsted wool yarn, which they then napped to create flannel fabric. Thanks to its durability, warmth, and affordability, flannel quickly caught on in mainland Europe. The industrial revolution of the late 1800s made fabric production easier than ever. Hamilton Carhartt, founder of the famous Carhartt clothing company, started producing flannel shirts at his Detroit factory in 1889. Popularized by the working class, flannel shirts became a quintessential piece of menswear in America at the turn of the 20th century. The mythical folklore hero and lumberjack Paul Bunyan, who became a culture icon in the early 1900s, famously wore a flannel shirt in the classic black and red buffalo plaid pattern. The functionality of flannel led to its widespread use in many American military garments worn by soldiers in WWI and WWII. In the postwar era, designers showed the versatility of flannel, using it to produce more formal attire such as business suits. Flannel continued to be a staple of the Western world's wardrobe throughout the latter half of the 20th century. When the grunge movement had it's cultural moment in the early 1990's, flannel shirts became the hottest item in popular fashion.