Whatever would we do if gray flannels didn’t exist?
Menswear has its evergreens, staple pieces, things that never go out of fashion and are about as versatile as they get. And yes, the word versatile is overused, but if there are things that deserve to be called such, the gray flannels certainly do.
The ones here are made from Super 120S Vitale Barberis Canonico fabric, and were manufacured for me by Benevento. High waist, deep pleat and cuffs are my preferences, but if you decide to go with different stylistic details, it will not much affect how universal those trousers are. As for the colour – I feel the lighter shades of gray are a bit easier to pair with less formal stuff, but that might be just my bias towards light-coloured trousers talking.
Anyway, I’ve a few propositions of outfits, to show you the range of use for this kind of trousers.
With a jacket and tie
Jacket – Massimo Dutti // Pocket square & Tie – Poszetka.com // Shoes – bespoke by Karol Stanios // Shirt – James Button
A most obvious choice is a navy jacket. The ubiquity of this outfit is its strength though – it’s a safe bet. You just can’t go wrong, it’ll always look good. Want to make this outfit stand out a little, add nice, subtle touches, like a collar pin, an interesting texture on a tie (shantung or grenadine), or a patterned pocket square.
Jacket – Suit Supply // Tie – Blue Loafers x Poszetka.com // Shoes – Partenope.pl // Shirt – McNeal
A little less obvious is a burgundy flannel jacket. But really, any dark-coloured jacket in a fabric with nice texture will do. Provide colour contrast to the light colour of the trousers, keep the textures in harmony, and you’re good to go.
Other things are added with the texture in mind, and so we have a soft wool challis tie, an oxford cotton striped shirt and a pair of suede single monks.
Waistcoat – bespoke by Andrzej Kucia // Boots – Partenope.pl // Shirt – Wólczanka
Gray flannels are just as easy to pair with a jacket as they are with virtually anything else. A tweed waistcoat and gingham shirt can, of course, be worn under a jacket, but will work solo as well, in an informal environment.
Cardigan – H&M Premium // Shoes – Carlos Santos // Shirt – Miler Menswear
If you want to forgo anything tailored on top and wear just something soft over a shirt, a cardigan will do just as well. Here with a denim shirt and a pair of light brown double monks, it makes for a quite casual outfit – despite the crease on the trousers.
Roll-neck – Benetton // Boots – Bexley
Black is treated as a rather formal colour, but if you use it like this – not on tailored garments and polished oxfords, but on a knitted jumper and boots – it may very well work in a casual outfit. It can all look quite stylish too, in a black-gray ensemble, without any jarring colours. Bonus points if you can make a blasé face worthy of a real existentialist.
Leather jacket & boots – Massimo Dutti // Cashmere jumper – no name
Gray flannel can look surprisingly good with a leather jacket. Wear one over a cashmere crew-neck jumper, add some suede boots – and you’ve got yourself a really nice casual outfit, which is comfortable, but also incredibly soft and quite warm.
A pair of gray flannels is a worthy investment. I would even recommend going bespoke, because this gives you the best possibilities for the cut and details you want, as well as access to some really good fabrics. Cheaper options are available as well, of course, and I’ve spent around two years wearing a pair in similar shade of gray bought in H&M. But seeing how much use they got, I believe it’s really worth to spend some more to get something that really fits well, and is made of quality material