why i wear: destroyed flannels

With the addition of these style-related blog posts, you soon realize that my clothing options follow a particular set of requirements. 1) They reflect a past experience that I have had. 2) They represent a particular aspect of time 3) They are mostly all unfashionable.

I began wearing flannels following my first year of college because it was just a common item seen around campus. All I needed was a pair of Timberland boots, jeans, and a flannel and it was easy to blend in with the crowd. At the time, I was really trying to create a sense of belonging, so purchasing a few flannels was just a way I tried to fit in. (We'll talk more on these particular flannels at a later date.)

Moving forward a few years, relaxed fit jeans and Tim's fell out of my clothing repertoire, but flannels always remained. To this day, I really do appreciate them for the fact that they are a very versatile article of clothing. An unbuttoned flannel over a basic white or grey t-shirt is, in my opinion, one of the most classic working man's looks that you can achieve. I almost always have a pen on me and it sits nicely in the chest pocket of the flannel along with my wallet...it's a stretch, but it rationalizes a flannel as a functional article of clothing.

Regardless of their functionality, I never made an effort to wear a flannel that looked like it came straight out of a paper shredder until my grandfather passed away. The only "distressed" flannel I own is the one I inherited from him. Although we really did not have any kind of relationship, (he was a very quiet man who cherished his alone time), when given the opportunity to go through his things after he passed, the only item I took was a flannel that looked as if it must have been worn on a near daily basis. I simply felt the need to continue on its legacy.

It is a slimmer fitting flannel relative to others that I own which does make me feel more inclined to wear it buttoned rather that layered on top of a t-shirt or sweater. Every time I put it on I usually have to break out a pair of scissors to take care of the incredibly long threads that are unraveling from the collar of the shirt. The shirt isn't very well insulated. It is so thin at some areas of wear to the point that there is tear in one of the elbows of it, probably as a result of doing yard work or other handy activities around the house over the course of many years.

I do enjoy both the fit and the coloration of the flannel, regardless of its obvious lack of quality…but that is not the reason behind why I wear it so frequently. I wear the flannel to represent the course of a man’s life who is partially responsible for my existence. I know very little about him, where he was born, his favorite hobbies, etc. But just from the character of the shirt I can tell he was a hard-working individual. Someone who wasn’t worried about the appearance of their clothing when a labor-intensive project came about. Even though I lack any sort of significant memory of my grandfather, I am still honored to have a constant reminder of his life.
This is why I choose to wear a destroyed flannel.



  • joshua

    this is so awesome. glad to see you are still carrying on your grandfathers legacy from something as simple as a piece of clothing. i hope that some day, you can pass down that flannel to your child. very beautiful 💙

  • Jonathan

    Great post!

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