Monday, October 10, 2016

One Flannel Shirt, Two Different Styles

If you've been reading my last few fashion posts HERE and HERE  you would know that I have been struggling with styling a new flannel shirt that I bought so that I don't look frumpy.  Flannel is something I love on everyone else, but not myself.  I'm really trying to embrace this trend, but it's been a difficult process.  

Let's start at the very beginning of the story.  I  saw this fun flannel shirt from the Juniors Department at J.C. Penney.  It has plaid on the outside with gingham on the inside, snaps instead of buttons, and tab sleeves.  When the sleeves are rolled up, you see the gingham.  Now, I don't normally shop in the Juniors Department but I couldn't find any flannel shirts in the Misses or Women's Departments.  So I grabbed a size medium (when I'd normally wear a small in a women's department) and headed to the fitting room.  The shirt fit perfectly on my body, but the sleeves, when rolled up using the tabs, were uncomfortably tight.  "Oh, no, now what do I do?" I thought.  "The tab sleeves are my favorite part of the shirt, I want the gingham print to show when I wear the shirt".  So I tried a size Large.  Still too tight.  Then I tried a size Extra Large.  Again, still to tight.  I finally went all the way up to a size XXL before I found a shirt that wasn't too tight in the arms.  Well now of course the body of the shirt is way too large, but the sleeves fit!  Gees, do they expect girls to have rail thin arms but large bodies?  I was so frustrated.  I wondered if it was a defect in the design of the shirt, or if I just had a really weird body with fat arms and a small torso.

Well, I loved the shirt so much I bought it anyway.  Looking back, I shouldn't have.  I have that problem a lot.  I tend to buy things that don't fit perfectly because I love something else about it or it's a great deal.  Then I got it home, and I tried to style it, but no matter what I did because of the large size of the shirt I felt it made me look fat and frumpy.  

Well, I have a hard time returning anything, plus I already cut all the tags off (why do I do that?), so I just decided to keep the shirt to wear around the house or camping.  I normally wear my husbands old flannel shirts around the house which are even bigger than this one, so it was nice to have my own flannel shirt that was a slightly better fit.  The sleeves definitely won't get in the way of household chores like they do when I wear hubbies' shirts.

Then, my husband and I decided to go on a fall hike on a brisk cold day.  The temps would only be in the thirties when we left in the morning with a high of 54 during the day.  I thought "Now this will be the perfect event to wear my new flannel shirt". 

So this is how I styled my new flannel shirt for a fall hike on a cold day.

Because of the fluctuating temperatures I really layered up.  I have a dark blue sleeveless shirt underneath with the flannel shirt on top.  I then added a white puffer vest and scarf for extra warmth.  I went against my usual philosophy of wearing a polished darker denim on my bottom half (see Friday's Fashion Post) to balance the casualness of the top half, because I wanted to wear comfortable, loose jeans for hiking.  These are boyfriend jeans by a.n.a. so they are not tight to my skin making hiking a little easier.

Because we were hiking some pretty steep and rugged trails this day I wore Merrell Hiking Boots.  I got these boots at 70% off (along with a ton of other shoes that day) because a Hush Puppies store had a "Going Out of Business" sale.  Normally, I could never afford these shoes.  I remember when I tried them on in the store, I couldn't believe the sturdiness, the cushion, and the support.  I said to my husband "So this is what the feet of rich people feel like".

My white puffer vest is old (Sears).  I love it because it has detachable grey jersey hood.  Even though it seems like an odd choice of a bag, I chose to use this cross body bag to hold my water, phone, Chapstick, and snacks for hiking.  A back-pack purse is my usual bag for days like this, but I had so many layers on it didn't fit comfortably over my shoulders.

By mid-day I no longer needed the vest or scarf so I left them in the car before we started our second trail for the day.

Looking at these pictures, I think I definitely prefer wear something over the flannel shirt vs. wearing the flannel alone.  Without something on top, it's just to much "plaid" for my taste.  Also, I think I actually look heavier without the puffer vest...which is really weird because you'd think it would be the opposite.  But the vest provides structure and shape, whereas just the flannel shirt alone left loose makes me look wider.

While hiking I noticed two other women with flannel shirts.  One had hers tied at the waist with a white top underneath.  Another woman left hers open with a black top underneath.  It was too chilly for me to leave my shirt open, although I think it looks better that way.

And now, as promised, here are a few pictures of the flannel fashion post I scrapped.  I tried to style the shirt with dark colors underneath, cute boots and bag and jewelry, but I still thought it just looked frumpy.

I came to the conclusion that this would never be an outfit I would be comfortable wearing shopping, out to eat, or other public 'city' social occasions.  But I do like it for outdoor activities like hiking.

I bought these cute suede fringe booties at JCP last year.  I can't wear them much in the winter because we get so much snow here in Wisconsin, so I try and get as much use out of them as possible in the fall.

I chose this unique copper necklace (old) to pick up the golden brown color in the shirt.

The burgundy bag brings in another color other than blue or brown yet it still coordinates well.  I added a beaded blue and brown bracelet to my wrist to try and dress up the outfit a bit more.

And here is a close up of the gingham print I described earlier.  The inside of this shirt is covered in this print, along with the sleeves.  It really is a nice unique feature...if only the sleeves fit my arms properly then I could have purchased my usual size instead of sizing up!

So what do you think?  I still hope to keep working with this shirt to create a style that is more sophisticated so I feel comfortable wearing it for 'city' events.  But in the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas of how to style it.  Or do you think it looks just fine left loose, un-tucked, and oversized?  Do you think I should only wear it out in the country for outdoorsy activities, or is it appropriate for city wear too?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have a  Great Day!  Amy

Arizona Long-Sleeve Classic Plaid Shirt - HERE,  Suede Fringe Booties (old, similar HERE,), a.n.a Rolled Boyfriend Crop Jeans HERE, White Puffer Vest (old, similar HERE ), Merrell Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot HERE. 

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE.


  1. I love dressing up plaid by adding a skirt and statement necklace or layering it under sweaters or cardigans. Yours is a great color and I love the gingham detail!

    1. Thanks Laura. I tried tucking it into a denim skirt but because it's so big, it was way too bulky underneath, but I will try it with a sweater or cardigan!

  2. Love how it looks with the vest! I also think it looks great unbuttoned and with skinny jeans, like you wore it in the photos you weren't going to post. I think it would look nice tied at the waist too!

    About shoes, we're definitely not rich, but I decided years ago after donating tons of shoes that I only wore a couple times, that I would rather spend more money for one pair of shoes that fits perfectly, than spend less on shoes that hurt my feet. That's why I only own a few pairs but I could walk with most of them for a long time :-) Yes, my shoe closet is pretty boring...

    1. Thanks Elli, I'm beginning to think you're right about shoes. I've got so many shoes I can't even wear because they are too difficult to walk long distances in, and most of the time when I leave the house I'm walking a lot. I won't get rid of the shoes I have, but from now on I will never buy another pair of shoes if I don't think I can walk long distances in them.

  3. That print is so perfect for fall, and you could not have chosen a better backdrop for these pics! The pop of color with the bag is my fave too :)


    1. Thanks Shauna! I wondered how versatile a burgundy bag would be compared to black or brown, but to my surprise, it's gone with just about all my fall outfits so far. It's quite the complimentary fall color.

  4. Looks great how you've worn this shirt, I might wear it open with darker t shirt underneath as you suggested. A versatile shirt I reckon. Jacqui

  5. I think this shirt looks cute on you! But I have to agree with you about the sleeves, I have had problems with sleeves being much smaller than the rest of the shirt and I just don't understand it! Thanks for sharing at the Grace + Lace Linkup!

    1. Thanks, I know, I just don't get the sleeve problem either. Not a lot of women/girls have super skinny arms. It's so weird.

  6. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. It looks like it was damned cold out there. Cute outdoor look.

    1. Thanks Nicole, yes, it was a brisk, cold day. But it wasn't bad for hiking.

  7. I love the idea of wearing your flannel open as a jacket. Great styling


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