A Better Flannel Shirt for Active People: Review

– Posted in: Things I Love, Tools and Equipment

Duluth Trading flannel shirt features

The underarm gusset and the bi-swing back ensure that this shirt gives when it needs to, despite being woven–not knit–of 100% cotton.

Flannel shirts have been around for ages, but have you ever tried to do stuff in one? Ever try to reach for that last weed without stepping in the bed, and feel your flannel shirt holding you back? Ever string up Christmas lights over your head and feel a draft up your back as your shirt comes untucked? Or maybe you’ve been busy raking leaves to put on your potted plants so they can make it through the winter, and you just don’t have the freedom of motion you’d like? It’s because flannel is a woven fabric and just doesn’t have the “give” that something like a t-shirt (which is knitted, not woven) has.

You need not suffer this frustration and inconvenience any longer. Duluth Trading Company has you covered.

Move Freely No Matter What the Job

Duluth Trading sent me a flannel shirt to put through its gardening paces and it passed with flying colors. I really like the freedom of movement features built into this shirt. It has the same underarm gusset as the Armachillo shirt I reviewed earlier. But instead of a vent in the back, ease is provided by two strips of stretchy material, forming a gusset or movement pleat. (I’m not sure of the technical term. In marketing-speak it’s a “bi-swing back.”)

Darts on inside of Duluth Trading flannel shirt

Those two dark stripes on the inside of the shirt are a knit material with a lot of give. You can’t really see them from the outside.

The way these darts are fashioned, they look just like seams until you need some give across your shoulders. You can see the dart in the first picture above, where I’m deliberately stretching to make it visible.

Eyeglass Shammy

For all you bespectacled gardeners who habitually clean your eyeglasses on your shirt, Duluth Trading has you covered.

Microfiber shammy on Duluth Trading flannel shirt

This bit of microfiber is sewn into the shirt so you can clean your glasses as needed.

They have sewn a microfiber “shammy” into the bottom of the shirt, so you can clean your eyeglasses as needed. Frankly, if you’ve been doing dusty or dirty work, I would think twice about this, as you could wind up rubbing dirt on your lens, scratching it instead of cleaning it. (In any event, I hope you are not wearing your best glasses doing such work.) If you are just sitting by the woodstove reading seed catalogs, I suppose it couldn’t hurt. I give Duluth Trading credit for thinking about how they could make a shirt more convenient and useful. It’s like they are thinking of it as another tool that helps you get your work done.

Good Looking, Too

That attention to detail extends to looks and styling.

Plaid on pocket matches the rest of the Duluth Trading flannel shirt

The plaid on the pockets aligns perfectly with the plaid on the shirt.

The plaid on the patch pockets perfectly matches that of the rest of the shirt. The side and sleeve seams are flat-felled, just as they are on sturdy jeans. Darts in front give a trimmer fit. In other words, this shirt looks stylish enough to wear shopping for more leaf bags or another string of lights, but you will probably wear out before it does. They also make a flannel tunic which looks even less like work clothes.

Try It, You’ll Like It

If you are looking for a warm shirt for outdoor chores and indoor wintry occupations, I heartily recommend this one. And if you know anyone frustrated by restricting work clothes, consider giving this shirt as a gift. They make several styles of flannel shirts for men, too.

I was given a shirt by Duluth Trading Company so I could review it. My opinions about it are my own.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

When dealing with frost it is always best to be paranoid. In the spring never think it is too late for one more frost to come. And in the fall never think it too early.

~Rundy in Frost

Comments on this entry are closed.

Michele Unangst December 5, 2013, 1:51 pm

Definitely looks like a great shirt with the active person in mind. Thank your for your detailed review and images. It really does look like an awesome shirt!

ZenWaterFountains.com November 26, 2013, 1:00 am

The microfiber sewn into the shirt it’s a fantastic idea!

Donna@Gardens Eye View November 24, 2013, 5:00 pm

Kathy I love flannel but like you I rarely find one that works in the garden. This goes on the list!

Patsybell November 21, 2013, 3:12 pm

I always appreciate your reviews and evaluations. Very often you and I have similar tastes, so it is fun to have a trusted review of products and plants. Thank you for this, I’ve always been curious about the womens clothing at Deluth.

Dee Nash November 21, 2013, 1:36 pm

Great review Kathy. I can always trust you to give an honest and thoughtful review. That part about scratching your glasses was something I wouldn’t have considered. Pretty shirt too.~~Dee

Gail November 21, 2013, 1:21 pm

Love the bit of microfiber for eye glass cleanups in the garden.

Alison November 21, 2013, 12:58 pm

I clean my glasses on my shirt All.The.Time. That shammy is brilliant. This looks like a great shirt.