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Is it Okay to Wear Flannel Shirts with Blue Jeans? Black jeans?

Are you into flannel shirts? These classic shirts are highly versatile making them a staple on most men's wardrobes. Check out the various ways on how you can incorporate flannel shirts to jeans of different colors and styles.

Man wearing red flannel shirt and blue jeans.

Whether you can wear flannel with blue or black jeans doesn’t matter as much as “how” you wear these items together. Popular ways of wearing flannels with jeans will inspire you regardless of the denim color. 

1. With Ripped Jeans

Man in flannel shirt and ripped jeans sitting against a hay.

Other than the rip in the knee, this outfit has just the right amount of ruggedness that a classic red-and-black flannel with blue jeans provides. It depicts how farmers may wear their flannels with denim while out on the field while wearing a straw hat, and the boots make the outfit. Cowboys also sometimes wear flannel, and of course, their specified riding or rodeo hats.

Concerning ripped jeans, they do cause controversy with or without the flannel, despite their popularity from the 1970s-1990s. Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said in March 2021 that parents set a bad example for children by wearing them. However, flannel seems to have a better reputation than ripped jeans based on Instagram captions concerning it.

“Dance your Axe off.”

That has to be my favorite flannel Instagram quote seen as of 2022 so far. It puts the image of Paul Bunyan from the 1900s in my head. However, this quote by Rick Riordan paints a different picture in the fiction novel “The Sea of Monsters: Percy Jackson and the Olympians”:

He wore tattered jeans, grimy size-twenty sneakers, and a plaid flannel shirt with holes in it. He smelled like a New York City alleyway, because that’s where he lived, in a cardboard refrigerator box off 72nd Street.

If you must wear flannel with ripped jeans, keep in mind your “audience” and the dress code of wherever you plan to go in that outfit. The best place to “get away with” wearing this combo is perhaps on stage playing 1970s-1980s punk and heavy metal music. However, note that ‘80s hard rock bands probably wore the flannel pajama pants with jean jackets and a T-shirt instead.

2. Trendy Flannel and Worn Denim

Man in worn jeans and flannel shirt sitting against a concrete brick wall.

This outfit with a non-traditional plaid print has an urban feel which isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing. He could walk around this way in the urban streets and work in any profession requiring a suit.

If the shirt had a thicker flannel material, I could see this man bundled up by a cabin fireplace after spending some time outside on the slopes in the winter.  For some reason, I also perhaps picture a young dad with small children who lives in the suburbs. That’s where you’d probably see this style the most.

3. Lumberjack Style

Man in a lumberjack style outfit sitting outdoors.

It’s different from the lumberjack look made famous by Paul Bunyan.  Instead of jeans tucked into the boots, it’s not uncommon for men to wear boot-cut jeans with a flannel shirt while on outdoor missions. The beanie had on the man’s head does give the outfit a “hippie” feel, but the shoes also make the outfit somewhat “punkish.”

He’d have to dress a little warmer for winter weather, but overall, this outfit works for the right crowd.

4. Tucked-in Flannel

Man wearing tucked-in flannel shirt and denim jeans.

You probably don’t see this as often. However, it’s possible. I picture this as the style for people at least 45 years old or older as of 2022. However, it’s a casual look that earns respect no matter what age the man is.

This may be acceptable in office environments with a simple dress code or just maybe at bars where men don’t wear ripped jeans.

5. With Black Skinny Jeans

Man in flannel shirt and black skinny jeans sitting against a wood-paneled wall.

Color-wise, black jeans with the classic red-and-black plaid flannel shirt makes sense. The brightness of the red provides the contrast against the black in the shirt and the jeans. With that in mind, skinny jeans for men increased in popularity in 2008, and the trend peaked by 2010. They still were in style in 2021.

Men don’t have to wear skinny jeans. However, both men and women could nowadays probably wear whatever they want. For example, you might spot both men and women wearing flannel with loose-fitting or boot-cut pants. They don’t have to be black though.

You can wear any color flannel with the plaid print with any color denim, especially blue.

Do What Feels Right

You might feel better wearing what other people else might not like on them. Therefore, you’ll have to try on both black and blue jeans with plaid shirts in a variety of colors. By the way, “flannel” is actually a material associated with the plaid “checkered” print.

However, you can find flannel in solids, stripes, and other patterns too.

Do what feels right for you concerning flannel with black or blue jeans. However, I say you can’t go wrong with this clothing ensemble if worn for casual occasions.