Looking back to my flannel shirt days

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Pictured: Lipstick: c/o Dolce & Gabbana “Orchid” / Earrings: Bauble Bar / Necklace: Express (sold out, similar here) / Tee: Express / Flannel Shirt: Sundry / Handbag: Rebecca Minkoff / Nail Polish: Christian Louboutin “Lova” / Ring: 2 Bandits / Jeans: 7FAM (past season, also love this pair) / Shoes: MM6 Maison Martin Margiela (in black here)

Ah, the flannel shirt. Flannel shirts used to be associated with cold weather and lumberjacks. Then, in the early to mid-1990’s, the grunge movement brought out the flannel shirt as a key piece to putting together the ultimate grunge ensemble. When grunge went away and minimalism rose to prominence, the flannel shirt was folded up and shoved to the back of closet’s everywhere. Until. . .a couple of seasons ago, the flannel shirt started to creep back into the forefront of casual fashion; and for fall 2014, it has become the ultimate alternative to a lightweight jacket in the autumn season.

When I was in my undergraduate program at USF in the mid-1990’s, the grunge movement was huge. Pearl Jam was always in my CD player and I had a few flannel shirts which I wore on an almost-daily basis. I love flannel shirts. Living in San Francisco, the cool fog and changing micro-climate’s, lend themselves well to the flannel shirt. A flannel shirt was the perfect weight to keep me warm in 65 degree foggy weather, and if the sun came out, I could wrap the flannel shirt around my waist until the fog rolled back in from the bay. Since the sun normally would only peek through the fog for a few hours, it was convenient to have something around my waist to put on to keep warm. After all, don’t we all find jacket’s bulky and annoying to carry around?

At the end of the 1990’s, the flannel shirt was long gone from music and the runways. I was also out of college and working in the financial district of San Francisco. This meant casual, flannel shirts were not practical in my wardrobe. Although I missed the cozy warmth and convenience of the flannel shirt, I did have an alternative; the pashmina. Remember pashmina’s!!! They were easy to fold up and put inside your purse, making them the perfect wardrobe item to graduate to after the flannel era. Alas, as the world moved into the new millennium, the pashmina was no longer “on trend” and was deemed only appropriate as a wrap for a semi-formal or formal gown. This left a huge hole in the wardrobe’s of Bay Area Fashionista’s. After all, what could we use to keep warm when the fog rolled in? Carrying around a jacket or coat is bulky and downright annoying; so we either froze, or carried a bulky, annoying jacket around the city. Ho-hum. . . 

When I first saw grunge making a few appearances on the runways several seasons ago, I was not quite sure what to make of it. I wore this trend when it first came to fruition, so could I really wear it again? I avoided the trend at first, since as an adult, and Mother of three, I questioned whether or not I could really pull off what I wore in my 20-something college days. But as fall 2014 came around, I realized, yes, I can pull off certain aspects of the trend which feel so much like me! The flannel shirt was always my favorite part of the grunge trend back in college, so I decided this was my chance to wear something on casual days which fits my personality; and musical taste! After all, Generation X created the trend, so it is only natural that we are the ones who should own it and rock it. Can I get an “aw yeah!!”

I was thrilled when I saw this flannel shirt on ShopBop.com. I loved the colors, and the plaid offered the perfect dimensions. Since I have been wearing it this season, I remember why I loved wearing flannel shirts so much back in the 1990’s. They are comfortable and offer the perfect amount of warmth in our climate. Now it is time to pop “Temple of the Dog,” “Alice in Chains” and “Pearl Jam” into my CD player. Yes, I still use a CD player sometimes, and maybe even a record player 😉

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