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Product Review: This Is the Only Flannel Shirt You Need for Fall 2020

California Cowboy Flannel Shirt

Being an outdoor writer, flannel shirts have long played a role in my wardrobe, especially come fall, when they become my go-to shacket. After all, nothing beats the warm, soft embrace in this predominately plaid material during cooler mornings and evenings. And you don’t have to be a lumberjack or urban hipster to appreciate this menswear staple, which looks great on just about everybody. But I thought I had a solid collection of flannel shirts until I discovered the High Sierra from California Cowboy, which claims that it “hugs you like a unicorn.” While I can’t attest to that, I can easily say that this should probably be your new favorite flannel shirt. Here’s why.

Materials

I was intrigued from the first moment I saw the High Sierra on the brand’s website. Yes, its main selling point is the luxe Portuguese flannel exterior, but the shirt also comes with plenty of thoughtful details that justify a hard-won place in your closet. It’s lined with a proprietary thermal fabric that really does feel like a unicorn’s hug (if that was possible). And for all of your après activities, the shirt comes with a water-resistant dry pocket for safely stashing your phone and a bottle pocket for your bevies, keys, and other small items. During colder temps, the shirt comes with a hidden glove loop to store your mittens. There’s also a sunglass loop to help secure your shades. Simply put, this shirt is comfortable and functional.

Fit

The High Sierra sports a slim fit. I typically wear large long-sleeve shirts but opted to size up to an XL for a more comfortable fit, and it still accommodates a t-shirt or base layer for extra warmth.

California Cowboy Shirt

How to Wear It

I’m currently wearing my High Sierra with shorts and sandals while weather permits. But once temperatures drop even further, they’re great to wear with dark jeans and a solid pair of dress boots. And while you can tuck the shirt in, it’s designed to be worn untucked so you have easy access to your bottle pocket, water-resistant tech storage, and the glove loop for quick deployment.

Value

The High Sierra retails for $148, which is a bit more expensive than flannel offerings from bigger brands like L.L. Bean and Everlane, but the premium fabrics and quality amenities more than justify its price point. Plus, it’s a shirt and a shacket so you’re getting two products for the price of one. And while you can readily secure an economy flannel shirt, isn’t the reinforced bottle pocket enough incentive to splurge?

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