Flannel shirts are a serious subject for me, and are very near and dear to my heart. I grew up in upstate New York close to the Canadian border, a region that gets very cold and gets a lot of snow. My dad was a sixth-grade history teacher when I was growing up. And I remember the coolest thing – he and his friends used to go to work in the winter in a flannel shirt,
knit tie, navy blazer, five-pocket cords and work boots. They would just jump in their Jeeps and go to work in that. And to this day I feel that’s just the coolest way to dress. It’s how guys look their best. It’s an unstudied, masculine, cool look, and a big part of that was the flannel shirt.
On the importance of materials
I’m quite proud of the flannel shirts we did for GANT this season. We put a lot of the focus on the material, which is the most important part. Most people don’t know that the best flannel comes from Portugal, and we not only weave the fabric there, but the shirt itself is made in Portugal. It’s the best because there are only so many looms in the world that can give flannel that brushed finish. And those machines are found in Portugal. It’s as simple as that.
The flannel we did this season is a nice, beefy cotton that’s got some density. It’s a classic GANT button-down model, with real mother-of-pearl buttons, a chest pocket and the locker loop that GANT invented. It’s got a modified classic fit, meaning it’s a little slimmer and a little sexier. And it’s already broken in like good flannel should be, with a good stone washing. But don’t hesitate to wash it as much as you can; it only gets better.
On flannel’s homeyness
The flannel shirt I love most this season is based on a plaid shirt from a painting by Norman Rockwell, who was quite an inspiration this season. This concept of home is one that we really wanted to explore. GANT’s roots are in America, and the town where Rockwell lived and worked is just this prototypical New England, American town.
It was about taking a journey home in a way. And certainly to me, a great flannel shirt really feels like home. Wear it with a blazer or with a T-shirt or an oxford button-down underneath. Or with a leather jacket. It’s an easy piece to get emotionally attached to. I fall in love with clothes and that’s why I do this job.