Kanye West seems to have built up quite a rapport with flannel over the years. Although many wouldn't consider it a fashion must-have, West's decisions to incorporate unorthodox pieces into his wardrobe ultimately gave us the Watch the Throne leather kilt and the infamous Alain Mikli shutter shades as featured in "Stronger." With flannel seemingly his latest styling go-to, West's imprint on the fashion industry can be traced long before the arrival of YEEZY.
Charting back to The College Dropout days, the former "backpack rapper" dared to match a pink Ralph Lauren Polo with a Louis Vuitton rucksack all white spitting a hot 16. Eventually evolving his style from preppy chic to dapper dan, West's latest stern-faced, adidas-endorsed looks are pretty neutral in comparison, yet, have undoubtedly made an impact on streetwear as we know it. And where might flannel fit into all of this you might ask?
Well, it's no secret that high fashion has looked towards subcultures for inspiration. With the Seattle-based grunge look of the '90s, becoming a prominent influence over the past few years – oversized jumpers, distressed clothing and of course, flannel soon became luxury items. Once associated with blue-collar brands like Carhartt and figures like Kurt Cobain, flannel's entrance into high-fashion can now be seen among Fear of God, OFF-WHITE, and Balenciaga.
Not one to miss out on a major key, check out West's flannel 'fits below and let The Life of Pablo rapper school you on a few styling tips to stay ahead of the curve this winter.
Black Box Logo
First up is West's simple Supreme look. Here, the rapper can be seen flexing a dark green Faith Connexion flannel with a #rare Supreme box logo tee. While the picture in question doesn't scream "fashion-forward," sometimes a subtle flex is the best flex.
It ain't the exact one but it's similar:
Cop an affordable version below:
While the gym might not be a favorite pastime, here Kanye can be seen with his personal trailer styling the same Faith Connexion flannel jacket, this time adding a spark of color to an all-black ensemble.
Sadly, not everyone's gym looks can consist of an Anti Social Social Club hoodie, YEEZY Season 1 sweatpants and adidas Ultra Boost 1.0s, but if you got all those pieces or equivalents already, why not give it a shot?
Sunny in Calabasas
Keeping it cool in sunny Calabasas, West makes it perfectly clear that flannel can also double-up as a light jacket. This time keeping the base of his outfit grey, West swaps out his Faith Connexion piece in favor of a dark blue Enfants Riches Deprime Chemise À Carreaux flannel, which currently fetches about $600 on the resell market.
Ok it's not exactly the same but it's also E.R.D. + thick wool:
Stepping up his 'fit game while out shopping, West manages to take casual to a whole new steezy level. Although his adidas Calabasas cap and Gosha Rubchinskiy sweats do compliment each other, cementing the look is West's s blue and burnt orange Balenciaga flannel piece, loosely covering his "Free OJ" Tee.
Color's a bit off but fit is on point:
Cop an affordable version from Rothco below:
Suited and Booted
As mentioned earlier, you can't go wrong with keeping things subtle. Pictured above with wife Kim, West makes sure his YEEZY Powerphase crepes not only match his wife's dress but that his Balenciaga flannel piece also gets some shine. For those looking to cop the luxury item, be prepared to splash an eye-watering $1,150.
Here's that affordable version again.
Turning the flannel game on its head, West opts for a brighter look in this next 'fit. Donning a bright blue padded Balenciaga flannel, the look stays cheerful, with a white hoodie layered over teal Calabasas sweatpants. West makes sure to maintain brand loyalty, rocking a white pair of YEEZY Powerphase Calabasas.
If you feel like shellin' out the big bucks for the real deal:
In a different colorway but Balenciaga nonetheless:
Oversized Plaid Flannel Shirt
Up to 60% Off ssense.com
Up to 60% Off ssense.com
And, naturally, a Dickie's version us mere mortals can afford:
Back to Work
While a lot of us dread going to work at 9am after a full-on weekend, taking a page out of West's book might make the day a little more bearable. Looking uber comfy in his Balenciaga flannel pea coat and YEEZY Season 5 military boots, Mondays have never looked brighter and better.
Let us know in the comments which 'fit is your favorite and if you'll be rocking flannel through this cruel winter.
For more styling tips, here's a list of must-have winter accessories to cop.