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8 Reasons No One's as Hardcore as Northern Michiganders When It Comes to Flannel

by Sara Schneider Dec 3, 2014
1. They hold the title of “Most Flannel City in America.”

Duluth Trading Company just named Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as the “Most Flannel City in America.” Although the UP is not actually a city, but rather half of an entire state, it is still a very well-deserved distinction for this often overlooked lumberjack breeding ground. The “yoopers” earned over 40% of all bracket votes in the Flannel City Face-Off, defeating 15 of the toughest cities in the nation.

2. A “dress” flannel is a thing.

While most people have their stand-by suit or little black dress at the ready for fancy occasions, in Michigan, it is totally acceptable (maybe even encouraged) to sport your best flannel down to the VFW for your second cousin’s wedding. Just be sure to perform the armpit sniff test before doing up the top neck button, and fully represent on the dance floor when Biggie remembers “way back, when I had the red and black lumberjack with the hat to match.”

3. It’s not just for hipsters.

Places like Portland might give Michigan a run for its money when it comes to flannel sightings, but no one truly embodies the fabric like those “Up North.” They are strong and durable. Their pockets are at the ready to MacGyver anything broken. Flannel is not reserved for stylish millennials or grunge musicians trying to emulate the manliness of those early American settlers. In Michigan, it is for the true woodsman…the ones who actually still live the hard-working lifestyle hipsters only dream of while playing Oregon Trail on their smartphones.

4. And it’s not just for the cold.

Yes, flannel is warm. Everyone knows this fact, but Michigan natives know that flannel is not just for the cold. They stock their closets with unhealthy amounts of plaid in a variety of weights. Don’t be caught dead wearing your heavy winter flannel in the heat of summer. That’s just plain silly! Head to Getz’s and pick yourself up a proper sunshine-ready lightweight flannel before heading out on Lake Superior to bag a bass.

5. Unofficial Flannel Day happens at the beginning of every November.

Although it can’t be found on any official government calendar, every year, at the beginning of November, masses of checker-chested Michiganders call in sick (if their work or school hasn’t already deemed it a holiday) and head to their camps. Nothing like opening day of deer hunting season to really celebrate the greatness that is flannel. Dig out your great grandpa’s lucky red and black, grab some KBC, and head for the woods.

6. It’s understood that old is definitely better than new.

Speaking of your great grandpa’s lucky red and black, all those born and raised in the Great Lake State know the pricelessness of hand-me-down plaid. The feeling of snuggling up in your dad’s old lined flannel with the hole in the right breast pocket is irreplaceable. No brand new, overpriced number from Urban Outfitters will ever fill the void.

7. The neighboring “Canadian Tuxedo” ain’t got nothing on our style.

The infamous decked-out-in-denim look deemed a “Canadian Tuxedo” doesn’t hold a candle to the unabashed layering of flannel you’ll see in the Upper Peninsula. We crawl out of flannel sheets and into flannel socks. We wear flannel-lined jeans zipped up over flannel long johns. And we’ve got a flannel long sleeve, button up shirt under our flannel-lined coat (maybe an added flannel layer if it’s really cold). And of course, our trusty Stormy Kromer flannel-lined hat. Head-to-toe plaid is way more epic (and comfortable) than denim. Time to step across the border and try on some Carhart’s Canada.

8. We perfected the Paul Bunyan folktale.

Ever wonder where the most notable imaginary lumberjack in all of American folklore was born? It was Oscoda, Michigan (or at least that’s what the state of Michigan proclaimed in 2006), and there are quite a few statues showing just how much fellow Michiganders love their original axe man. There is absolutely no one more hardcore when it comes to anything, including flannel, than Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox Babe.

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