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There are times when even the most well-curated rotation of winter style essentials can use improvements, like the idea behind adding one of the best fleece-lined shirts to your wardrobe. Yes, we’d wager you’re hopefully already well-acquainted with the type of layers that can bolster winter comfort and warmth, including a carefully purchased selection of the best men’s sweaters, but variety is the spice of life. By that, we mean there are ways to stay cozy while using hybrid menswear essentials.
Again, this is where our love for the best fleece-lined shirts takes things from good to great. Fleece-lined shirts are a type of shirt jacket that combines the qualities of your go-to flannel shirt with heavier fabric weight and often, some interior lining (or else a heavier exterior construction). Fleece-lined shirts go the extra mile, allowing you to leave your winter parka at home — unless there’s a massive blizzard — acting as an in-between layer you can toss on at a moment’s notice. In fact, you should feel free to put on one of our picks for the best fleece-lined shirts over your favorite henley, an Oxford shirt at the office, or a durable denim shirt for the weekend.
The point is, a fleece-lined shirt could be one of those winter menswear moves you didn’t know you needed, but you’ll surely be glad you have one handy for weekend coffee runs, casual days at the office or cozy days bundled up by the fire. The choice is yours, but first, you’ll need to shop our favorites.
1. Faherty Fleece-Lined Snap Shirt Jacket
Sometimes, it’s hard to pin down what makes a winter menswear essential so great, and other times, it’s clear right away. That’s the case with this Faherty fleece-lined “shacket,” a combination of the brand’s signature approach to soft stretch fabrics, amped up with the durability of a snap shirt jacket to be worn over a thermal shirt or henley. Recycled polyester fleece adds a touch of sustainability to the interior of this hard-working fleece shirt, while side hip pockets offer space for your everyday carry. The Koi Blue color is also a nice way to shake up the drab undertones of winter while also remaining versatile and easy to style with tan chinos or deep blue denim.
2. Orvis Fleece-Lined Teton Denim Shirt
BEST RUGGED FLEECE SHIRT
Here’s the thing about a fleece-lined shirt: They’re all inherently rugged by nature, but there’s something else going on here with this excellent wear-with-nearly-anything Orvis denim shirt. It’s got the hard-wearing build of denim on the outside (a garment-washed 8oz. fabric), yet the warmth of cozy fleece on the inside, which makes it a grab-and-go layer best worn in between a waxed trucker jacket and atop a thermal henley when your winter morning to-do list calls. Use the front button chest pockets for your everyday carry when the going gets tough, too. The rest of the time, it’s a fine fleece shirt made for bar-hopping and weekend coffee sipping on your back porch.
3. L.L. Bean Fleece-Lined Flannel Shirt
BEST TRADITIONAL FLEECE SHIRT
L.L. Bean is surely nothing if not classic when it comes down to designing iconic menswear pieces that keep customers coming back time and time again. Take the brand’s famed Bean Boots, for instance. And it just so happens that this fleece-lined flannel shirt is the kind of shirt your grandfather or great-grandfather might have trusted to keep them warm (alongside those trusty Bean Boots, of course). You should take the same approach to your own wardrobe by selecting from a range of timeless plaid patterns to wear with other warm-as-can-be L.L. Bean staples all weekend long.
4. Wrangler Authentics Sherpa-Lined Shirt Jacket
BEST AFFORDABLE FLEECE SHIRT
Sure, staying warm is the name of the game with any winter layer, but it’s equally important that you keep a few other crucial keys in mind as you get dressed for winter. Among them: affordability, which can quickly climb to the top of the list if you’re investing in other make-or-break pieces like some of the best winter boots or a cozy winter parka. Save a few bucks, then, on a fleece shirt from an iconic brand. It’s all the more helpful that you can wear this sherpa fleece-lined shirt with a pair of built-for-anything Wrangler jeans, and things only improve from there when you look at the price tag. Save your hard-earned dollars and put them instead towards a winter getaway. This shirt will come in handy once you skip town.
5. Royal Robbins Connection Grid Shirt Jacket
BEST FOR THE OUTDOORS
All of the best fleece-lined shirts have an extra touch of durability in their design, and all of them could function well when worn on their own without a jacket (again, as long as the polar vortex stays at bay). But when you want a durable shirt with something a little bit extra beyond just a cozy fleece lining, you might find it hard to believe that yes, some brands take things up to an even more durable degree. Take this shirt jacket, made with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating to ward off rain showers, sleet and light snow. Then, prepare to be amazed when you realize it’s bolstered even further with a high-pile fleece liner and a lined collar. Wear it on day hikes aplenty to ward off winter weather.
6. O’Neill Glacier Plaid Snap Fleece Shirt Jacket
BEST EVERYDAY FLEECE SHIRT
There might come a time when you want that critical blend of hybrid warmth and style on the go without missing a beat, like when you’ve got to dash out the door to the office or get out the door on a weekend morning. For everyday style that doesn’t miss a beat, consider this well-made, nicely priced O’Neill fleece shirt jacket. In fact, it looks more like a regular flannel shirt than anything, meaning you can wear it over a T-shirt without overheating on a casual day at the office (or anywhere, really). To us, that’s day-in, day-out versatility when it counts.