Holigay Gift Guide: Advice for My Mother on What Flannel to Buy My Butch Fiancée

HOLIGAYS 2017 / Autostraddle

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The following is an email from my mother:

Hi Laura,

Well good luck tomorrow then. Hope all goes well.

With regard to flannel shirts and [your fiancée], what type of fit does she like? There is a spectrum ranging from regular to fitted to slim or trim depending on the item and store. Also, what colors does she favor? What does she have already? Can you sneak into her closet and take a pic of the ones she has (just side on hanging up is fine). And is this for indoor or outdoor wear? Some have varying types of lining. This seems to be a rather complex purchasing decision!

I haven’t read anything recently that I would say I’m in love with, that I would want to give her as a gift.

I could also just get her a lifetime supply of Burts Bees lip balm I suppose…


Dear Mom,

These are (approximately) what she has in the closet:

Get something from the men’s department. Not slim fit.

I’m sure she’d be polite about it if you got her something from the women’s department, but really: menswear. She recently got a fleece-lined flannel shirt that we both love. Jackets are also an option.

See you at Christmas!



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Laura Mandanas

Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

Laura has written 210 articles for us.


  1. Ten years ago, for Christmas, I visited my mom and grandma.
    After unwrapping yet another tank top, another flannel shirt, I laughed and asked whether they had shopped directly from The Lesbian Catalogue, to which my mom, aghast, replied, “But honey, we only bought what you like!”
    I still love and treasure those flannel shirts, what can I say?

  2. So much tartan and modified glen plaid! Love the blue and black overlapping buffalo check and the purple. Sage isn’t my colour but the thick line window pane pattern is interesting.

    ::plaid nerd::

    • Update from my mother: “The Autostraddle commenters are awesome. I was mildly concerned that they would make fun of me like the Olive Garden review lady.”

  3. This is adorable but also Duluth trading company is really the end-all be-all of meeting your flannel needs.

    • Their flannels are the best. I’ve been getting one for Christmas for a few years now, and I can testify that they hold up really well. The fit is so good: makes room for boobs (no button-gap) while still looking really masculine. And they have these cute little hidden stretchy-venty-panels at the back so that you can reach and move easily, plus a stupidly nifty patch of chamois at the bottom for cleaning glasses or phones. I love.

  4. i don’t know what made me think this post would include clothes that would fit and look good on fat bodies, so I’m not sure why I’m disappointed, but I am

  5. This is so sweet, I’m weeping. Jesus christ. Merry christmas to you all and I hope you are all cozy and comfortable in new flannel.

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