The gusset, an added piece of fabric between sleeve and body, reduces restriction by making it easier to move your arm.
TIM UHLER The gusset, an added piece of fabric between sleeve and body, reduces restriction by making it easier to move your arm.
When you roll up a sleeve you can use a buttoned tab to keep it in place.
TIM UHLER When you roll up a sleeve you can use a buttoned tab to keep it in place.
The shirt has oversize buttons and flapped chest pockets with Velcro to hold them closed.
Tim Uhler The shirt has oversize buttons and flapped chest pockets with Velcro to hold them closed.

Last fall I was looking at the Duluth Trading Company catalog and noticed a new line of shirts called Crosscut Performance Flannel. They looked kind of promising so I got the company to send some for my framing partner and me to try out.

The fabric in these shirts is 25% lighter than the company’s original flannel and is s 60/40 cotton polyester blend that is said to wick sweat. Their defining feature is the “Freedom of Movement” armpit gusset, an added piece of fabric between the body and sleeve that allows you to move more freely as you work.

I’ve owned some of the company’s “tradesman fit” clothes and found the fit to be just a little too roomy. Crosscut Performance shirts are trimmer and fit me better. I like the way they fit because they allow me to wear multiple thin layers without feeling I have on too many clothes—which can restrict movement and make it hard to bend. If you are tall, be sure to get the tall size. My framing partner is 6’5” and the regular sleeves were too short for him.

Features include oversize buttons and chest pockets, one with a slot for a carpenter’s pencil and the other that will fit a phone. Both pockets are covered by flaps that are held shut with Velcro. I use the pencil slot all the time but not the phone pocket because it’s not large enough to accept my smart phone’s case. It’s no great loss it wouldn’t be comfortable there anyway.

The area where I work, in the Pacific Northwest, has milder weather than many parts of the country. But it does get cold; there were days in December when it didn’t get out of the 20s. I start most days wearing a t-shirt, flannel shirt, and sweatshirt—and ditch the sweatshirt once I get going. If it feels like I’m overheating I’ll roll up the sleeves of my shirt. This shirt has buttoned tabs that can be used to prevent the sleeves from rolling back down. These are the same kind of tabs found on some long-sleeve hiking shirts.

For the past few months I’ve been wearing one of these shirts every day for work. I like them so much I bought another for hiking and walking the dog. Duluth’s gear looks good so I feel like wearing it when I’m not at work. I recommend this shirt to anyone who likes thin comfortable flannel and wants to look good on and off the jobsite.

Crosscut Performance Flannel
Fabric: 4.1 ounce 60/40 cotton/poly
Medium Sizes: MED, LRG, XLG, 2XL
Tall/Big Sizes: LRG, XLG, 2XL, 3XL
Colors: 4 plaids; 2 checks
Country of origin: Vietnam
Price: $55-60