I’m a flannel guy, believe it or not. Sure, I live in hot as hell Florida, but I still respect a good flannel. In fact, if my wife tells me to dress nice, I pop one of my flannels on. My favorite brand has long been Dixxon, but I was more than willing to try out the All Skill No Luck flannel. Their claim to fame is taking flannels, making them fit like modern BDUs.
They call it the Ntchwaidumela, and no, I can’t help you pronounce that. Oddly enough, I recognized the word for some reason. I read on, and All Skill No Luck translates it to He who greets with fire, and it clicked.
It’s the shared name of a lion from a Nat Geo documentary I watched as a teenager. It’s called Eternal Enemies, and the lion, Ntchwaidumela, kills tons of hyenas. I can talk about that all day, but let’s be more practical and talk more about the shirt. When I say modern BDU, what do I mean? Well, it’s all about the pockets.
The pocket locations, in particular, are an interesting choice. The front pockets are slanted inward, much like the Marine Corp’s uniform. Also, across the sleeves are two smaller pockets perfect for pens, at least that’s what I always used them for. While the designs novel, does the All Skill No Luck hold up?
Deconstructing the All Skills No Luck Flannel
All Skill No Luck uses Cordura brand combat wool to make a darn tough shirt. Combat wool is made to be 10X more abrasion resistant than standard wool. Cordura’s combat wool also implements merino wool into its design to help get that wicking style comfort and antimicrobial properties.
The XL fit is perfect for me. It’s contoured for an even fit and works kind of like a push-up bra for bros. The All Skill No Luck Flannel is tight around the chest, emphasizing the pecs, but loose around the stomach letting your little beer gut hide naturally. I also appreciate that XL also takes arm length into account. Most XL long-sleeve shirts are still too short, but All Skill No Luck nails it.
It’s also a soft material, but don’t get me wrong, it is wool. It’s a little itchy and poking at first, but with subsequent washings, it gets a little more comfortable bit by bit until it’s well worn and perfectly soft. Also, the color hasn’t faded in the months I’ve rocked it. It still looks brand new but feels worn in.
The buttons are hidden under a flap for a sleek appearance and to prevent the big buttons from catching on and eventually breaking. Those buttons are fairly large and easy to manipulate, even with gloved hands.
A Carry Perspective
I tend to like clothes that make it easier to conceal and carry. That fit style of the All Skill No Luck flannel is perfect for carrying. It’s a little baggier around the belly. Therefore baggier around your gun makes it easier to hide. I can drop my favorite CZ P09 with a Streamlight TLR-1 equipped into a Phlster Floodlight and make it disappear under my flannel.
Flannel patterns also tend to hide lumps, and big guns tend to be lumpy, so flannels are a natural cure to those lumps. Maybe that’s why I’ve always liked flannels. They hide my lumps. Concealing weapons, specifically, handguns is fairly easy with the All Skill No Luck flannel. Hell, it’s fairly easy to conceal a small or compact pistol in an OWB holster with this shirt.
Beyond just carrying the flared bottom makes it easy to grip, rip and draw. When I grab my shirt to draw my gun, I grab it near the sternum and rip it upward. This isn’t challenging with the shirt and revealing the gun for a clean and easy draw is simple and effective.
Day To Day
The overall appearance of the All Skills No Luck flannel is fantastic. It’s dyed well, and the reds are deep and eye-catching. The pattern is perfect and attractive. The orientation of the pockets makes the shirt stand out in a subtle way. At SHOT, someone straight-up name-checked it, which was pretty neat. If you know, you know. If not, the shirt still looks fantastic and feels fantastic as well.
Sure give it a few washes to get the most out of it, but once it’s worn in and washed, the shirt becomes an awesome option for daily wear. Weight-wise it’s a little heavier than your average shirt but lighter than most dedicated flannels. It’s not a summer afternoon shirt by any means. If you want a high-quality, well-made, American flannel from a small, veteran-owned company, click here.