Making everyday life awesome

The Chambray Shirt- A Wardrobe Staple


What is one versatile piece that every person should have in their closet? A Chambray shirt. You can dress it up, dress it down, wear it as foundation piece, or as an added pop of interest.

Before we show you some inspiring outfits, let’s get into the technical aspects of Chambray.  Chambray is a weave where the warp and the filler cross each other at a one to one ratio.  This makes the fabric have a light texture. Chambray comes from France and was probably invented in the 1500s. It was originally a plain white linen.  Overtime it morphed into the fabric we know and love today. By the early 1900s Chambray was the working man’s fabric. It was often worn by farmers due to its lightweight yet durable nature. In 1901 the U.S. Navy adopted the fabric to use for their enlisted uniforms again this was for its lightweight and durable nature. During the 1950’s the Chambray shirt was popular among Hollywood and music’s cool kids and its hold on the masses has only gotten stronger. Today we consider it a wardrobe staple.

One common question is how can I tell if a fabric is denim or chambray?  The easiest way to tell what material you have, is to flip it over. Chambray is nearly identical on both sides, whereas denim will have a clear front and back.

Let’s look at some ways to wear this classic piece.

In the office: The Chambray button down paired with a black pencil skirt and some killer pumps is a classic outfit. You can really play around with this look by adding a statement necklace, brightly colored clutch, and some rocking shoes. Since Chambray is a neutral peice you can also play around with pairing your top with a patterned and/or bold colored skirt as well.


Casual: You literally can’t go wrong with a casual look that involves a Chambray shirt. Pair it with white pants, pair it with shorts, you can even pair a light wash top with dark denim bottoms!


Spring/Summer: Enjoying the warm weather but finding the breeze a bit chilly? No worries! Just throw your trusty Chambray top over your tank top, t-shirt, or Maxi dress. This lightweight layer will keep you warm in aggressively air-conditioned buildings and add some visual interest to your summer looks.


Fall/Winter: While in the summer the Chambray shirt makes a great top layer, in the cooler months it makes a great bottom layer. Pair it with jeans and a sweatshirt for a cute fall look. Pair it with leggings, a sweater, and a scarf for a warm cozy winter look.


What is your favorite way to wear Chambray?

Photos via: StyleCaster, Anthropologie, StyleCaster, Style by Lolly, Glamrader, HerCanvas, JCrewElegant Ashley

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