Chambray is a relatively lightweight plain-weave cotton fabric, woven with a dyed warp thread and a white weft thread. “Plain weave” refers to a basic style of weaving where the weft thread alternates over and under the warp thread; if you “wove” a two-color construction paper placemat in grade-school art class, you know exactly what plain weave is! Chambray can be any color, but it is most often seen in an indigo wash, which is part of the reason it is so often confused with denim. Denim, however, is a twill fabric and generally much heavier than chambray.
Chambray is most often used in making shirts, though it lends itself easily to skirts and shirtdresses, too. Chambray is popular in both menswear and womenswear; it offers the versatility of denim in a softer, lighter cloth with greater breathability and comfort.
Here, we’re going to talk mainly about how to style your chambray shirts. Chambray shirts are back, trending like we haven’t seen since the 90s! Of course, they never really went “out” of style, because they are a classic piece, but we believe they will be a must-have for the next couple of seasons at least. There are new ways to mix and style a chambray shirt that the 90s never even considered, and we can help you explore them.
Pair a long-tailed chambray shirt with leggings and boots or ballet flats for an absolutely effortless casual outfit. You can add a sweater in chilly weather or high-roll the sleeves when it’s warm out. This is the basic application of a chambray shirt—a go-to, versatile, comfortable piece you can count on day-to-day.
These are just a few ways to wear your chambray shirts, and we hope that at least one of them is a fresh and exciting idea to your mind. You can enjoy the ease and comfort of chambray no matter what you want your final look to say about your taste and style. Chambray shirts are a classic staple piece, poised to be appreciated anew in the coming seasons. Select a new chambray shirt (or two!), and try it with dress pants, knit skirts or party clothes—the sky really is the limit!