It’s been said that you shouldn’t adopt a fashion trend if you’re old enough to have worn it the first time it was a thing.
I’ve long poo-pooed this outdated notion.
And it’s a good job I have too.
Why should all the sweet young things have all the fun? Fashion is fun and it should be fun for all ages.
What you wear should make you feel nothing short of fabulous. And if that fabulous takes the form of a garment not dissimilar to that which you wore Back In The Day, then I say go for it.
In this post, the garment I’m saying go for is the humble wardrobe warrior that is the chambray shirt.
Chambray by fabric definition is “a plain weave fabric woven with a coloured yarn in the warp and a white yarn in the weft”. In layman’s terms this means a (usually) blue cotton fabric with a white thread through it.
It’s a lighter weight than denim.
The fabric originated in the French town of Cambrai in the 16th Century.
In WWII, the US Navy adopted the chambray shirt as part of its uniform, with a white t-shirt underneath and navy pants.
In 1990 I bought my first chambray shirt from Country Road. I loved and cherished that shirt … as much as I now do the THREE chambray shirts hanging in my wardrobe.
So when an Adelaide reader contacted me this week for a little advice on how to wear her newly purchased shirt, I thought others might like some tips and inspiration too.
I just bought a tencil demin shirt and love it but I don’t do denim and denim. I know it’s on trend but I’m just not that trendy! Can you suggest how and what to wear with it? – Taryn
1. Don’t be afraid of demin + denim. It’s ok to opt not to embrace double denim but before you do veto it from your wardrobe life, give it a try. The key is to work two pieces together of different shades, a pale chambray shirt with indigo jeans. The contrast is important.
2. Black jeans/skirts/pants are your chambray bestie. Chambray and black is super smart and can take you from casual to dressy in to time at all. This combination is one of my faves. Try black leather or faux leather for evening interest.
3. Mix up your look with tan or taupe accessories and shoes. These neutrals work so well with a chambray blue because they’re almost opposites on the colour wheel. Leopard print and chambray is a match made in wardrobe heaven for the very same reason.
4. Look for a shirt that is lightweight and drapes beautifully over the bust and hip. A chambray shirt is all about the relaxed so avoid choosing a chambray that is heavy and stiff and opt for a design that drapes.
5. You don’t have to wear your shirt buttoned up. Wear it as a jacket fully open with a tee underneath. Tie it around your waist. Half tuck into your jeans or shirt. Tie it to create a crop-style shirt over a maxi skirt or dress.
6. Embrace this classic – for that’s what it’s become. A chambray shirt acts like a neutral in your wardrobe, allowing you to get creative with the bottom half of your outfit while still feeling effortlessly chic.
The real-women of #everydaystyle (follow along on this Instagram hashtag for daily style inspiration) know how to rock a chambray shirt. Check out this selection for ideas on how to wear yours. For outfit details, click on the link below each photo and follow each of these fabulous ladies while you’re there.
Sussan chambray shirt | Firefly vest | Frankie4 Footwear boots | Harlow Australia jeans | Louenhide bag
Sussan chambray shirt, skirt and clutch | Nine West Heels
Shop the look now
The chambray shirt is a great trans-seasonal fashion buy and there are lots of options out there for your trans-seasonal shopping pleasure. The look below is one to play with as it warms up. The contrast between the pastel tones of the trench and shirt with the strong anchors of the tan leather and stripes add interest. Wear the trench open to perfect a lightly layered look.
So tell me, would I find a chambray shirt in your wardrobe? How do you wear yours?