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Few fabrics can become a wardrobe staple the way chambray does, and whether you’re dressing it up or down, chambray can work for all types of occasions.
As the lightweight, more evenly-colored sibling to denim, chambray highlights what it means to be rugged and versatile while pulling off a classic blue-collar vibe.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite chambray shirts for everyday wear.
The California, Taylor Stitch
Modern craftsmanship is the name of the game at Taylor Stitch, a company dedicated to creating “overbuilt clothes for every occasion.” That approach led to The California, a Japanese chambray shirt that’s designed for the rigors and comforts of daily use.
We’re especially fond of the charcoal chambray, but it’s also available in blue and white. The fabric, sourced from a Japanese mill that uses vintage looms, is the backdrop to gorgeous stitching, custom powder-coated buttons and a tailored look that perfects this blue-collar homage.
High armholes and shorter sleeves give it a slimming shape that only softens with time. The dual chest pockets are a nice signature look, and the left chest pocket has a slim pencil sleeve.This chambray stands out because of quality, fit and construction – it’s handmade in Portugal by people who clearly know what they’re doing.
Indigo Japanese Chambray, J. Crew
For a more dressed-up look, consider the Indigo Japanese chambray from J. Crew. Bucking the traditional work-shirt vibe, J. Crew went with a simple button-down style that looks as good with a blazer as it does on the beach.
It’s available in a regular or slim fit and perfect for guys needing a lighter chambray for warmer weather. The indigo-dye process gives this shirt — also made from Japanese chambray — a unique coloring that works well for all sorts of occasions.
Chambray Patch Pocket Shirt, Todd Snyder
Iowa-born Todd Snyder has worked for Polo Ralph Lauren, J. Crew and Gap, and it shows in the best way possible. Today, he brings his heritage-turned-modern style to his own brand. Their Japanese chambray is a throwback to utility, but with updated style features that make the shirt stand out in the crowd.
Like the J. Crew chambray, this shirt’s styled like a classic button-down, but the pointed-flap pocket on the chest recalls more utilitarian chambray shirts of the past. Its modern fit is tailored without being too slim, and the soft indigo-dyed chambray ages well.
This is the kind of shirt that becomes a cornerstone of your wardrobe and perfect for the daily grind, whatever yours is.
The Chambray Shirt, Best Made Company
What better way to create high expectations for your business than to name it Best Made Company. That’s what Peter Buchanan-Smith did in 2009, and The Chambray lives up to its namesake.
Made from 5.3-ounce indigo-dyed chambray, this shirt offers the look of thicker button-downs with the practical, versatile nature of a lighter, more breathable shirt.
With a locker loop, differing chest pockets and cuff-to-elbow patches, it’s perfect for hard work around the house or the office. Its classic fit — neither too straight or tight — is more in-line with traditional chambrays, and like many of the shirts on this list, it’s also handmade in Portugal.
1969 Icon Worker Chambray, Gap
Want to stick to the basics? Consider the 1969 Icon Worker Chambray from Gap. No frills, just classic quality. White topstitching against a medium chambray tone makes for a clean, light look that works well all year long.
Traditional button-down styling and dual chest pockets make the 1969 look great tucked or not, and with a soft, tailored fit, it can be worn with anything from jeans and boots to a blazer and khakis.
Chambray Button-Down, Bonobos
If variety is kind of your thing, may we present the Chambray Button-Down from Bonobos. Available in nine colors — from dark navy to a wacky printed trails pattern — this shirt embodies the classic workman’s style.
A concealed button-down collar and large chest pockets on the Slub Chambray give the shirt a traditional vibe with a modern, comfortable fit. Choose from tailored (most slim), slim (most popular) or standard (most builds) fit and watch as the colors fade subtly with time and wear.
Indigo Chambray Army Shirt, Buck Mason
Clean double stitching and good angles give this chambray from Buck Mason a slightly western feel. Its point collar and corozo cat eye buttons offer a darker, more angled look than some of the other chambrays, making it great for late night soirées and weekend getaways.
Founders Erik Schnakenberg and Sasha Koehn started Buck Mason with the purpose of “standing out by being subtle,” and their indigo chambray feels like a mission accomplished.
Trim Fit Chambray, rag & bone
Sometimes, less is more. Simple white topstitching gives this chambray from rag & bone a clean, minimalistic vibe. It’s darker than most of the chambrays here and offers a paired-down, sleek look that can be dressed up or down accordingly.