From 20th-century work wear to standard-issue U.S. Navy shirting, chambray has taken quite a journey since its earliest appearances centuries ago in Cambrai, France. Now a closet staple for ladies and gents alike, the fabric boasts classically good looks – but it’s also a fresh canvas for trending details. Read on, then button up.
What it is: Chambray is a lightweight woven fabric (generally cotton) comprised of colored thread and complemented by bleached horizontal yarns. Traditionally, it tends to be indigo or light blue in color.
What it isn’t: Though the hue may suggest otherwise, it’s not denim. So those of you who haven’t jumped on the all-jean bandwagon yet can layer your blues without hesitation. Wondering how to nail the look? Mix a dark-wash top with lighter bottoms (or vice versa).
Build your collection: Go beyond the classic-cut button-front shirt. Try a sheath dress for another wardrobe multitasker. While chambray is best known for blue, colors like red and grey put a spin on the tried-and-true fabric. To take it to the next level, just play with pattern (think white floral or tonal stripes).
By Susie Kostaras, Associate Content Editor
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