There’s nothing more classic than a crisp button down shirt. An extension of this is the chambray shirt for summer. While the season is at its height (let’s ignore fall for just a moment, please), a menswear-inspired chambray shirt is the perfect piece to get optimal use of your wardrobe for a variety of occasions, like day, work, weekend, & date, which is why it’s featured in my latest addition of Fabulous in 4 Ways.
This post is inspired by an equally versatile friend, Meghan, who works boho princess / bombshell prep street style like nobody’s business. When challenged with how to wear a chambray shirt, I advised my very favorite & fashionable friend that any way that a button down shirt can be styled is also any way that a chambray shirt can be styled (depending on the cut, of course). Here are some examples of must-haves tops to build an affordable ensemble at any size:
SHOP: 1. Dockers chambray shirt ($24.99, was $40.00) @6PM, 2. chambray shirt ($39.99, was $69.00) @J.Jill, 3. chambray shirt ($32.94) available in sizes XS – XXL @Old Navy, 4. New Directions plus size chambray shirt ($18.19, was 52.00) @Belk, & 5. plus size chambray shirt ($46.00) @Maurices.
When it comes to essential basics to fill your closet, it’s always valuable to turn to some top A-listers for a little style inspiration, in the form of the button down shirts for anytime. This includes the flawless likes of Taylor Swift who takes the girl next door approach in a skate skirt, red oxford shoes, & retro sunnies. Curvy Kim Kardashian West dresses down her turquoise pencil skirt & ankle strap pumps with a tucked in, low-cut button down for a fierce day look. Draper James creator Reese Witherspoon is all buttoned up while traveling with mixed textures of black denim, leather pointy flats, & a pink lip. Style icon Olivia Palermo makes an appearance at a Kohl’s event in a knotted shirt over a floral pencil skirt with suede pumps.
Mixing chambray with similarly-hued denim isn’t a no-no, as seen on Rihanna who looked sporty & chic in a leather baseball cap & nude slingbacks. Salem actress Ashley Madekwe is all about layering with a mini skirt, ankle booties, brocade blazer, & red chain link crossbody bag. Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana kept her cool in head-to-toe blue with cowboy boots & aviators when out & about. Lastly, busy mom on the go Jennifer Garner offers a laid back combo in a chambray pullover shirt tucked into a pencil skirt with ballet flats & a luxe navy snake embossed bowler bag.
Now comes the real-life outfit possibilities. Chambray is so lightweight to wear from week to week, especially if you like to reinvent your favorite pieces in new ways. I styled each look with the chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory because it was not only a bargain, but also the best foundation for a polished & flirty look. Try tucking the shirt in for day by rolling up the sleeves, but on the weekend, open it up & knot it when heading to brunch.
SHOP the DAY look: 1. chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory, 2. pineapple earrings ($5.00, was $7.50) @Icing, 3. LC Lauren Conrad necklace ($8.00, was $20.00) @Kohl’s, 4. shorts ($13.98, was $19.99) in orange @Target, 5. Nine West crossbody bag ($19.99, was $45.00) in oat @Century 21, & 6. wedges ($31.49, was $89.99) in beige @Dillard’s.
SHOP the WEEKEND look: 7. earrings ($12.00) @Francesca’s, 8. tank ($16.95) in turquoise @Gap (available in sizes XS – XXL), 9. maxi skirt ($30.00) @Dress Barn (available in plus size here), 10. bangle set ($9.99, was $26.00) @JCPenney, 11. tote ($14.90) in cream / mustard @Forever 21, & 12. sandals ($15.00, was $22.99) in gold @Charlotte Russe.
Depending on your job’s dress code, chambray can make a casual Friday a little more elegant when tucked into a minimalist skirt with edgy extras, but then knot it over an LBD for date night to keep cozy with colorful accessories to pop.
SHOP the WORK look: 1. chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory, 2. cardigan cape ($34.00, was $108.00) in black @Neiman Marcus Last Call, 3. earrings ($10.50) in gold @G by Guess, 4. Daniel Rainn pencil skirt ($24.97, was $68.00) in black @Nordstrom Rack (shop similar in plus size here), 5. necklace ($15.00) in rose gold @Topshop, 6. bowler bag ($49.00, was $99.00) @ASOS, 7. belt ($24.90) in snake @Express (shop similar in plus size here), & 8. booties ($38.50) in black @GOjane.
SHOP the DATE look: 9. dress ($12.95) in black @H&M (shop similar in plus size here), 10. necklace ($8.99) @Rainbow Shops, 11. ring ($16.00) @River Island, 12. clutch ($29.00, was $43.00) in yellow @Venus, & 13. sandals ($39.95, was $70.00) in red @DSW.
Do you wear button down or chambray shirts during the summer? How many ways do you like to style them? Which celebrity wears your favorite chambray look? For more stylish posts, check out Kate Mara’s sleek pixie cut & outfits while promoting Fantastic 4, affordable maxi skirts inspired by Jennifer Lopez & Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Fall 2015 denim campaign for Paige Denim, how to restyle bridesmaid dresses from Weddington Way, Eva Mendes for Estee Lauder, & a figure-friendly summer outfit for under $100! Happy Styling!