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Your lifestyle, your quirk
Spring 2012 is still a hot season for all things denim, so it’s no surprise that one of the fashion items getting a lot of play is the chambray shirt. Chambray shirts aren’t exactly high fashion garments, but they can be considered a classic piece for both men and women, especially in certain cuts and styles.
Chambray, if you’re not familiar with this textile, is a “closely woven cotton fabric with a slight glossy surface that also has distinctive white top stitching.” Once upon a time, chambray was primarily used to make men’s work shirts, but today chambray fabric is used by some of the biggest names in the fashion industry. The chambray shirt, sometimes called a work shirt, was popular in ’70s, ’80, and ’90s, so it fits right in as a part of our retro salute. It probably doesn’t hurt that denim fabric and denim jeans are still white-hot fashion items.
Chambray is on my list of favorite fabrics and one of the things that I like most about it is that chambray is so similar to denim. Fabrics are sturdy and comfortable to wear no matter what the season; they both have the ability to fade, but chambray is more lightweight and can even have a draped effect. What I think is really cool is both chambray and denim both have sort of rags-to-riches stories in fashion. Chambray was originally used to make work shirts, and prison uniform shirts known as prison blues are also made with this fabric.
Back in the day, you could pick up one of these “work shirts” on the cheap at stores like Sears. Today, it’s possible for both men and women to drop a couple of hundred dollars for a chambray shirt. Chambray shirts for both men and women tend to have sort of an all-American/western vibe, but you can find shirts in practically every style. Some of these styles are quite detailed, with ruffles, pleats, and darts. You can also find other ultra-feminine styles in this fabric like halters, peasant shirts and shirtdresses. If you’re not familiar with this fabric, do check it out. If you go with a basic cut or even a western style, you can wear a chambray shirt for years to come, just like denim.