Said to be first established in Cambrai, France in 1595, chambray is defined as "a lightweight even weave fabric formed of colored warp yarns (often blue) and white weft yarns."(*)
As the popularity of the chambray shirt grew, the shirts became the inspiration behind the phrase "blue collar". (*)
Fast forward to 2014 and the popularity of these shirts is only growing. They are found in almost every women's boutique, and seen on celebrities like Taylor Swift, the Olsen Twins, fashion icon Rihanna, and Justin Timberlake.
Chambray shirts have become a staple in wardrobes — for men and women. They are paired with denim, colored jeans, black, white, skirts, shorts, and florals, and worn in the workplace, home, or out on the town.
I made the investment in my chambray shirt last year, and I'm learning to love it on me. I love the idea of chambray, but it's the style of the shirt that I have the problem with. I try my hardest to make it work and it occasionally does.
I have issues with button up style shirts. They awkwardly gap in the buttons around my bust and because it's working to cover the bust it makes it tight in the shoulders.
The chambray shirt I have is a bit long (more details to come) so when I tuck in in, it awkwardly pokes out above my pant button because of where the lowest-not-tucked-in-button lands. Speaking of the buttons, they're wooden(ish). It makes it a little difficult to button, and I feel the need to wear it with brown/brown hues. Lastly, I'd prefer the shirt to be a bit more fitted so it will give me some shape.
Don't get me wrong, I really like this shirt!
I mentioned the length of the shirt earlier and there is a good reason for it. The sides come up (and a strap comes up and buttons to the side to secures it) and you can then tie the front and make it a cute, semi-midriff bearing shirt, or throw it over a tank and wear it to a rodeo or country concert. I'm not one for baring my midriff (I've got some toning to do and inches to lose before I'm comfortable doing that!) so I don't often wear it like that. I'm learning to wear it in new ways, and ways that work with my body. Hence this outfit!
The original outfit was inspired by something seen on Pinterest (naturally) but when I put it together it just didn't work. I initially paired this floral skirt with a gray striped shirt. I'm learning to take risks, but that one was a flop. So I rifled through my closet and pulled out my chambray shirt. I adjusted the shirt a number of times before finally deciding on my final look. I tied it, tucked it all the way, tucked it part of the way, and didn't tuck it. I could have continued all day, but my time was cut short on account of getting to work!
I'm very pleased with how this outfit turned out! I paired it with a pair of wedge booties, which took my fashion risk one step further (pun intended). Though next time I wear this outfit I'll pair it with a sandals or wedges.
I love the vibe this outfit gives off. Its fun, young, professional, and fashionable. Chambray is so versatile, it's a wardrobe chameleon. It is a wardrobe staple for men and women. It has lasted since 1595, which leads me to believe it'll continue to last as time passes! If it's something my grandpa and I both wear (occasionally on the same day), it's something anyone can wear!
What do you think the secret behind the popularity of chambray?