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The Compass  /  Style  /  How to Wear a Chambray Shirt to Work

How to Wear a Chambray Shirt to Work

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When you think chambray shirt you might think of the classic blue chambray work shirt, that lighter weight version of a denim shirt. But chambray shirts have moved up in the world. Now is the time to learn how to wear a chambray shirt to work.The combination of relaxed dress codes and today’s chambray dress shirts (that come in more colors than just blue and red) means you can now wear a chambray shirt with a suit and tie to the office.

This is a new breed of chambray shirts. They’re ready for work of all sorts. Leave the denim work shirt for guys who wrangle cattle. If you lasso spreadsheets and herd co-workers into conference rooms to see your PowerPoints, this is the work shirt for you. That goes for just about any guy in any job, from top of the totem pole to glorified coffee fetcher.

Highbridge Charcoal Houndstooth Custom Suit, Light Gray Solid Chambray Custom Shirt

You didn’t get to where you are by following the crowd. While it seems like every wannabe hotshot CEO these days is trying to dress like a high school kid (we blame Zuckerberg), wearing a chambray shirt with a suit shows that you can dress with modern style and still dress like a boss. Combine the shirt with a richly hued knit tie for a high/low combination that oozes understated elegance.

Suit: Highbridge Charcoal Houndstooth Custom Suit
Shirt: Light Gray Solid Chambray Custom Shirt
Tie: Brown Silk & Beige Mottled Stripes Knit by Fort Belvedere
Pocket Square: Chocolate Drop Pocket Square

The Boss - Light Gray Chambray Shirt
The Manager - Dark Blue Solid Chambray Custom Shirt, Solid Tan Tropical Wool Custom Suit
THE-MANAGER-HEADER

It’s tough in the middle. When you’re not the top man but you’re no grunt either, your style can’t rock the boat, but you don’t want to just blend into the scenery either. Show the C-suite that you’re a cut above and show the underlings how it’s done by combining traditional office style (a well-fitting suit) with a chambray shirt in a simple but unexpected color combination like dark blue for the shirt with a tan or khaki suit.

Suit: Solid Tan Tropical Wool Custom Suit
Shirt: Dark Blue Solid Chambray Custom Shirt
Tie: Orange & Ivory Striped Silk by Fort Belvedere
Pocket Square: Stain Glass / Grey Pocket Square

What is chambray, anyway?

What is Chambray anyway?

Think of chambray as a lighter version of denim. It’s all cotton and gets its unique look from weaving colored yarns north and south while weaving in white yarns east and west. Follow those directions and you end up right in the middle of stylish.

Flatiron Blue Fine Check Custom Suit, Red Solid Chambray Custom Shirt

If you’re a creative you know that there is nothing new under the sun. Great ideas are often remixes, mashups or some other form of reinterpretation. Wearing a red chambray shirt (traditionally associated with wearing jeans and lifting bales of hay) with a flawlessly fitting suit (traditionally associated with being a badass) is a great way to show that you know a thing or two about recombining things.

Suit: Flatiron Blue Fine Check Custom Suit
Shirt: Red Solid Chambray Custom Shirt
Tie: Solid Navy Silk Knit by The Tie Bar
Pocket Square: Light Blue Textured Linen Pocket Square by Fort Belvedere

The Creative - Red Chambray Shirt
The Upstart - Blue Chambray Shirt
THE-UPSTART-HEADER

Being the office young’un means you’ve got to take your cues from the higher ups when it comes to dress code. Sadly, in many offices, dressing like the bosses means wearing stuff that’s way too big and way too dark (you know, those big boxy navy and charcoal outfits the “suits” wear). Solve both of those problems with a slim fit chambray shirt in a medium blue.

Vest: Solid Light Gray Custom Vest (available as a vest by special request)
Shirt: Blue Solid Chambray Custom Shirt
Tie: Mr. Campbell II by Armstrong & Wilson

Chambray Any Day

Of course, you can still wear chambray shirts on the weekends in casual settings, but hopefully these looks inspired you, no matter what level you’re at in your career, to wear one of these shirts to work. Have you already been down this road? Let us know how you make the chambray shirt and suit look work for you in the comments below.

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