It’s pretty astonishing how soon we’ve reached the “end of summer.” And while the past couple of weeks have ushered in the most heat we’ve probably experienced all season long, it’s no secret that soon enough we’ll be packing away the shorts and bright-colored tees to make way for layers upon layers of clothes to come. Fret not, however. There’s no need to rush the fashion switch. After all, there’s always that transition period to help us ease from one season to the next.
One thing you shouldn’t hastily pack away is your best chambray shirt. The chambray shirt is the quintessential “transitional” statement piece that is utilized best during transition seasons, which makes it a staple for any spring or fall wardrobe. Depending on the shirt’s finish, a good chambray piece is also a versatile one: can be dressed-up with a jacket and slacks, or dressed-down worn open and over a tee.
In truth, I have had a very “off and on” relationship with chambray through the years. I’m not much of a denim shirt fan, and while chambray is not exactly denim (both are constructed with slightly different weaves: chambray is plain woven, denim is twill woven), for a long time I could not disassociate the two from one another. For that reason, and possibly after being so over the denim shirt look that the Gap played out in the early 90s, I thought I had written off the chambray shirt forever. But with more attention now being paid to clothes fitting properly, I’m finding that there are options of chambray shirts out there that make for solid statement pieces.
Here are some of my top picks for options that you should not be without this fall:
AMI Alexandre Mattiussi
AMI Alexandre Mattiussi Blue Chambray Shirt, $245, ssense.com
The Blue Chambray Shirt by AMI Alexandre Mattiussi is a very understated, long-sleeved shirt that can easily transition from trendy office-wear to a casual night on the town. The shirt offers press-stud closures at the front, single-button barrel cuffs, and contrast stitching in navy. While on the higher end of the price scale, it is a piece that you’re sure to get a lot of use out of.
Officine Generale Button Down Japanese Selvedge Chambray Shirt, $179, endclothing.com
My favorite on this list, this shirt from Parisian label Officine Generale offers a classic yet modern design punctuated by selvedge detailing – which gives the piece a very clean overall look. With added detailing on the chest patch pocket, and with mother of pearl buttons, this is a completely masculine piece. It’s classic with edge –my kind of look.
Bellfield Twin Stitch Chambray Shirt in Regular Fit, $48.37, asos.com
This option by Bellfield is similar in aesthetic to the Officine Generale chambray shirt, but at a much more affordable price point. Constructed in a regular fit, this is a perfect shirt to sport on casual days at work, and you’d still be able to pull it off when you hit the happy hour bar-crawl afterward.
Chambray Shirt with Rolled Tabbed Sleeves, $29.90, zara.com
Rounding out this list is a super-affordable option from Spanish retail juggernaut, Zara. Accented with rolled tab sleeves, you can ease from formal to casual with the roll of a sleeve – literally.
Your chambray shirt can provide the perfect balance between style and function, so be sure to have it handy as we bid summer good-bye. Layer it, polish it, accessorize it… but most of all, wear it well.