If there’s a modern answer to past style classics like the blue Oxford, it just might be the chambray shirt. It experienced a style revival in the mid-2000s as durable, heritage-inspired workwear came back into the fold for guys who just love hearty boots and tough denim, but it’s shown serious staying power since then.
The textured fabric of chambray lends itself well to pairing with everything from your favorite pair of slim tan chinos to your favorite pair of worn-in dark denim, and most chambray shirts can be layered up under thick sweaters in the fall and winter, and rocked on their own in the spring and summer (especially if you reach for a short-sleeve number). The best chambray shirts are cut to fit a bit slimmer than a dress shirt, and they should work to layer over your favorite henley or crewneck tee, or be rocked on their own to the beach. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled 10 of the best ones to wear right now, and on into fall, winter and next spring.
Buck Mason Short Sleeve Chambray Shirt
This list kicks things off with a chambray shirt that just might be the perfect definition of how to wear a chambray shirt in the heat. For one, it loses the longer sleeves that can sometimes be cumbersome on dress shirts or other styles in the heat. And number two — it’s made in America with a trim, modern fit. For another, it features a very warm weather-friendly light wash chambray that pairs perfectly with everything from dark navy chino shorts to crisp khaki chinos to your favorite pair of swim trunks — it works all week. For just over $100, it’s a relative steal when you think about it. – $106
Taylor Stitch The California in Blue Everyday Chambray
A chambray shirt can truly be an everyday staple when worn with pieces that work just as hard. The folks at Taylor Stitch know how to make a mean pair of classic chinos (just check out the brand’s Standard Issue Chino), and its Everyday Chambray Shirt is absolutely no exception to their efforts. It’s got a tailored fit, a casual California collar and the kind of details — like front chest button pockets — that just work, whether you rock it with a navy knit tie or on its own. Plus, it’ll work just as well now as it will when rocked beneath your favorite thick-knit sweater. – $118
Todd Snyder Band Collar Shirt in Indigo Chambray
The best styling details are sometimes the ones that are the least expected — we’re talking, in this instance, about ditching the typical shirt collar in favor of a daring, fashion-forward and yet still subtle band collar. Todd Snyder does great work when it comes to combining rugged heritage and timeless essentials, and the workwear roots of chambray are the perfect match for the designer’s sensibilities in this instance. Pair this shirt with a sharp khaki suit on-duty, and rock it alongside light grey chinos and your favorite pair of white sneakers off-duty for the rest of summer — it should become a new go-to thanks to the durable fabric. – $175
Rivay NYC Gaspar Chambray Shirt
It’s not often that something like a chambray shirt features the same cut and crisp, classic styling potential as your favorite dress shirt, but that’s certainly the case with the Gaspar Chambray Shirt from Rivay NYC. It’s something of a shock that the shirt retails for under $100 when it features as eye-catching detailing as this shirt does. The shirt’s slim fit, genuine shell buttons, crisp blue color and NYC-made construction are to be applauded — wear this shirt with a natural denim jacket and olive chinos for day-to-night style this summer, and keep it around for September and beyond. – $85
Levi’s Marty Chambray Shirt
Some chambray shirts are best styled at their best — simply. The Marty Chambray Shirt from Levi’s represents everything the brand knows so well; that is to say, it’s a shirt that harkens back to classic Levi’s heritage, and yet works just as well when worn in modern times. It features contrast stitching, classic workwear-inspired front-button pockets and a fit that works when worn untucked over a worn-in henley or sans blazer with a crisp knit tie. Pair it with some slim Levi’s jeans and dark brown boots for your next rock concert or date — you can’t go wrong. – $42
JackThreads The Denim Shirt
Does a denim shirt fall in the same category as cotton chambray? When it’s done up in a shirt that retains a nicely faded wash and a much lighter fabric than other denim shirts, it sure does. The perfectly broken-in color and slim fit make this an easy pick out of your wardrobe. It’s a shirt that works with a slim khaki blazer during your 9-to-5, as well as underneath a light grey jacket for breezy summer or early fall evenings out and about. Plus, you get classic JackThreads quality and a more-than-agreeable price — for a shirt that you can wear year-round, that’s not too shabby. – $30
JACHS NY Printed Indigo Slub Chambray Shirt
The team at JACHS NY takes pieces that are classic in nature, like the standard front-button shirt, and amps them up with unique fabrics, textures and colors — like this Printed Indigo Slub Chambray Shirt. This piece uses an eye-catching yet still subtle all-over print to offset the deep indigo color, which means it’s a welcome change from other, slightly more plain chambray shirts. It’s the type of garment that can go dressy or casual — feel free to button it all the way up and ditch the tie (a move known as the ‘air tie’) or rock it with a silver knit tie and a tan cotton blazer. – $89
Life/After/Denim Providence Shirt
For every long-sleeve chambray shirt that can be worn a variety of ways, you still sometimes need a crisp-yet-casual short-sleeve chambray shirt that’s built for the more laidback scenarios of summer. The Providence Shirt is the perfect casual upgrade to a T-shirt when you’re headed out to a backyard barbeque or a pool party — it’ll fit slim, and the microdot print is unique yet subtle enough where it doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. It shows you’ve got style without screaming too loudly — and in a style world where loud wins, quiet confidence is an absolute must-have. – $118
Old Navy Slim-Fit Chambray Shirt
While plenty of higher-end companies make premium (and pricey) chambray shirts, companies more known for their basics also do an admirable job at delivering on quality staples. In this instance, we’re talking a basic, no-frills grey chambray shirt that more than gets the job done compared to its pricier peers. When you can get a chambray shirt to pair with everything from a navy blazer to navy shorts, and you can snag it for about $30, you certainly should jump on it — and maybe pick up an extra. Given the lightweight construction of this piece, you can reliably wear it now and layer it up when fall hits. – $30
Grayers Pattison Printed Chambray Shirt
When you blend the classic styles for which Grayers is known with a modern fabric, you get a printed chambray shirt that works for everything from casual Friday to a sharp-dressed Monday meeting. It’s a tonal chambray as seen through the lens of Japanese-inspired vintage prints, and the result is a conversation-starting shirt that also performs well and looks great doing it. It’s the shirt you want to wear now, and it’s the shirt you’ll want to wear underneath a cream cable crewneck sweater when the first leaves fall — and when the first snow hits. For under $100, that’s a deal that can’t be beat. – $88
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