Over the years, as far as fabrics go, not too many fabrics can boast of the popularity and wide use of denim. It’s a material that has earned it’s place among the classic fabrics – transcending time, region and social status.
It’s restrictions lie in its roots as a casual off-duty wear plus the weight of the fabric. This is were chambray gets the heads up.
Chambray is a lightweight fabric woven with white threads across a coloured warp producing a mottled appearance. It’s often confused with denim because like the chambray fabric, denim is also made with a coloured yarn in the warp and white in the weft but is woven in the same manner as a twill.
Denim’s warp thread will usually go over two threads in the weft and then under one while chambray’s warp and weft will alternate one over the other for a closer smoother feel on the skin.
You’ll observe that the reverse side of chambray looks almost the same as the front side which can’t be said for denim with its reverse side typically lighter.
During the warm-weather months, swap your denim shirt for a chambray version. The lightweight, breathable fabric helps to maintain the desired aesthetic without causing you to overheat.
If you’re looking to avoid quirky patterns and colours on your casual shirt then chambray is the way to go. It’s the perfect blend of casual and work wear that can be dressed up or down.
In the sartorial world, texture is usually considered more sophisticated than colour or pattern.
The sophisticated twist texture provides over pattern and colour is one that wouldn’t likely be considered by the average consumer looking for a statement shirt. There is definitely a more mature way to express yourself than bold patterns and bright colours.
Try pairing a light wash chambray shirt with either navy chinos/jean trousers or khaki coloured trousers as displayed below. It’s the ideal outfit for casual outings and events – consider going with no show socks and swapping your Derby shoes for a pair of penny loafers.
Let us know in the comments, if you had the choice of picking between a chambray and a denim shirt, which would you pick and why?