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Outfit Formula: Chambray Shirt

Working off our 20 Must Have Spring Basics feature, published earlier this month, let’s work with a chambray shirt.

A chambray shirt is a wardrobe staple that mixes well with your other basics while adding a bit of interest. I like to wear it the same way you would wear a crisp white button-down, but you get a more casual, effortless, lived-in look done in chambray.

In this Outfit Formula, I’m sharing three ways to incorporate a chambray shirt into your daily looks, with options that will take you from work to the weekend and anything in between.

You’ll notice that most of these items look familiar; that’s the point. I want you to get the most out of your wardrobe, so I use items previously featured that I know you bought and loved while also introducing a few new items to layer in.

Outfit Formula: Chambray Shirt Styled Three Ways

Chambray Shirt, $98 | Outfit One: Striped Cashmere Crew: $198 / Belt: $18/ Black Pants: $63 / Bag: $70 / Heels: $140 / Earrings: $12 / Outfit Two: Ecru Jeans: $128 / Pearl Earrings: $19 / Clutch: $148 / Shoes: $97 |Outfit Three: Jeans: $95.50 / Bracelet: $54 / Bag: $198 / Loafers: $198

You have endless options when it comes to chambray shirts this season. You don’t have to spend a lot here, I would cap it at $100, more than that you won’t see a huge difference in quality.

Our featured shirt is from J.Crew, priced at $98. Available in classic, petite and tall sizes in 00 -24. This is a classic fit, that runs true to size. SOMETIMES, I have to size up in J.Crew shirts to fit my shoulders so check the measurements before ordering.

Other options you might like:

J.Crew, Chambray Shirt, $98 | Old NavyChambray Oversized Boyfriend Shirt, $23.99 | GapOrganic Cotton Denim Shirt, $47

With Black Pants

Chambray Shirt, $98 | Outfit One: Striped Cashmere Crew: $198 / Belt: $18/ Black Pants: $63 / Bag: $70 / Heels: $140 / Earrings: $12

For our first look, grab your favorite black trousers. We are featuring the Sculpted Straight Pants from Banana Republic Factory, a fantastic find at only $63 (plus 29% off at check out) available in regular and petite in sizes 0 – 20.

Since this is a look for spring, you can have these graze your ankles. This is the perfect length to wear kitten-heel sling backs, a HUGE trend that’s actually just a classic getting some primetime.

If you like a heel but can’t manage anything too high anymore, this is for you.

I’m using the Reader Favorite Sam Edelman, Bianka Slingback Pump in black suede, for $140.

Then, classic and affordable accessories.

I have this bag from Mango and adore it, it looks like a quiet luxury bag for under $100 – also available in brown.

Then I added an expensive belt from Amazon for only $18. Try tucking in the shirt all they way around or a front tuck, this will lengthen your legs and show off the best which adds layered interest without bulk.

And our earrings above are also from Amazon, a designer-inspired find only $12. I have these, they are light but sturdy and do not irritate my sensitive ears.

Finally, for a layer, I love Everlane sweaters, especially their cashmere. This stripped crew is $198, and you can wear it either draped around your shoulders OR layer it over the shirt and have the collar peak out from the neckline.

With Ecru Bottoms

Chambray Shirt, $98 |Outfit Two: Ecru Jeans: $128 / Pearl Earrings: $19 / Clutch: $148 / Shoes: $97

Next, let’s use you ecru jeans. We’re not talking about stark white, but rather a warm white or ivory for a softer look.

Our featured pair is from Madewell, available in standard, petite, plus, tall and taller – there is a size for everyone.

And then pretty, feminine accessories. Starting with these popular pearl drop earrings from Amazon for $19 (also available in silver-tone).

A slightly oversized raffia clutch from Tuckernuck, and these adorable bow-top shoes also in raffia for under $100 at Vivaia.

Play with the shirt here to make it fit how you like, tuck, untuck, add a belt or layer over a tank.

Denim on Denim

Chambray Shirt, $98| Outfit Three: Jeans: $95.50 / Bracelet: $54 / Bag: $198 / Loafers: $198

Last, but not least a monochromatic look playing with shades of denim. And yes, you can wear denim on denim, with the right fit and styling it’s super chic.

Here I’m using the best selling, reader favorite jeans from J.Crew (see their Outfit Formula here). Available in classic, petite and tall in sizes 23 – 37.

I think tonal denim looks best paired with brow or tan, so I’m using this Amazon belt (I wear this frequently in both brown and black) It looks expensive but it’s only $20. Buy both colors.

If you bought the J.Crew Italian Leather Crossbody, you’re wearing it here. But any tan or rich brown colored bag will work here. This $30 option from Amazon was a big seller last year.

To keep it casual, I’m using the M.Gemi Felize Suede Moccasins ($198) and added this sale-priced Tuckernuck bracelet to play off the gold hardware of the bag and belt.


Related Posts

 Join Megan Kristel for a comprehensive, 3 hour long, LIVE Virtual Workshop sharing personal style and shopping tips for women over 40 on March 31, 2023.


Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Cheryl R.

Friday 1st of March 2024

Hi, Love your posts, but I can't pin anything.


Thursday 29th of February 2024

Megan, Can you tell me how the M. Gemi moccasins fit? Are they snug? Loose? Wide? Regular? I'm interested in ordering a pair and would love to get the right fit on the first try.

Thank you for all of your suggestions and fashion advice. I apply so many of your principles to my everyday life. I appreciate you.

Marsha H

Thursday 29th of February 2024

I like the look of the denim on denim but sometimes struggle with it. Should your denim's match or contrast?

Michelle McDonald

Thursday 29th of February 2024

I LOVE these posts that show how to create outfits from our basics!! Thank you so much, and please keep doing these so we can learn how to wear what we already have 🥰!!