Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wardrobe Staple: Chambray Button Up

It seems like Gman and I are always getting ready for a trip, on a vacation, or just coming home from one. I like to see new places and visits friends, and each new place has a style all its own. The problem with all that travel is that people in all those different places have different styles. Although it sounds fun, trying to buy a new wardrobe before each trip is both time consuming and eats into my budget for the trip itself. So I decided a few years ago to start building a wardrobe that could be flexible enough to meet the needs of my daily life while also looking stylish and put together no matter where I am. I needed pieces that would look good whether I was living in NYC and visiting Paris or living in DC visiting Buenos Aires. This way I can pack according to the local style (conservative, chic, cold or hot) but also save a little bit of money for a souvenir or spa treatment while on vacation. My wardrobe is by no means complete (after all, I love to shop!) but I do feel like I've gotten to a place where packing for a trip or picking out what to wear for work is no longer a dreaded process (I still have breakdowns now and then, I mean, who doesn't?) 

I'd love to share what I've learned along the way with you. I’d like to expand the wardrobe series on the blog to not include what to pack for a noted destination but also what to have in your closet already so you can jet off in a moment’s notice. I will show you how to style the pieces as well as items in various price points in case you are interested in giving it a go yourself.

It’s important to have classic pieces that you can build on or style with accessories, bags, and shoes. This way you can play with trends if you’d like but really focus on investing in staples that don't go out of style. My goal is to purchase items for my closet that I can use for many years to come no matter where I am. 

I’d like to begin with one of my favorite shirts in my wardrobe: my chambray button up. I purchased the one I’m wearing in the pictures in the spring of 2010. I used to frequent Club Monaco so much when I lived in NYC that I had a designated salesman I worked with when I went in (embarrassing at first, but then oh so helpful!). During one visit, he convinced me that a soft denim oversized button up was the way to go. He paired it with a crepe mini skirt and promised I would be shocked at the versatility of the blouse. 

Three years later it is the most loved shirt in my closet and has been on almost every trip with me. I wear it to the office with black trousers or a nice pencil skirt. I pair it with brightly colored pants for going out or just with boyfriend jeans on the weekends. I’ve used it as a jacket while in Key West and as a layer while snow skiing in Colorado. It’s been a cover-up by the pool and a backdrop for statement necklaces. Its also very comfortable on long flights. I can't think of an occasion I haven't worn it for. After three years of wearing the same shirt at least once a week, I recently purchased the Club Monaco Carter Shirt. It is getting softer with each wash and I couldn't be happier with it. I also have my eye on several from Madewell, which has an entire section of their website and store dedicated to the chambray cause. Huzzah! 

If you are interested in adding a chambray shirt to your wardrobe, you're in luck! They are trendy right now so the selection is fantastic. Here are some of my favorites in various price points...


  1. You look adorable in these photos Jamie! I adore chambray shirts. They are so versatile and they are the perfect piece of clothing when traveling because of it. If you have your eye on the Madewell shirts, go for it. They are amazing. My friend Rebecca was having a hard time finding the perfect one in terms of fit and fabric and she found one there. She loves it and it fits her perfectly.

  2. The length of your shirt is perfect! I really like the pop-over versions that J Crew is doing right now, although I haven't tried the chambray yet.


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