Chambray Work Shirts – Land’s End Canvas $39.50 | Koto $29.99 |Gap $39.99
Maybe the recession is to blame, but over the last year and a half men’s casual wear has become heavily inspired by manual labor. Retailers seem to be trying to appeal to every man’s blue collar side, even if he’s a fluorescent light soaked cubical jockey. Some of the inspiration has gone to the ridiculous extreme. For example, designers started carefully pre-splattering new clothes with paint to make it look like you’ve put in a hard day rolling Dutch Boy. Even if you hadn’t. The Gap even jumped in, and went as far as labeling the poser paint drenched clothes in their stores as “Elevated.” Ridiculous
One of the few positive pieces to re-emerge from this trend has been the Chambray work shirt. Simple in design, casual as all hell, and short enough in the tail that you can and should wear it un-tucked. Now like the Denim Jacket, if you’re not paying attention you risk falling backwards into wearing a Canadian Tuxedo. So avoid jeans on your legs, or go with a non-blue chambray shirt up top. Here’s three of the best.
Lands End Canvas Heritage Chambray Workshirt – $39.50
This is the cut that revived the brand. Tailored in at the sides so the light chambray fabric won’t fly away. Even if it’s left unbuttoned. Minimal everything, comes in four colors, strongly consider the navy stripe.
Koto Speckled Chambray Shirt – $29.99 SALE (reg. $48.00)
Squared up pockets, no shirt collar tab, and a perfect leave-it-untucked shirt hem drop make this a steal at $30. Sure you can get it in blue, but why? The cream color offers a perfect contrast while maintaining the work shirt look.
Is it for a mechanic? A cowboy? A guy who knows how to drop a new transmission in a quarter horse? All kidding aside, this shirt doesn’t have too much mechanic style, nor too much western flair. Just right.
Will the chambray work shirt stick around? Or will they be just another passing trend? Instinct says the shirt as a casual piece is here to stay… and although it looks (kinda) cool now, don’t expect anyone to be wearing one with a knit tie and cotton suit summer suit five years down the road…