I've been buying up chambray (a fabric often confused with denim, but usually much lighter weight) shirts like mad for a while now. Most of mine are from J.Crew, but you can also find neat ones at Anthro, Gap and Madewell. Sometimes, for kicks, I move them around in my closet or take one and try it on. But rarely do I ever actually wear one out and about.
Yet I continue to buy more.
J.Crew Catalog image found on Pinterest
Problem is that these shirts look so fantastic on Pinterest and in pretty much every single J.Crew catalog (see photo above) that I tell myself that every new shirt I find could be the one that might allow me to successfully channel 1970's Lauren Hutton or any of the other cool style icons from that era. I start out hopeful and enthusiastic, only to be disappointed when the new shirt doesn't tie at the waist or layer up as effortlessly as it appears to in the picture. Truth is, most chambrays—and button-ups, for that matter—do not layer well under fitted blazers or structured jackets. It's a total fashion fantasy that I finally let go of after trying in vain to pull off a linen- and cotton-blend button-up underneath a black blazer with uber-tight sleeves. The results were disastrous and led to my buying a pricey DVF silk tunic I never wore again. (An episode I'll file under "when fashion fantasy leads to financial foolishness.")
Now, all this week I've been stuck in the house recuperating, and somewhere between extreme boredom and b.Good Kale Smoothies (it's so refreshing to finally be able to get healthy vegetarian food in Garden City, Cranston), I discovered something wonderful that didn't even involve my buying any new clothes: All of my chambray shirts can be worn with any pj bottom or pair of sweatpants, making me look a whole lot less schlumpy while recup'ing and at last justifying my long-standing chambray shirt obsession.
Why do I care about looking schlumpy when no one will see me? Well, you may remember the John Wooden quote that says, "The true test of a man's character is what he does when (he thinks) no one is watching"? I say the true test of someone's style is what they wear when (they think) no one is watching. #Wink
*Photo Courtesy: Chambray Folded photo & J.Crew Catalog, Pinterest