Get your own personal stylist to help you find clothes you love. All online, completely free

Sign In


What exactly is: Chambray?

What exactly is: Chambray?

In a nutshell

A hard-wearing blue material that makes for great shirts; the texture lends interest to every outfit.


Chambray gets its name from Cambrai, a little town in Northern France where it was first made in the late 1500s. Just like denim it is timeless and versatile but the structure of the material is quite different. With chambray, the fabric is crossed over itself equally at the time of weaving, giving it a soft feel and making it exactly the same on the inside and outside. Lower thread count makes for a lighter, dressed-up shirt, and the higher the thread count, the more heavy and rugged the material ... which explains its origins as a worker’s fabric worn on farms and in factories and—most famously—the U.S. navy. 

How to wear it well

"This is an easy one," says Thread stylist Luke McDonald. "Honestly, you can wear it with almost anything from casual to smart; here are four ideas."