I love denim jackets. They’re so universal. I wear mine with everything when the weather allows for it.

denim jacket

This is a photo of me when I popped a denim jacket over an easy jumpsuit I wore to see a client.

How to Wear a Chambray Shirt in the Summer

In the summer, however, denim jackets are not ideal. It’s just too hot. This got me thinking about chambray shirts and how they can be useful pieces to wear in the summer when you want a layering piece or just need a top that works universally. I am styling one chambray shirt five different ways to give you ideas using this style from 1901.

Outfit #1


This is a pair of printed Piazza Sempione pants that my client, Mrs. Sunshine, purchased last week. They’re even more fabulous in person. Printed pants can be tricky when it comes to paring them with tops. This makes a chambray shirt ideal. I layered the chambray shirt over a t-shirt from Everlane and finished the outfit with a pair of navy sandals from Patricia Green, a blush handbag from Kate Spade, and long shapes necklace from Cos.

Outfit #2


In this casual, summery look, the chambray shirt can be worn open over a tank styled with wide leg crop pants. I finished the outfit with a pair of orange comfort sandals from Mephisto, a sun hat from Eric Javitz, sunglasses from Rag & Bone and crossbody from Chloé.

Outfit #3

chambray shirt

Some people don’t mind denim on denim, others think it looks a little “Chuck Norris.” While I wouldn’t wear a denim jacket with jeans, I do like a chambray shirt with them, particularly when the colors of the shirt and jeans are in different shades.

I layered the chambray shirt over a graphic t-shirt and with a pair of denim shorts from Caslon. I finished the outfit with red sneakers from Taos and belt bag from Dagne Dover.

Outfit #4

chambray shirt

Chambray shirts don’t just have to be a solution for summer layering. They can be worn as intended, as a button front shirt. A chambray shirt can be particularly helpful with pants in alternative colors that cause you to struggle with what top colors to wear with them. It is in summer when most women step out and choose more colorful pants.

I styled this chambray shirt with a pair of wide-leg cropped chinos from Everlane. I styled this outfit for a business casual workplace using these blush ankle strap sandals from Steve Madden, a colorblock tote from MICHAEL Michael Kors and blush tassel earrings from Bauble Bar.

Outfit #5


Lastly, consider a chambray shirt for the beach. I always bring a men’s white cotton button front to the beach to use as a cover-up. It can protect my shoulders and can also be worn with shorts or tied up and worn with a sarong. A chambray shirt is a really nice alternative and will likely offer even more SPF coverage than a white shirt.

I styled this style with these shorts from J. Crew (did you see my post on styling shorts in yesterday’s post?), a tankini top and printed swimsuit bottoms from Lands’ End. I finished the look with waterproof Birkenstock Gizehs, orange beach bag tote from Topshop, sunglasses from Bp. and a baseball cap, team preference optional, of course.

Add a Chambray Shirt to Your Wardrobe

Check out these additional styles.