The Best Chambray Shirts for Men

By Beau Hayhoe  |  Updated August 28, 2023

The Best Chambray Shirts for Men
Courtesy of Taylor Stitch

Gaze into the future of your wardrobe and what do you see? Hopefully, some stylish dressing that goes a bit above and beyond the ordinary – this is where one of the best chambray shirts enters the fold.

  • Chambray is casually cool: When you want a lightweight yet durable shirt that’s more laidback than an Oxford shirt, yet just as wearable untucked with dark blue jeans or tan chinos, a chambray shirt is your best bet.
  • Chambray is a workwear winner: The style’s tightly woven design has made it highly useful in all manner of true workwear styles, from shirt jackets to double-pocket chambray shirts, chore coats and even caps.
  • Don’t call it denim: Chambray uses a different, more lightweight weave compared to denim’s diagonal twill weave, although both are made of cotton. And yes, you can wear them together: Just ensure your chambray shirt is a lighter (or darker) shade than your jeans.
  • Chambray is a modern essential: Major players like J.Crew and designers like Todd Snyder have all made the chambray shirt a part of their daily menswear essentials. Shop accordingly.

The chambray shirt has all the trappings of a classic buttondown shirt, but it swerves from the norm with textured cotton fabric and a rugged, timeless feel inspired by classic workwear.

Best Overall Chambray Shirt

Taylor Stitch Utility Shirt

Why did I choose it?

This workwear take on the chambray shirt stays true to the roots of the style, and contains all the hallmarks you’ve come to expect from Taylor Stitch. Durable, visually appealing fabric, a range of fit options in helpful chest sizing, useful front-button pockets and a versatile design to dress up (slightly) or down.

Best Inexpensive Chambray Shirt
Carhartt Original Long-Sleeve Chambray Shirt

Best Chambray Shirt for Outdoorsmen
Orvis Chambray Long-Sleeve Shirt

Best Overall Chambray Shirt

Taylor Stitch Utility Shirt


The hard-working origins of the chambray shirt are the inspiration for the aptly named Utility Shirt from Taylor Stitch.

Though the brand launched with a focus on the best-fitting Oxford shirt, they’ve branched out into other classic staples, and they’ve done so by perfecting a face-framing California collar.

It’s the fabric that really counts here though, and in this case, it’s a 100 percent organic cotton selvedge complete with selvedge placket and cuff detailing. For good measure, dual button-chest pockets drive home that tried-and-true workwear feel.


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Best Inexpensive Chambray Shirt

Carhartt Original Long-Sleeve Chambray Shirt


Detroit’s own Carhartt absolutely has a knack for delivering some of the most durable work gear on the planet, starting from the top down with thick-knit beanie caps and tough-as-nails canvas work jackets.

It makes sense that the brand would make a reliable chambray shirt to pair up with those trusty workday picks.

This 100 percent cotton chambray shirt is built out with two flap chest pockets for handy EDC storage space, and the loose fit allows you to layer a Carhartt tee or thermal shirt underneath for added warmth and performance.

Best Chambray Shirt for Outdoorsmen

Orvis Chambray Long-Sleeve Shirt


Best known for its waxed field jackets and gear fit for the field and stream, Orvis steps into chambray shirting with a suitably tech-minded take on the style.

It’s got the texture of chambray, but the moisture-wicking qualities and breathability of polyester, and the mechanical stretch fabric makes it highly mobile for guys on the go (whether fly fishing or trekking to your favorite watering hole).

The chest pockets are angled for easy access, while the underarms have ventilation holes for easy breathability. Call it the perfect blend of modern performance and timeless style.

Filson Chambray CPO Shirt


The roots of the CPO (or Chief Petty Officer) shirt are almost as adventurous as Filson’s pioneering Pacific Northwest background, as the CPO overshirt style was trusted by the Navy in inclement weather.

Chambray fabric lightens up the traditional wool style considerably, while that same fabric is also garment-washed for a soft feel out of the box.

Two front-button chest pockets turn this into a versatile workshirt, and it’s available in two light, washed chambray fabric styles for maximum wearability. Invest in at least one, and it’s going to last you years.

Todd Snyder Japanese Chambray Workshirt


Whenever you shop for menswear that harkens back to days gone by, the type of pieces that your grandfather might have readily worn, it’s a safe bet to see what Todd Snyder’s working on.

The Iowa-born designer takes throwback styles and updates them with cool fits and fabrics, as with this handsome Japanese chambray workshirt.

The supple indigo chambray fabric should prove soft yet durable for layering over simple T-shirts and henleys – or beneath a wool blazer or shawl cardigan – while two critical chest button pockets drive home the utility of one of the best chambray shirts, from the office to the bar and back home.

J.Crew Organic Cotton Chambray Shirt


For a good long time, it felt like J.Crew was on a mission to help you curate the perfect wardrobe, all by shopping at the store itself. From its tailored Ludlow suits to the famed 484 jeans, the brand turned itself into a powerhouse for guys who want reliable, modern, everyday style.

Yet, they’re still standing strong today, and this organic cotton chambray shirt definitely fits the bill. The details are simple and subtle, like textured fabric and a crisp buttondown collar, offset by a chest pocket as a casual style detail. This is a fairly priced chambray shirt that pairs up with anything in your wardrobe, but especially olive J.Crew chinos or black J.Crew jeans.

Bonobos Stretch Chambray Shirt


A chambray shirt is about as timeless and historic as the right pair of men’s chinos, and luckily enough for stylish guys everywhere, Bonobos has done an outstanding job at updating the two for modern times.

Its chinos are flattering and ultra-comfortable, and it’s even better that its Stretch Chambray Shirt is just as easy to wear.

Select from two fits and multiple length options (plus two eye-catching wash colors), then get ready to pair up this goes-with-anything shirt with Bonobos stretch chinos in shades ranging from burgundy to tan to olive. The best chambray shirts can do it all, and this one certainly qualifies.

What is Chambray Fabric?

Although cambric fabric – the roots of the original chambray shirt – was linen, today’s chambray shirts are made from interwoven cotton. Specifically, various shades of blue are often interwoven with white – the threads are distinguished by their direction (warp runs vertical along the fabric, weft runs horizontal). This creates the distinct flecked texture (one that you can both see and feel) among the best chambray shirts.

It’s lightweight enough to breathe easily yet durable enough to layer up with as a workwear shirt – it’s more supple than thick Oxford cloth, yet not as warm as cotton chamois flannel.

Where did Chambray Fabric originate?

Classic doesn’t begin to cover it, since chambray fabric dates back to the north of France in the 1500s.

The Cambric region was known for producing a densely woven lightweight cloth, and though the style went through numerous changes over the years, the overlapping white-meets-blue weave made it an ideal fabric for workwear styles, from overshirts to overalls and caps. Today, the best chambray shirts nod to the past and sit squarely in the pantheon of modern style.

What’s the Difference Between Denim and Chambray?

Both denim and chambray fabrics are cotton at their core, but the two materials differ in how each fabric is woven. For starters, chambray features a characteristic interlocking, two-weave fabric design. Denim, on the other hand, uses a twill weave that doubles up each strand of material for a pattern that’s almost diagonal if viewed closely.

Denim also tends to be thicker than chambray, in the best denim shirts but also, of course, in rugged cotton denim jeans.

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