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On the Street.......Chambray Shirts, Paris


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Thursday, July 12, 2007

On the Street.......Chambray Shirts, Paris

I don't know about you but it has been a loooong time since I have worn a chambray shirt.

I saw this guy in Paris at the Watanabe show and the slim cut of the denim shirt just made it look new again to me (I don't think I will wear mine quite as open though.)
When I got back to New York I found this one at J. Crew ( I know, two J. Crew posts an a row - I swear I'm not getting paid by them!!) The extended collarband detail, slim cut, soft chambray and large white buttons is what really got me. J. Crew Chambray Shirt

Of course, as it hits 90 degrees in New York I begin to think about Fall 2007 and my return to Paris in October (it should start to feel like Fall by then)
When I was doing the post about the Dust Bowl look - I came across this shot which is so inspiring.
It has also been a while since I buttoned a shirt all the way up but it might work great with this new chambray shirt, some type of chunky sportcoat on top and mixed with pants and shoes worn like the gentleman below.

and a scarf (I guess that goes without saying)

This is how I use my own site - a little bit of this, a little bit of that

This is why I often say that I rarely consider an entire look as a "yes" or "no" but as elements to be pieced together for my own use.

It is a visually greedy approach but also a much more accepting approach- it allows me to be inspired by a very large cross section of people because it is not really about the people at all.

Actually, sometimes it is about the person and not the clothes but then it is usually about the intangible quality of HOW they wear the clothes.
Case in point

Again, completely visually greedy but instead of been exclusive to people wearing high-end labels it is really very inclusive.

Abstract Inspiration!

wow, this was a very rambling post

Comments on "On the Street.......Chambray Shirts, Paris"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:13 AM) : 

Think I got what you are saying, keep on doing this Sart, this is what we love you for.
P.S. My husband loves Chambray Shirts, he will be so pleased about this post.


Blogger Carlene said ... (9:14 AM) : 

I love the J Crew shirt you found, I can totally envision it with a tweedy jacket and some sort of textured scarf. I hate when I get fall fashion lust in the middle of summer. And thank you for buttoning up a little bit more than that guy (although he looks great, don't get me wrong).


Anonymous Laguna Beach Trad said ... (9:16 AM) : 

Excellent photo! The shirt on the shaven-headed guy in the first photo looks like a denim shirt to me, not a chambray shirt. What's the difference, anyway? I always thought chambray was a lighter, softer fabric worn by preppy guys on the weekends. Denim by contrast is a thicker, tougher, harder, more masculine fabric worn by urban hipsters and working class types.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:16 AM) : 

Dear Scott,
The J Crew shirt is OK and I´m sure You will look nice in it.
But it is not the same !!
Not at all.
The "Paris man" looks wild and civilised at the same time because of the shirt.It is more of a cowboy shirt - that really makes a difference.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:20 AM) : 

I realise that the chances of the man in the chambray shirt being heterosexual are slim (notwithstanding wedding ring) but oh, I could look at him for hours.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:20 AM) : 

Ramble away. It's nice to see your work but it's often nicer to hear from you, Sart.



Blogger Alice Olive said ... (9:31 AM) : 

That first shot - hello, he can wear whatever he wants, those eyes are so intense. I am not sure about how far he has the shirt unbuttoned though - a tad too much. Nevertheless I wouldn't throw him out with the bath water!!

I've started wearing shirts buttoned all the way up recently - it gives such a different look. Somehow cleaner, simpler (Jil Sander-esque?) and, as I'm a girl, I think it draws attention upwards to your face and.... earrings, instead of drawing you downwards into the shirt's open 'v'.

Okay, now I'm rambling too.


Blogger Iheartfashion said ... (9:40 AM) : 

Love a man with a shaved head!
And that denim shirt is the perfect slim cut.


Blogger Brett said ... (9:55 AM) : 

giveses us a picture of this completed outfit! It sounds great, but I can't visualize it.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:32 AM) : 

I saw the editor and fashion director of L'officiel Homme magazine wearing a denim shirt in much the same way - he seems to always be ahead in the style stakes to everyone else so maybe you are both onto something here. its been gone along time -maybe its time to return to it - but NOT in that hideous overly camp D&G or Dsquared way please !! your man and Mr L'officiel make it look manly


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:50 AM) : 

Wrangler cowboy shirt in chambray!mmmm snaps...


Blogger Kelly said ... (10:51 AM) : 

. . . chambray is on its way back . . .


Blogger Jennifer said ... (11:05 AM) : 

I've been looking for girlie version of this shirt with little success. Anyone have any suggestions on where to look?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:19 AM) : 

speaking of j crew i got a great dark blue linen shirt exactly like they guy in the pictures..its a great shirt and it was like 30 bucks.


Blogger Tooluser said ... (11:23 AM) : 

Love your stuff, sir. I have to say I'm always surprised, though, when you pull out the 'guy in chinos with shirt half untucked and no socks, looking like a complete tool' as iconic of masculinity to a tenth the degree of the other brilliant dressers you photograph.

Don't mistake me! I love your commentary and keen eye. I find your condemnation of some styles as though there were an objective standard ("this is just wrong") curious, though -- after a lifetime in fashion, haven't you seen enough to see that fashion is arbitrary?

Leather shoes without socks should be enough to prove that.

Anyway, keep up the fun work.


Blogger Sam (aka McTickle) said ... (11:41 AM) : 

I tried that shirt on the other day. I dig it too! However, I have something similar already so I chose to not buy it. We'll see what happens when they put it on sale.


Anonymous Shoe lover said ... (11:48 AM) : 

Thanks for the reminder to take pieces/inspiration from your photos, rather than to try to decide if each look is a yes or a no. The one thing all your subjects have is style, and that's the whole point, isn't it?

This Paris man is so incredibly handsome. He's amazing to look at. As with many of your subjects, I wonder what he does for a living, what his life is like.

Thanks, Sart.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:05 PM) : 

Is everyone in Paris and Florence amazingly good looking, stylish, handsome, and photogenic? WOOF!

Regarding that chambray shirt....think twice before you buy it. Collar detail aside, it fits like a sack. Remember when you buy J. Crew, you're buying some version of prep or some watered down version of a designer style. It has to fit the average American. And let's face it, Sart, you and your readers are way above the masses.......

Esp. you, SART! You're a stud!Wear those buttons open. Go ahead dare to be too sexy for you're shirt. we can take it!


Anonymous atheniangirl said ... (12:05 PM) : 

The guy at the Watanabe show looks just fabulous. The epitome of masculinity, style and manly charm. A guy to dream about!


Anonymous serahgeorge said ... (12:17 PM) : 

Wow, I didn't know chambray and denim shirts were out. If that's really true, I'm glad they're on the way back in. I love denim shirts on men. My husband has one and my heart flutters a bit every time he wears it. The blues of denim and chambray just seem to have a quality all their own.

In particular, I really love the dark blue of the denim in the first picture. That particular shade/depth of denim seems to compliment everyone. I agree with Anon 9:16 that there's a cowboyish quality to that shirt and I also agree with LBT (9:16) that it looks tougher, harder, and more masculine.

The chambray from J.Crew is also really nice and I definately prefer it to the more traditional, pale chambray. It's a little more casual, yet not TOO casual. Still, it doesn't evoke quite the same emotion as the dark denim.


Blogger lewehrman said ... (12:25 PM) : 

I have been a big big fan of the worn chambray and thinner denim shirt for a long time and this first gentleman looks so sexy, save the open button. The scarf is great, too.

Alice, I agree, wouldn't throw out that baby!

To me, as a straight woman, men in well worn (as in aging, fit and styling) denim/chambray shirts are very very sexy, whoever they are wishing to dress for.

Vintage stores usually have great options. The "western" styles look great and a tailor can make that puppy fit well for not much money.

NYC peeps: Rivington Tailor on LES is my personal fave.


Blogger Butch said ... (1:01 PM) : 

It's gotta be summer in Paris, non? So I'm sweating just looking at the guy with his neck wrap...and, factoring in the decolletage, getting an oddly split-level message.


Agree with another poster in re the shirt, which DOES look like denim. Like you, haven't worn a chambray shirt in years--and, as ever, everything old is new again. For a little while, at least.


Blogger Nigerian Woman in Norway said ... (1:04 PM) : 

be still my beating heart. the first guy is gorgeous. yummy!


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (1:22 PM) : 

trust me it was unseasonable cool that day
Giovanna shot with the sweater and jacket was also shot that day



Anonymous jet said ... (1:33 PM) : 

After 12 years in silicon valley, I don't think I can ever look at someone wearing a blue shirt with khaki slacks and not immediately think, "marketing dweeb from some dot com". I doubt anyone in the rest of the country reads it that way, but I first thought "wow, a marketing guy that smokes!" when I saw that photo.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:39 PM) : 

Keep rambling so that I can keep learning. What damn fun this is! My favorite blog.


Blogger rollergirl said ... (1:58 PM) : 

It's nice to read your opinions as well as look at your photos...I agree, the chambray shirt looks lovely. Is it time for he denim jacket to reappear as well?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:59 PM) : 

i have an almost exact replica of the chambray shirt you found at j.crew which i got from ralph lauren a loong time also has a great rounded cut at the bottom and only buttons half way down the's one of my faves to throw on sunday afternoon....super comfortable...and has a slighty painters / artist vibe going on....


Blogger Jingoist said ... (2:39 PM) : 


Herein lies the essence of a blog- if you ask me, this post is your best one yet, simply because it shows your thought process in an entirely raw way- your reactive self within your employ of choice.

Obviously you've chosen a line of work you are passionate about and this really captures your love of that work, but more importantly how it is more a part of you than just a job.

In context, it's almost like the picture of you taking a picture of Dries in Milan- it peels back a layer and makes real that which very few others here get to see.

And I think that's how a blog should work- instinctively.

Am I rambling?


Anonymous aly said ... (3:40 PM) : 

Wow, the man in the denim shirt (first photo) is undeniably sexy. Not normally a fan of the exposed chest hair, but he makes it work. Love it all - the scarf, the stubble, shaved head, the watch, the bracelet (all but what appears to be a wedding ring - are all the good ones taken??).


Blogger positively the same dame said ... (4:13 PM) : 

visual greed is good.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:15 PM) : 

I work at J Crew, and this is one of my favorite mens shirts from the collection! I'm glad you liked it too!


Blogger positively the same dame said ... (4:17 PM) : 

i wish he'd give me a split-level massage.


Blogger summer said ... (4:23 PM) : 

love the rambles... they are absolutely readable, and speak to my way of thinking.

the chambray shirt reminds me so much of pilfering my father's wardrobe for vintage treasures. i think he had one almost exactly the same as the man in the photo. ahhhh where is it now?


Blogger Damselfly said ... (6:43 PM) : 

Do you think a woman can do a chambray shirt? How?

My grandmother...who was my style guru...used to wear them with slacks to ...get and let me say, she looked classier gardening than most people these days look to go out to dinner.

Anyway....any thoughts?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:56 PM) : 

the guy in the first pic wears it so well. I like that jean shirt, very fitted.
The one you show(From J. Crew) does not have hte same vibe, but it´s a nice shirt anyway.

I think wearing a fitted denim shirt with casual pants can be very cool in a grown up serious kind of guy.


Anonymous Nichka said ... (7:02 PM) : 

Regarding Tooluser's comment about leather shoes and no socks. Isn't everyone doing that for summer? It's so carefree and takes the dressy edge off the shoes. Plus you can find low-cut socks that give the look without having your bare feet against the leather if that's a problem for some men. Though I have to say I'm less a fan of the high-water trousers, a la Thom Brown and his ilk.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:03 PM) : 

Ride 'em cowboy! The shirt in the first picture reminds me of those worn by's the snaps.

My Grandpa and three of his sons are Nebraska farmers. That J Crew shirt is exactly the style they wear (well, in my Grandpa's case wore). I don't know if I've ever seen them in another type of work shirt. However, I've never seen them were them with tweed.

Oh lord, cowboys and farmers...getting a little homesick here.


Anonymous Kat said ... (7:09 PM) : 

Gorgeous, I think his shirt is unbuttoned just enough, wouldn't work on everyone though. I know what you mean about taking small thoughts from different peoples looks and combining to make your own. Such as with this shirt. Sounds like your not trying to recreate his look, but the denim shirt has given you a thought to follow. We'd love to see the result!


Blogger Isle Dance said ... (8:23 PM) : 

I know nothing of fashion, but I think your Blog captures humans - and it's beautiful.


Blogger Blaise said ... (9:41 PM) : 

Rambling post as it is but we get your point.. You're doing a pretty nice work there, Sart!

And by the way, that's a really nice chambray shirt you got there.. I like the shade of the blue against the white buttons, they look so comfy.. Almost classic..


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:11 PM) : 

I wish that hot shaved guy was gay and that ring signifies his gay marriage with his man of equal hotness.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:06 PM) : 

There is nothing wrong with the J Crew shirt.Just where in Europe can you buy them.


Blogger Candid Cool said ... (11:29 PM) : 

I like your concept of abstract inspiration, I like to think that I think of things the same way. It's just a bunch of mish mosh of what my senses (eyes, ears, etc...) collect and some how mold together to inspire me.

And that 1st man, a stud


Blogger winst said ... (11:32 PM) : 

oh bald man with beautiful eyes and confident smirk and a perfectly justified amount of buttons *not-buttoned*, you are my dream and I want to say I love you.

But I think it's fair to say that his shirt is a true denim shirt, readily available in most thrift stores where the average and even fashion forward might not be able to pull off the cowboy western look (yet keep it sultry, à la mode, and most especially classy).

And yes this is where there might be a fine line between manly and gay, which of course is not a problem unless you fear assumptions and the possible awkward situation that could arise.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:52 PM) : 

I totally totally agree with jingoist. This is one of your best posts yet! A great, refreshing, and healthy way to look at clothing and fashion. Ramble on, Sart, ramble on!


Blogger Anthony said ... (1:06 AM) : 

I think Ive still got mine somewhere in my closet... Looks like its time to fish it out!

He looks hot!!!


Blogger anyimage said ... (1:57 AM) : 

Chambray and denim are not interchangable and the first photo is not a chambray shirt as someone pointed out. I believe the distinction is that denim is a twill weave of thicker cotton, all the same color. Chambray is a cross weave of blue going one way and white going the other- giving it different tonal qualities depending on the direction it is looked at. While the first guy gets the denim shirt right, let's not all get romantic about denim tops.. 9 times out of 10 they are done wrong- usually worn with denim bottoms that don't match or worse- do match.


Anonymous Alex. J said ... (7:11 AM) : 

I think the gentlemen's top is made right with the snap buttons instead of the normal buttons used everwhere.

Will be waiting for the visions of your own interpretation! :)


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (8:02 AM) : 

Regarding denim vs chambray

I was inspired by the denim shirt but for myself I chose chambray. Denim is more stiff and will make me look more stocky.

Chambray on the other hand is a little more drapey (even though I hate to use the word "drapey") and will work better for my build


Blogger Berkelycole said ... (8:40 AM) : 

Chambray never really left...maybe just slid back in the closet for a break...but slim is good...unbutton mid-torso takes some confidence and a certain Burt Reynolds psyche...khakies/monk-strap shoes, rolled sleeves thats the look


Blogger Marie said ... (10:59 AM) : 

Love your "case in point". Too true, too true.


Anonymous Downtown Dude said ... (12:20 PM) : 

Sadly enough, I think I saw a denim shirt similar to the first one at Lucky this week. I know, reminds me of the Sharon Stone and her Gap / Armani combo.

Anyway, glad to see people are wearing it, I won't feel so odd about pulling mine out in a month or so when New York cools down some!!


Anonymous Nadine said ... (4:10 PM) : 

I love the rolled-up sleeves on all these guys (or on anyone at all, really . . ). Yum. Hot denim guy has some fantastic accessorising going on, and chest hair too, why on earth not? I can't believe how good those scruffed-up pocket-flaps look; normally that would set my teeth on edge and make me hanker for an iron :-D


Blogger Alexzandra said ... (5:15 PM) : 

I love the way the Parisian accessorized his denim shirt it really does have a touch of the wild and sophisticated. I really love the scarf and his defecate leather bracelet. I feel like even now I want a denim shirt too. Also, I want to say that I love the images that depict traditional American styles from various perspectives. It really does make me reflect on my wardrobe and surroundings more.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:03 PM) : 

You have great taste, but please don't give JCREW credit for a tasteful chambray workshirt. It is a rip off of POLO/RRL a year ago, and out of all the companies they seem to never have thy're own point of view. Just pieces of eveyone elses point of view.


Anonymous chip=Cool+Hip said ... (10:26 PM) : 

H.O.T.!!! First guy is a Wow-er. Too bad he's probably gay and I'm married. Thanks for Eye Candy, Sart.


Blogger jeff said ... (6:28 PM) : 

i saw almost the exact shirt at h&m, snap mother of pearl buttons, etc.

the problem, they didn't have any in my size (small) and it's from last season.

has anyone seen this shirt elsewhere? if the hunk comes with it, that's fine with me!


Blogger sandman_gr said ... (7:29 AM) : 

This guy (top) looks amazing! Not many guys can pull off an open neck shirt like this. Great outfit for an evening out in a greek island.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:17 AM) : 

it's not the shirt in fact, it's him. we don't care of the shirt. god. he's beautiful.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:50 AM) : 

THAT MAN in the top photo is supreme hot. He looks smoldering, and leave that shirt open. It's not normally what my eyes would gravitate towards, but he seems to wear it well without looking like a cheese ball or pervy 70s porno guy.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:29 AM) : 

Not been on the blog for a while and just catching up. Notice that the J Crew shirt is almost the same as your cover picture for The Grapes of Wrath. Plus ce la change...
I am an old geezer who has never given up on denim or chambray shirts. Now that I am silver haired they seem to look even better!


Anonymous Pandora said ... (2:47 PM) : 

The gorgeous Paris man with the intense gaze is sooo familiar. Have I seen him in a French film? Or just in my dreams. Is he an aging rock star?

Does anyone know who he is?


Blogger Asian Models Blogger said ... (7:57 PM) : 

Perfectly fitted shirt in the first photo. And you are right, it is so refreshing to see something old back again. Is this retro-chic??


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:30 AM) : 

i picked up the cowboy version of the jcrew chambray shirt this weekend; it fits much better than i thought and looks great!


Blogger daniel said ... (1:06 PM) : 

RRL by Ralph Lauren does a great Chambray, year-round. I have a few that look like the J. Crew one you see. In fact, it's denim all day, every day.


Blogger jeff said ... (1:43 PM) : 

found the h&m chambray with mother of pearl snap buttons in small.

it was just plain blue, so i distressed some of the edges with scissors; took sandpaper to it; and washed it in some bleach.

it looks awesome and fits like a glove!

it looks like he's wearing the shirt with black jeans? right?


Blogger hannah said ... (4:51 PM) : 

this whole post is wonderful! i love it when you sound things out here.


Blogger redblues said ... (11:05 AM) : 

I love the chambray shirt on this man! What effortless style! Few grown men can carry off chambray shirts so well. (It helps of course, that he's gorgeous!) On most men, chambray shirts tend to look as if the man has been wearing the same clothes since high school and simply never learned how to dress himself properly. Also I love the last guy! He looks like one of those effortlessly stylish French laborers that designers so often unsucsessfuly try to emulate.


Blogger Andrew said ... (9:59 AM) : 

I think the last time chambray shirts were in style, the early 90's, they were full cut and worn with tweed. The worst look is when you combine a chambray shirt with blue jeans. If they found a way to make them lighter and more body conscious, they might come back.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:17 AM) : 

if i could come home to the bald man in the black scarf every night...


Blogger faBIO said ... (4:59 PM) : 

This guy lives in Bologna. Called Andrea and works in an amazing men's clothing store. Barrow - Via S.Felice, Bologna - Italy


(Sorry for my english) :-/


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:21 PM) : 

Sorry Fabio,almost right!
The guy is Simone,not Andrea, and yes, he works at Barrow men'swear,Via San Felice Bologna.


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