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Page 5 I SEPT. 06,2012

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Chambray worth the search EmilyTozer Staff Writer emily.tozer@drake.edu

What is considered a wardrobe staple of course. depends on the person you're asking. For some it's straight leg jeans and the free T-shirts you get at parades and sporting events. For others it's sundresses and braided belts in every color of the rainbow. My staples include red skinny jeans, a leopard dress, my gold watch and, more recently, a chambray shirt. Heard of it? I'm sure you have. It's the new black. It's the new thing. It's the new white tee. Finding the perfect white tee takes dedication and practice. You know what you're looking for - just the right amount of shape,

stretch and scoop. But finding one top that has all of that is an entirely different story. Why does it matter so much? Because of all the clothing you own, it's the most go-with-anything, fallback, dress-down piece. And now, the chambray shirt is right there with it. How, you may wonder, is a denim shirt on the same level as a white tee? First off, chambray is a little different than denim. It's a lighter weight (similar to muslin) and is usually a light blue color. Whereas I always recommend denim in dark washes - it looks nicer and is slimming - chambray looks best in shades of skyblue or blue-grey. Before the trend first surfaced about a year ago, you would have been hard pressed to find a shirt that

resembled denim on any sort of street style blog. Now, there are just a few pieces I wouldn't consider pairing with my beloved chambray. There are so many ways to wear it, in fact, that I don't doubt many people own two or three. (How many white tees are in your closet?) My personal favorite is an oversized, loose-fitting chambray shirt because it always gives me that perfect mix of femininity and menswear. Think of it as a step up from your white tee. Try it with a pair of bright colored jeans for class, a pleated black skirt to a nice dinner or a floral pencil skirt to work. The possibilities are endless.


Times Delphic Fashion Column