I have a work uniform. Maybe you’ve noticed? And since I work from home, it’s my around-the-house and out-of-the-house uniform too. Chambray every single day is my mantra. “Mel, shouldn’t you consider another fabric?” Kev says as I pick up yet another chambray top. I said the same thing to Kev a couple months into dating about the color of his clothes. He only knew the color blue. I resonate with that boy now.
I don’t love picking out an outfit in the morning in the same way that I love picking out what to make for breakfast. Getting dressed does not produce happiness. Between analysis paralysis and clothing discomfort, I can waste a good 20 minutes staring into a closet, wishing my favorites from the dirty clothes were clean. But if I keep a very pared down wardrobe with only my favorite cuts and materials, including some duplicates, getting dressed is thoughtless. Just the way I like it. Should I wear chambray or chambray? It’s classic, durable, cozy, and so forgiving.
If athletes can wear uniforms, then so can we. In fact, I wore the outfit above to every book event last year. And if you catch me out in public this year, there’s a good chance I’ll be wearing the same. This outfit makes me feel comfortable and (mostly) confident, carving out more mental space to focus on my work or other pressing issues instead of my appearance.
Speaking of mantras, I have this other mantra for myself where I try to make as many decisions on behalf of myself ahead of time. I call this bulk decision making, which is far less rigid than it sounds. Here’s what I know about myself: I tend to make poor decisions in the moment. It shows up when I’m getting dressed in a hurry before a meeting or at the end of the day when someone is knocking at the door asking for a donation. When I’m getting ready for a meeting, I’ve already decided what I’m going to wear months in advance—a chambray shirt and usually white pants. Or, when someone asks for a donation, I always give myself 24 hours to think about it and do some research first. I let them know my expectation for myself at the door.
Tiny adjustments can have a big impact to every day life. And sometimes it looks like chambray. Do tell. Would you wear a uniform? What would it look like?
Here’s a quick round-up of classic, chambray tops.
Light Wash Button Up (My shirt. I sized down for a more fitted look.)
Everyday Dress (Just purchased this. It’s light-weight and becoming not boxy.)
You might also like:
- My Winter Minimalist Wardrobe
- Wardrobe interview on Real Simple
I saw this late, but yes chambray everything. After being eaten up by mosquitoes last summer, we have two dogs which were being house trained. I decided to find some light weight pants which would cover my legs to wear at home. I bought two pair of linen chambray joggers. One from jcrew and the other from jcrew factory. My daughter was visiting and said “Mom do you know you have worn the same pair of pants every day I’ve been here?” I wear so much jean material. I have a beloved sleeveless jean dress I bought from old navy about seven years ago, if something happened to it I’d be in a real fix. It’s amazing how many outfits can be made with jean pieces. The two jean jackets I have are work horses in my closet. I could go on and on!
Waaaah! That LL Bean popover is only available in xx-small and x-small. It looks seriously perfect. I’m currently wearing a petite-sized button up chambray shirt from JC Penney, and wishing the hem was longer. Sleeve size is good for me, but not the length, so I was hoping for another good option.
Also, if those kinds of things bug you, you might want to change “waist” to “waste” in the second paragraph.
Ahh, thank you for catching that. Updated! I’m so bummed they only have limited sizes in that popover left. I couldn’t find anymore online right now. Sad day! However, people said it runs large, which I find of most their tops.
I purchased a J. Crew chambray shirt at least 6 years ago and it is still in great condition! I wear it all the time.
Since I volunteer at my church thrift store I am fortunate to find brand name chambray shirts and dresses!
Some of them are in pristine condition. But I want to look for the ones on your blog too. I live in FL so chambray is cool enough to wear.
Oh, you probably have the best cuts of chambray there! You’re right, it is so cool and breathable to wear. I wear my long sleeved shirts year around and just roll up the sleeves in summer.
Melissa, I would love the details on your white pants if they’re still available!
I never wear chambray because I dont like how I look in button ups but that short sleeved popover is calling my name! I love the beauty uniform, I have a looser interpretation of it because I also don’t like picking out what to wear in the AM. Way too stressful. Thanks for sharing!
I feel the same about button ups. I mostly stick to popovers. Sadly, I couldn’t find that many for sale. I hope this isn’t a sign they aren’t going to make more for a year or two. I would have stocked up!
Get the short sleeve popover! It’s one of my favorite shirts ever. My favorite long sleeve chambray is Cloth & Stone from Anthro. It’s so soft and comes out of the dryer perfect. My uniform is the same, but I mix it up with floral prints, too. I love the cute necklaces Melissa wears with her uniform but never can find those that work on me.
I have a trick for necklaces! The cute, colorful ones are always too short, like a choker. So I lengthen it by attaching a bracelet into the back. Works like a charm!
I love it! Thanks!