Is Chambray Work Appropriate Or Is It Too Casual For The Office?

The ritual of picking an outfit to wear to work every morning can turn into a struggle. Even with a closet full of clothes, deciding what is or isn't work appropriate is a daunting task for most of us. One such material that often lends itself into debate is chambray, a fabric that is often confused with denim, which toes the line between casual and dressy. In an article published by Forbes, blogger Cher Cecil answered the question, "Is chambray work appropriate?" Here's her general rule of thumb about wearing chambray to the office.

If your workplace is not ultra-conservative, the chambray shirt can definitely be incorporated into daily office wear. Try a chambray shirt that isn’t too light in color. Like denim bottoms, the darker the color, the dressier it looks. Chambray can also be found with patterns and prints, which can also lend itself to being more appropriate for a business casual workplace.

In order to incorporate it into your work wardrobe, it's best to know the difference between chambray and denim. While the latter is commonly associated with jeans, that casual closet staple that deserves it's own illustrated guide, chambray is a lighter, dressier fabric that is versatile enough to wear at work or on a weekend getaway (like Malia and Sasha Obama). Plus, chambray is perfect for that summer to fall wardrobe transition.

To help inspire you, here are five different ways to wear #ChambrayAllDay at the office:

Button Down

Pair this staple with a chic pencil skirt and you're ready for everything, from meetings with the boss to happy hour with coworkers. Chambray Ex-Boyfriend Shirt, Madewell ($54)


This jacket will keep you warm when those office ACs are blasting. Plus, how cute is it?! BDG Chambray Drapey Bomber , Urban Outfitters ($69)


Paired with a pair of booties or boots and a festive scarf, this chambray shirtdress is the perfect piece to wear on a mid-afternoon Pumpkin Spice Latte run. Chambray Shirtdress, Ann Taylor ($139)


Layer a blazer over this chambray jumpsuit and you'll be fielding compliments all day long. Plus Size Chambray Jumpsuit Blue - Forever Audrey, Target ($44.99)

Flowy Top

Something about the gorgeous shape of this top totally disguises the fact that it's chambray. Your boss will never know! Chambray Kimono Top, Anthropologie ($49.95)

Images: Levent Kulu/Getty Images; Madewell, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Target, Anthropologie