How to Wear a Chambray or Denim Shirt and Shabby Apple Giveaway


So today I have a little fashion post for you.

How to wear a chambray or denim shirt.

Over the years I have done a few fashion focused posts and one of the things that came up in the survey I recently did is that some of you would like me to bring them back and would enjoy a fashion post now and then. So… here we go.  Now, I am not a fashion blogger and don’t plan on being a fashion blogger.  My daughter Tessa Leigh has that part of the blogging world covered!  But I do love clothes.  Just a little (my family is laughing over that one!)

I actually spent four years in college getting a degree in Clothing & Textiles.  Which basically means I can sew and can identify all the major fabric groups and know their basic characteristics.  I learned how to draw and illustrate as well as make and fit a pattern from scratch including a hand tailored wool suit that still hangs in my closet.  Also, at one time I had a mannequin I made myself that was a near perfect replica of my body. Her name was Matilda.  Unfortunately Matilda is long gone and she is no longer a near perfect replica of my body.  I think she’s put on a bit of weight since college!!  We had to wrap our bodies in plastic wrap and then tape, cut ourselves out of it and then fill the mold with foam that hardened.  Really!

During those four years at college I also learned to love clothes, even more than I already did.  That love for clothes and fashion has continued over the year and has become “my one weakness.”  (That’s for all my Larkrise to Candleford friends!)

So occasionally on the blog,  I’m going to share with you some of the outfits I’ve been wearing and some of my favorite clothing/fashion pieces of the season.

The one piece I am wearing right now more than any other piece in my wardrobe are my chambray and denim shirts.  If you were going to purchase one new piece for your wardrobe this Spring let it be a chambray or denim shirt.  From here on I will refer to it as a chambray shirt but it is interchangeable with a denim shirt.  Now for a little textile lesson for you – chambray is a  light weight fabric with a colored warp and white filling yarns.  It is a lightweight, lighter colored denim.  Denim is a coarse, twill cloth.  Basically denim is heavier than chambray.

I actually love a chambray shirt so much I have four of them in my closet.   Each has it’s own personality and it’s own place in my wardrobe.

From bottom to top:


1.  I love the small polka dot on this shirt.  It gives it just a bit more character and interest than the solid shirts but I can pretty much wear it just like I would the other shirts.  This shirt came off the clearance rack at Anthropologie a few years ago but I noticed that Old Navy has a darling polka dot chambray shirt right now!

My favorite thing to wear a chambray shirt with is colored jeans.  It will go with any color jean.  I am asked a lot by people, “How do I wear colored jeans?” and my answer is usually “with a chambray shirt!”  Here I show it with my mustard yellow colored jeans but it would work just as well with the green or red or whatever color you have!  Right now my favorite colored jean is the Rockstar Jean from Old Navy – Grab them when they go on sale for $19.95!  Just be prepared to go up a size or two.  They look cute with a pair of flats or tucked into boots.  I just throw a statement necklace or a scarf on with the shirt and I’m good to go.  My boots were also a Nordstrom Rack find this year and are by Miz Mooz.  Love the shorter little boot for my short legs!


2.  This is my loosest fitting chambray shirt. It is from Target a few years ago .  It is my go to shirt when I need something quick, easy and comfy to wear.  I had a nasty head cold last week and actually spent two days in my pajamas which rarely happens.  The third day I got dressed and this was my go to outfit!  Loose chambray shirt, scarf (from Target this year) and a pair of black jeggings.  The jeggings are a nice heavy fabric and are super comfy.  They are by Joe Jeans and I picked them up at Nordstrom Rack a few years ago.  I wear them with my black ballet flats (Sperrys from Nordstrom Rack last week) or my new “Merry Christmas to me from my in laws” black boots.  They are from Macy’s.


3.  This is the newest addition to the Chambray shirt collection.  I wanted a lighter colored one for this season and I found this light chambray shirt at Target. My fashion blogger daughter gave me this darling skirt from J Crew Factory outlet for Christmas and the chambray shirt was the perfect thing to wear with it. The skirt had so many possibilities with all that fun color.  I added a cardigan, a gold necklace and a pair of tights with tiny little dots on them.  The shoes in the photo are actually NOT the ones I wore with this outfit.  Not sure what I was doing when I took the photo.  I wore a darker brown pair of Mary Jane style heels from Target.  I also added a dark brown belt on top of the skirt at my waist.


4.  The shirt on the top of the pile is my darkest shirt and is a very soft denim.  It is a little tighter fitting than the other shirts so I like wearing it under pullovers, etc. so I don’t have as much bulk which always adds a pound or two!  Here you can see how great it works with colored denim.  I put it under my favorite polka dot sweater from Old Navy, added a statement necklace and my black ballet flats.


This is the outfit I wore to church on Sunday.  I have been wanting a striped skirt and I happen to find this cute black and white knit striped skirt at Old Navy this week for about $22.00 -right in my price range.  The other thing I liked about this skirt was the length!  Even as short as I am (5’2″) a lot of the skirts are just too short for me.  I did end up shortening this skirt about an inch.  It is super comfy.

how-to-wear-a-chambray-shirtI loved the way the outfit came together with my my denim shirt and gray cardigan.  I gave it a fun touch with the leopard belt and then wore some black textured hose with my black kitten heel pumps. I texted my two daughters a photo of the outfit before I left for church just to make sure it had their approval!  The crystal necklace is a new favorite that came from Forever Love – cheap!

As you can see, the possibilities are just about endless.  You can basically wear a chambray shirt with anything you would wear a white shirt with.  The only thing I don’t like to wear a denim shirt with is a pair of jeans that are the same color denim.  Too matchy matchy for me but a lighter weight chambray shirt with dark denim can work.

So – what do you think?  Do you own a chambray shirt?  If not, are you ready to go out and buy one!  Would love to know what you like to wear it with!

{giveaway closed}

I also have a fun fashion focused giveaway for you.  I have shared with you before how much we like Shabby Apple at our house.  When you leave a comment today letting me know what is your  favorite Shabby Apple piece and as well as liking Shabby Apple’s Facebook Page you will be entered to win a $50.00 gift certificate to Shabby Apple.

They have several fun Shabby Apple pieces that would look darling with a chambray shirt.  Love the polka dot skirt here.  And the striped skirt here!

Shabby Apple is also offering a discount code to all my blog readers for 10% of until Feb. 27th!  Use the code: yourhomebasedmom10off.

“Liking” Shabby Apple on Facebook is an eligibility requirement for anyone entering your giveaway.  Contestants must have a USA shipping address to be eligible for entry.

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The 36th Avenue Party Time **


Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

Latest posts by Leigh Anne (see all)


  1. MaryB says

    I love Shabby Apple. The G Cooper dress is just lovely. I like Shabby Apple on Facebook. Thanks for offering the giveaway.

  2. Marm says

    I was very glad when I saw that denim shirts are having a bit of a comeback. Not that they were ever really gone, but just harder to come by for a while. I really like all the outfits you put together.

  3. Wendy Webster says

    Oh Shabby Apple- I would do anything to win something from there. I became a fan when you posted about them before and have yet to purchase anything because I cannot decide and our budget is too tight. The one I love the most is no longer being made :( it was in their black line. But I also like the Seine, the Orient Express, the Humboldt Current Shirt is awesome but I want the belt and shirt too! Oh, there is just too much! :)

  4. Lisa K. says

    I love everything at Shabby Apple. I could spend a million dollars there, they have such classic beautiful things!!
    Lisa K.

  5. Saundra says

    I love this post! I also have 2 of these chambray shirts but, seem to get in a rut. Thanks for sharing new ways to wear them!

    Shabby Apple is a great web store.. I have my eye on the Turchino Necklace!!!

  6. says

    Um, I am obsessed with these outfits. I’ve been trying to stock up on my wardrobe – I have a bad habit of buying things for my house instead of buying clothes (and I need clothes bad). These outfits, though, are so my style. I want to go out and buy everything here!! Or, if you get tired of wearing any of these pieces anytime soon, you could just ship them to me :)

  7. Ashley Simmons says

    Great post! I really liked your outfit combinations.
    Thanks for the giveaway! I like Shabby Apple on Facebook. I love the “One for my Baby” dress, it’s adorable!