INTER-Picks: Blue Button-Downs

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Published April 12, 2010

There are fine, well-observed differences between a denim and a chambray, the latter of which is lighter and contains more cotton. While the former is more on-trend than ever, I think the latter is worthy of some consideration here. Full disclosure: I’m biased, and during the winter I gravitate toward layering soft knits and T-shirts, over woolens or suits. And finding the perfect button down is a constant struggle. On me, shirts are either too feminine with the back darted or too boxy like a man’s shirt.

From left: Brooks Brothers Boys Side Gusset Shirt, available at Brooks Brothers retail stores nationwide. On my most recent trip to Europe I bought a blue chambray shirt from Brooks Brothers boys, in sizes 14 and 16.  The best part of these shirts is the tailored but not tight fit and smoky color. For a shrunken touch Ralph Lauren children’s offers their classic button-down in blue chambray (but also in stripes). If you thought the androgynous undertones here were the point of this recommendation, look further: The shirts can be personalized for men, women, and children, but also baby, home and what the brand lovingly calls “pupwear.” Then there’s Rag&Bone’s, treated version of chambray—not just for sailing. Of course, the point of a chambray shirt is to relax, which Tommy Hilfiger’s lifestyle brand wants you too do anyway. He offers the classic oxford at a relaxed price of under $20.