One of my other purchases from the J.Crew 25% sale was the Keeper Chambray (regular price, $78). I eyed this in the store in Toronto a few months back before it was in the catalog or online and I knew I had to try it out. The color isn’t too light, the material not too thick or sheer and is actually very soft. It’s almost perfect.
Initially, I purchased it in a 00, but I eventually ended up with a 0. In 00, it was quite snug in the back which I didn’t find surprising given the fact that this shirt is 100% cotton. Generally it’s probably a good idea to go up a size when your jacket or shirt doesn’t contain any stretch (admittedly, I don’t always follow this rule and regret it later). At first, I was sure I was going to stick with the 00 given how big J.Crew runs, however, as I began layering it under sweaters and blazers, there wasn’t enough room for my arms to move around without feeling like I was going to rip the shirt. Not sure what’s going on there. Lately, I’ve been finding the need to go up in size on top to accommodate what is apparently an increasingly muscular back, despite the fact that my measurements haven’t changed at all and I’m not exercising as consistently as I usually do. I’m starting to develop a complex. Or maybe things are actually being made smaller?!
The sleeve length and width is great, and fits well across the shoulders. In size 0, it is still a bit snug in the back. It would be a different story if the material contained stretch, but given what chambray is, it was never going to happen. So ladies who are a size smaller than I am on top and are struggling to find a chambray shirt, this Keeper is worth a try.
Two issues with this shirt. One, the overall length. Oh how I wish J.Crew would make a petite chambray shirt. The Keeper is not overly long, but the shirt tail does peek out under a long jacket. Tucked in, even just partially, it’s not noticeable at all. See here under my J.Crew Hacking Jacket, again (yes, indeed, I’ve done it: chambray on blue denim):
J.Crew Keeper Chambray Shirt / J.Crew Five-Layer Pearl Necklace / J Brand 910 Skinny Jeans / Sam Edelman Adena Studded Loafers /Michael Kors Runway Watch / Olivia Harris Bag
Shirt pulled out completely under the jacket (whoops, popped collar gone wrong):
As you can see, the shirt is longer than than the jacket. The shirt tail actually doesn’t show at all under my Aritzia Exeter Boyfriend Jacket, so its not that long (sorry, no photo). I was a bit put off by the length of it at first. But the more I played around with the shirt with the rest of my clothes, the less it bothered me. It’s a bit long, but workable.
The other issue I have is that it’s a bit too wide in the waist, however, I’m starting to think there isn’t really a way around this unless I add darts since it is a “boyfriend”-fit shirt. The boxiness also isn’t noticeable unless I wear a high-waisted skirt with it and I don’t foresee myself doing this too often anyway. Overall, I’m really liking this chambray shirt! Finally, “the one”! I’ve been wearing it non-stop since I got it.
BTW, what do you ladies think of the “denim on denim” look? It’s uh, interesting. I haven’t done denim on denim since the early 2000s, but the light/dark contrast here seems to make it work.
Keeper and some other great chambray alternatives below: