In the working world, there is a definite distinction between blue and white collars. The line between them tends to disappear, however, when they're actually worn. Take, for example, chambray. The traditionally simple fabric synonymous with working stiffs has been crisped up and turned out into a staple for those with rigid dress codes. Here's how to navigate the blues.
1. Assuming you don't live in the wild, wild West, keep those cowboy references to a minimum - i.e., clean and minimal. That means opting for a jacket with traditional tailoring instead of yee-haw flair.
2. Looking to the experimental house of Maison Martin Margiela for pairing the chambray topper with a neutral piece underneath is smart. What you shouldn't take away is the denim-skirt pairing. The so-called Canadian tuxedo is best restricted to rodeos.
3. Unless you're in prison and don't have a choice, avoid wearing head-to-toe blue. Rather, keep the look crisp with white trousers. You can go cropped and slim or full and wide - both will serve as an appropriate shout-out to spring.
The details: Cut25 blazer, $425 at the Bay ( www.hbc.com ). Club Monaco tank, $89.50, pants, $129 through www.clubmonaco.com . Aldo shoes, $100 through www.aldoshoes.com. Le Château bag, $79.95 through www.lechateau.com . Styling by Tiyana Grulovic; hair and makeup by David Goveia for TRESemmé/Judy Inc. ( www.judyinc.com )