If you’re looking for a new addition to your wardrobe that is versatile enough for the office and evenings out, fashionable enough to put you on-trend, classic enough to last more than one fashion season and simple to style, a denim shirt is the perfect staple piece purchase for both men and women.

Denim at the Office

The traditional, western-wear style denim shirt with its iridescent snap-buttons and significant front-pocket detailing has been replaced by the new take on the denim shirt. Denim tops come in just about every shade of blue — from whitewashed to deep indigo — and are cut in styles as neat and tidy as a well-tailored dress shirt. In fact, denim is the dress shirt fabric of the moment for suits and jackets. Men or women can create a fashion-forward, tone-on-tone outfit by wearing a slim-cut, light-blue denim button-down under a navy blue suit. Men can bump up their style factor with a graphic tie or keep it conservative with a solid knit tie. Women should give their darker denim shirt some professional polish by wearing one tucked into a black pencil skirt, a pair of classic black pumps, a cropped camel jacket and gold accessories. Think of your denim shirt as a solid alternative to your other neutral, button-down work blouses.

Dressed-Up Denim

For an evening out, women can take a button-down denim shirt from kick-around casual to totally glam with a pair of black leather pants or skirt; black suede booties; a snakeskin patterned envelope clutch; and collar-bone length, gold statement earrings. A stylish way for men to wear a denim shirt at night — for a date or dinner — is to fold the sleeves; add a pair of black fitted pants; and a pair of dark suede desert boots, motorcycle boots or chunky brogues, depending on whether you want to create a preppy, edgy or chic style.

Denim on Denim

Wear a denim shirt with your favorite pair of blue jeans — comfortable and wearable to just about any casual event. For women, tuck your denim shirt into a pair of baggy, cuffed boyfriend jean with a stiletto bootie. Or wear your shirt untucked over a pair of skinny jean with a pair of brogues. A denim shirt and a pair of dark denim, straight-leg jeans makes a fashionable outfit for guys. Wear a belt to break up the blues if they are too closely matched. Whether you choose a brown or black belt, be sure to match your shoes. If blue jeans and a denim shirt is too much blue for your taste, opt for white or black denim. It’s a fool-proof look that is beautifully polished off with either brown or black shoes.

Chambray vs. Denim

Chambray and denim shirts look so much alike, people often confuse them. In fact, there are probably more similarities than differences between chambray and denim materials. Both cotton fabrics are made by weaving white yarn through indigo-dyed yarn. Chambray is the lighter of the two fabrics and is typically a very light blue color. Denim has a heavier consistency and typically comes in medium to dark blue shades. Because of its more durable quality, a denim shirt is likely to last longer. Also keep in mind, darker blue shades work with outfits in both warm and cold weather seasons.