Spring isn't that far away (if you've spent any time outside in Boston yesterday or today, you'd be excused for thinking it had already arrived), so it's time to start thinking about some new pieces for your wardrobe.
Chambray workshirts have been back "in" for a few years now and will probably be sticking around, which is fine with me. But sometimes you want a slightly more refined look, and chambray fabrics are conveniently migrating to nicer casual shirts.
Lands' End has adapted the style to a sport shirt with a button-down collar and a single chest pocket in both solids and stripes, but to me it doesn't look right. At the opposite end of the casual-dressy continuum, you can find tailored dress shirts with cutaway collars in chambray fabrics, but these aren't as useful for everyday dressing and are probably best left to someone with a very specific, highly evolved personal style.
My favorite of what I've seen so far this spring is from L.L. Bean Signature. It has the button-down collar and single chest pocket like the LE shirt I mentioned above, but the fit is going to be a bit trimmer than those. Also, the pocket has a buttoned flap, a nice little detail which gives it a bit more panache. LLBS has been using this detail on its shirts (of which I have three) since the line started up a couple of years ago, so it feels like it belongs here. It also references trad mainstay J. Press, which has been offering oxford shirts with a flapped pocket for decades. Add a wool or knit tie and a corduroy or tweed jacket and you've got the urban professor look nailed.