Some people can pull off a trend as though they just rolled out of bed, but as far as I’m concerned, I mostly tend to stay clear of trends, for fear of it looking as though I’m trying too hard to look trendy. Like everyone, I wear things best when I feel absolutely confident and comfortable in what I’m wearing. Even though I don’t believe that anyone should subscribe to any fashion “rules”, I do think it’s worth knowing which trends should be adopted and which ones should be left on the runway and in editorial magazines. Gingham, however, is one of those timeless trends that just seems to suit absolutely everybody.
From the iconic pinafore dress sported by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, to the coveted school uniforms from our childhood (I never got my hands on one of those babies, damn!), gingham elicits sweet innocence and conjures up perhaps not the most appealing of images, which I think is why many people find it off-putting and tend to stay away! Despite all of this, gingham still remains an absolute keynote fabric and print of the fashion industry. I must say I did jump on the gingham bandwagon when it burst onto the scene a few years ago, but soon got bored of it, much like with most trends; we had a fleeting and short-lived relationship. This year, though, gingham emerged in full force once again for the spring and summer months, this time, in more exciting colours, textures and silhouettes.
Evidently, gingham is a trend that just keeps coming back. I may be wrong, but in this latest resurgence, it feels like much more of a permanent stay; gingham has officially nestled itself into the category of wardrobe staples. It’s almost as “groundbreaking” as florals these days. Although gingham has always been considered a quintessential summertime look, it definitely isn’t only reserved for sunny days. And just like florals, it has a summer meets autumn aesthetic that feels absolutely right for the transitional months we’re experiencing right now. Sometimes the simplest of prints are the ones that are able to enjoy the most longevity.
Simple it may be, but it is certainly a print that requires just a little bit of thought, at the risk of looking like you’re wearing your old picnic blanket (or your year 2 school uniform). Having said that, because of its simple print and monochromatic colour scheme, gingham is actually one of the easier trends to style. Because it is traditionally black and white, and not too busy (unlike the tropical print trend, for example), it goes with pretty much any colour, and looks amazing when paired with contrasting textures such as mohair or leather, for instance. Even if monochrome tones are not your thing, you can always pair a black and white gingham piece with some colourful accessories, or alternatively, opt for a brightly coloured gingham item, and tone down the rest of your look. Personally, I love all-black outfits, so in this case, accessories are absolutely key to the equation!
Gingham is such a versatile print and simple colour scheme that, not only can you wear it throughout the upcoming winter months, but also in the office! Hallelujah! What more could we ask for? A pair of peg gingham trousers with snazzy loafers or brogues (or even a court heel) and a smart blouse, there’s really not much room for error. What I love most about it is that it can be very elegant and chic, but also equally playful and youthful. The possibilities are endless. Just like you can pair a dainty gingham shift dress with a leather jacket and white trainers, it would look just as gorgeous with a chunky boho style cardigan and strappy heels.
Gingham styles have always been very graceful and feminine, but this season, gingham is presented to us in all styles and for all tastes. Now in more contemporary silhouettes like midi dresses, asymmetric crop tops and skirts, and boxy blouses, gingham has really has seen a coming of age this year. For notoriously rebellious and avant garde designers; House of Holland being one of my favourites, gingham has recently become a new and exciting venture. Finally, the pattern has been injected with a healthy dose of cool and has more of an adult appeal than ever before. As I mentioned earlier, if black and white isn’t necessarily your go-to colour choice like it is for me, the high street also has plenty of refreshing colour combinations on offer; everything from shirts and skirts, to dresses and trousers, and of course, accessories.
While I usually love mixing and clashing prints, gingham is definitely a tricky one to pair with a contrasting print, and I’d usually recommend wearing fairly simple colours and patterns alongside gingham and let it do all the talking. It’s perfect for those who may not particularly like bold and busy patterns or lack confidence in wearing them. Fear not though, because with gingham you really can’t go wrong!
No one can buy style, but perhaps you can do the next best thing and buy gingham. It’s unfalteringly stylish and chic, and it certainly won’t disappoint!