For the next instalment in my "Wardrobe Staples" series I'm going to be talking all about Gingham. While this print is seriously on-trend at the moment, it's one that I have loved for years (and I'm ecstatic that it's now so much easier to find!)
Although it may - to some - have an association with picnic rugs and table cloths, I really feel that it's a truly classic print, and if you choose the right piece it will become a true wardrobe staple that can be worn for years to come.
Choosing the right Gingham Piece For You
The key to making sure you'll continue to love your gingham purchase (past the lifetime of it's current trendy status) is to find pieces that really work with your style. You don't want to choose something that's "fun for now" but that you'll look back on in a year and think "why the hell did I buy this?!". I'm sure you've all seen those wrap gingham tops with the puffy sleeves that seem to be everywhere at the moment? I think they're a really cool look and the bloggers I've seen wearing them really rock them, but I just know it wouldn't be a practical purchase for me as someone who's trying to curate a more "well-edited" wardrobe!
The Size - Start Small
If you're just getting started with Gingham, go with a smaller print. It's less bold and easier to style with other pieces, and will feel less "picnic blanket" than a larger print. I find this applies to almost any print really - if you're looking for something versatile, a smaller print is the way to go.
The Colour - Navy and White is King!
White and Blue is the most classic colour combo for gingham, and definitely my favourite. This classic colourway is the best choice if you're wanting a versatile piece you'll wear for many years. There's something so fresh and summery about gingham paired with white, but to get the most use out of it, choose a navy and white combo (as opposed to a lighter blue shade) which allows it to be paired more easily with darker colours and therefore carried into the cooler months.
While I think Blue and White Gingham is king, I would love to try a red colour-way at some point too (I just haven't found the perfect piece yet). Black and white isn't really my thing, but could also be a versatile option if that's more your style.
The Fit - Choose a Classic Cut
As someone who is striving towards a more curated closet filled with clothes that I can (hopefully) wear for years to come, whenever I'm choosing a printed piece, I make sure that the cut is classic. For me that means something that is flattering and that accentuates my waist. I'm all about "fit and flare" dresses because the fuller skirt and more fitted bodice does just that, but obviously this all depends on your own personal style and what you like to wear!
My Gingham Pieces
There are currently 2 Gingham piece in my wardrobe. The dress above from Princess Highway and a pair of shorts from Zara.
The shorts I've had for years and are one of the most worn pieces in my wardrobe. The way they're cut - higher waist and flaring out at the bottom (almost looking like a skirt) - makes them super flattering. The slightly heavier fabric is also great because it means they work for winter too (paired with tights of course!)
The dress is of course in my usual "fit and flare" style. Pairing it with a belt and my tan wedges plays up the vintage feel, but I also love dressing it down with a pair of converse to make it less girlie and more relaxed (as I've done in the top photo).
The great thing about gingham is that you can put your own spin on it, adapting it to suit your style, whatever that may be. Depending what you pair it with you can make it more classic, quirky, biker, vintage, modern ... and the list goes on...
Pair it with White for a Classic and Summery Look
There is something so beautiful about gingham and white. I love how fresh and summery it feels. My go-to look is my Gingham shorts paired with a white top and finished off with a red-lip and ray-bans sunnies. You can't get more classic and timeless than that!
For a relaxed, casual look I'll go with a simple t-shirt tucked in and trainers, but if I'm wanting something more feminine, an off the shoulder top and ballet flats (or sandals) does the trick. I also love wearing them with a classic white shirt tied at the front for a more vintage vibe.
Mix in some Colour
The beauty of White and Navy Gingham is that you can pair it with almost anything. Besides the more classic options of white, black and grey, it also looks awesome with more bold colours. I've styled these shorts with a pink top before, paired them with coral and think they would look awesome with red (I just don't have a red top in my wardrobe just yet!)
What you layer over your Gingham piece can really change up the look. The navy long-line cardigan you see in these photos is my favourite way to add a little warmth, but Gingham also looks fab with a leather jacket if you want to add a little edge. I've even paired these shorts with a (relaxed-style) black blazer for a more dressed up look.
Dress it Up!
So far all these outfit ideas have been more day-time appropriate, but it's definitely possible to transition gingham into night-appropriate attire too (obviously this does depend on what your particular gingham piece is). Pairing the gingham shorts with a black top immediately makes them a little more dressy and night time appropriate. I love wearing them with black heels or black over-the-knee boots.
Hopefully this has given you some inspiration when it comes to styling Gingham. It really is such a lovely, versatile print and a great way to add a little interest to your wardrobe (even if you're not usually a print-loving kinda person!) My pieces are old and sadly no longer available, but I've linked some other great gingham items, below (please not that these are affiliate links!)
I'd love to hearwhat your favourite look in this post is, or your favourite way to wear gingham!