Spring check-up: Gingham is this season's fashion favorite
Check into gingham this spring.
An array of colors, as well as basic black, make the checked-pattern look fresh and new, fashion experts say.
“Gingham is everywhere,” says Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom fashion director. “We are seeing it in clothing and handbags and even in footwear. The newest way is to pair gingham with floral appliques.
“Gingham really is the embodiment of spring,” he says. “It has a whimsical vibe, and it's fun and youthful and romantic and a bit nostalgic.”
If you don't want to go all out with a gingham dress, skirt or top, a fun accessory is the way to go, Andrews says.
“A really cute bag or some shoes that are gingham add some interest to an outfit,” Andrews says. “Buying a few accessories is a great way to freshen up your wardrobe.”
But be careful, he says. Some gingham tops can make you look like Elly May Clampett from “The Beverly Hillbillies.” A gingham shirt with denim cutoffs looks too country-girl, Andrews says. Instead, he says, match it with a pair of white jeans or a pencil skirt.
Mixing gingham and florals or graphics is on trend, Andrews says. It is best with coordinated color schemes, he says, and one pattern should smaller than the other so they aren't competing.
“Gingham never entirely goes away,” Andrews says. “We are seeing a resurgence of the pattern because a lot of retro- and vintage-inspired looks are in across all of fashion.
“Gingham is timeless,” he says. “The fit-and-flare dress is a natural for gingham and a natural look for spring and summer.”
Technically, gingham is considered to be white with another color, with the lines all the same width, unlike a plaid that can have varying widths, says Sara Griot, designer of O'Shaughnessey by Sara Griot.
“The variation for this spring with gingham is the size of the check, from very small to very large, which changes the look quite a bit,” Griot says.
“I think gingham is fun in a color, because it's just a fresher look for a classic pattern,” she says. “And it's a pattern that works as well for men as women. It's a clean, lively pattern that makes us all ready for warmer weather — spring and summer.”
Gingham is a fun and casual print, Griot says. She suggests dressing it up a little by pairing a gingham shirt with a pencil skirt and either a cardigan, V-neck sweater or a jacket — and then add jewelry. Another alternative would be pairing it with slim pants, a sweater and jewelry.
Marissa Rubin, senior fashion editor for People StyleWatch, says gingham has, like a lot of other fashion trends, carried over into swimwear.
It's best to pair gingham with a solid color, Rubin says, because it's the safest way to wear this print. Mixed patterns could work, but be careful if you try to layer them, she says.
Designers have embraced gingham, she says. She points to Diane von Furstenberg and Michael Kors, who featured gingham on the runway.
It is best to wear gingham either with a neutral or as a matching set, Rubin says. Scarves with the print are a great accessory, as are shoes, Rubin says. It's not easy to wear the gingham print in pants because they are hard to coordinate with a top that will work well, she says.
She says to try a hue that is different from the black-and-white or red-and-white combination.
“If you go with an unexpected color, it kind of departs from the classic look and makes it newer in the sense of it's been revitalized,” Rubin says. “When I think of gingham, I think of feminine. It is so on trend for spring and will carry over into summer.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7889.