Grown-up gingham: how to wear it without looking like Bo Peep

Gingham is the ultimate girly print, but this summer calls for it to toughen up

Some prints are just quintessentially summer. Florals scream it from the rooftops, tie-dye brings us straight to the beach, and who could forget the great polka dot emergence of 2019? But while the high street is flooded with these prints, and the ways and means to style them, one print is consistently difficult to wear stylishly — gingham.

When we picture gingham, we see Dorothy and her red shoes; Little House on the Prairie dresses and summer birthday parties — at aged 5. Gingham, while it's as pretty and summery as they come, is distinctly youthful and feminine — which sounds ideal, but when you try and wear it in your twenties and up, it gets a little difficult.

But if prairie dresses have made a grown-up come back, then there's no reason we can't afford the same to gingham. Hiding under the babydoll dresses and strappy tops on the high street is a plethora of grown-up gingham options to dip our toe in for summer.


Sheer fabrics; leather accompaniments; on-trend silhouettes and boardroom-ready tailoring — all tried-and-tested ways to toughen up the girliest of trends, and gingham is no different. If you find yourself being drawn to a pink gingham dress for spring, grab your trusted chunky black boots, and pair with strong cat-eye sunglasses to elevate the look to adult levels. Instead of flirty dresses, go for gingham in a blazer or shoulder-padded top — a strong silhouette will work wonders to combat the little-girl vibes.

But if all else fails, and your urge to fight the feminine floatiness is waning — just dive right in. Pink on pink on pink, with curled hair and demure sandals may not be an intimidating look — but who wants to scare everyone off anyway?

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We are Kindred Valencia gingham print maxi dress, €495 available from Farfetch



ASOS DESIGN long sleeve gingham top with ruffle detail, now €24.89 from ASOS


Molly Goddard Macy broderie anglaise-trimmed gingham cotton coat, now €667.98 available from Net-a-Porter


Voluminous Puff Sleeve Midi Dress, €99 from & Other Stories



Nike Air Force 1 gingham sneakers, €212 available from Net-a-Porter


One Above Another midaxi smock dress with ruffles in mixed sheer gingham, €48.39 from ASOS



Fendi Ruffled gingham-trimmed stretch-tulle socks, €140 from Net-a-Porter


Tailored Gingham Blazer, €149 from & Other Stories



Bambah royal gingham tunic, €609 available from Farfetch


ASOS WHITE gingham ruched waist dress, now €31.11 from ASOS


Avavav Ruffled metallic gingham poplin mini dress, €280 from Net-a-Porter



Voluminous Puff Sleeve Shirt, €79 from & Other Stories


Barbour x Alexa Chung Ivy PVC-panelled gingham coat, €529 from Farfetch



L.F.Markey Joe gingham midi dress, now €89.86 from ASOS

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