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Image / Style / Shopping

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

by Erin Lindsay
26th Feb 2021

Jason Lloyd Evans SS19

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

Some prints are just quintessentially spring. Florals scream it from the rooftops, tie-dye has us thinking of summer 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 spring.

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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