The Charm of Gingham (Fashion: Retro Print)

I’ve always loved gingham and buy it whenever I can to brighten up my look. I’m so obsessed with it my younger brother swears every time I give him a new shirt, it’s gingham.

Throughout my research about the textile I discovered seven very interesting facts about it:

  • Characterized as “lightweight plain-woven cotton cloth” it’s usually in a checked pattern consisting of white and a vibrant contrasting color.
  • The word “gingham” is a reinvention of the Malayan term ganging (“striped).
  • Since the initial yarn is “dyed” before it’s woven it’s also known as “dyed in the yarn”.
  • Associated with more rural settings than urban in Europe and the United States, the fabrication reminds one of the country and rustic themes.
  • Gingham is popular with fashion designers during the summer, and is considered a “classic”.
  • It’s always been a favorite with Hollywood celebrities like Katherine Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. Today the love affair continues and it’s been seen on Rihanna and Reese Witherspoon.
  • During the 17th-century when it was first “imported to Europe” it was striped instead of checked. Then in the mid-1800s when it was manufactured in England, it was woven into checks or plaids.

How to Wear Gingham:

Despite it’s pleasing appearance gingham isn’t easy to wear and has its own rules:

  • Shirts should grace the body, but fit comfortably loose too.
  • Gingham separates look amazing on people over 40.
  • For a retro vibe, cropped pants, pencil skirts, and tie-front tops are cool when made out of gingham and cut just so.
  • To make it appear more picturesque, coordinate it with splashy polka dots, wild leopard prints, and pretty florals. Even flannels will work, but as with all contrasting patterns, be mindful of color before trying.

Places to Buy Gingham Online: