Perfect for summer: Gingham & how to style it for different occasions
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Warm summer days outside, picnics in nature, long walks in the park: Is there a pattern that matches such activities better than gingham? In this blogpost, I’m going to tell you the story of gingham, how it came into fashion, and of course give some styling tips for different occasions.
What is Vichy Check / Gingham?
Gingham, also called vichy check, nowadays is known as a checked fabric, traditionally made from dyed cotton or cotton-blend yarn. The pattern is not a print, it comes from the weaving, where the colouring is on the warp yarns and always along the grain. Traditionally, the gingham pattern has two colours, where one is usually white, the second one black/grey, blue, red, or green. Nowadays, however, are many different variations available and somethimes, gingham has even more than two colours.
By now, we assume gingham with checks. Back in time, though, striped gingham was popular as well.
The Story of Gingham
Gingham is a traditional pattern and used almost all around the world. Furthermore, it is quite old and its roots aren’t known. Which is no wonder as checks are one of the oldest patterns in the world. This is mainly due to the manufacturing method of the first fabrics: weaving.
The name vichy check most likely comes from the French town Vichy. However, it is also a very popular and a traditional pattern in other European regions and countries like Bavaria, Belgium, the Netherlands, North Italy, Great Britain, and Sweden. Since the second half of the 17th century, the gingham cotton fabric has inter alia been produced in fabrics in Manchester.
But even outside of Europe, in countries like India, Japan, Indonesia, and many African countries, gingham has often been popular since a long time.
How Gingham came into Fashion
Originally, the gingham pattern was mainly used for housewares like napkins, tablecloths, picnic rugs, bedlinen, curtains, tea towels, and aprons. Even today, we usually associate the gingham pattern in blue or red with farmhouse parlours, picnics in nature, and warm summer days.
Gingham and its popular Wearers: From Brigitte Bardot to Alain Delon
In the 1950s, gingham house dresses became popular amongst American housewives. However, this pattern became really fashionable in 1959, when Brigitte Bardot wore a light pink gingham dress on her wedding with Jacques Charrier. She also liked to sunbath in a bikini with vichy checks in Saint Tropez.
Shop Gingham Swimwear:
Another popular wearer of the gingham pattern was Audrey Hepburn; gingham capri pants in combination with a simple top perfectly reflected her elegant but subtle style. Even men liked gingham: Beside Alain Delon and Gunter Sachs, David Hemmings wore a gingham shirt in the movie “Blow up”. Since then, gingham celebrates its comeback every few years. Always popular is this pattern in the Austrian/Bavarian Tracht and in mod subculture.
How to wear and style Gingham
- Gingham goes perfectly with summery, a bit more casual outfits, but even works in business, if done right.
- Gingham accessories are able to add that certain something to an outfit.
- Gingham can be even teamed with other patterns. I especially like to team it with the classy retro cherry print.
- If you want a very fashionable and modern look, try a gingham blazer.
Now, I want to show you some of my favourite outfits with gingham:
Circle Skirt & a big Hat: A relaxed Outfit for a Day outside
A gingham circle skirt almost screams „picnic in nature“, but also works for a walk in the park, of course. Beside my beloved Lena Hoschek skirt, I chose a white lace blouse, comfortable ballet flats, which are perfect for long walks, as well as a pretty vintage basket bag. A huge straw hat not only protects us from the sun, but also is the cherry on the cake of this comfortable but stylish leisure outfit. PS: In this blogpost, I show you more beautiful hats for spring and summer.
Skirt: Lena Hoschek, similar here
Blouse: similar here
Hat: Jacquemus, very similar here
Ballet flats: Melissa, very similar here
Handbag: Vintage, similar here