New ways to wear gingham prints

Pull off this tricky print by sticking to small- to medium-sized checks

How do I pull off gingham prints?

Gingham can be a tricky print for anyone older than 10 to pull off. If not used for a kindergarten uniform, it is printed on polyester fabric and spread across the grass as a picnic mat.

But fashion designers love to surprise us with the unexpected - Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham designed figure-hugging maxi dresses in the print. American supermodel Gigi Hadid appeared in this month's Vogue wearing a gingham bikini. Suddenly, gingham is less sweet and more grown-up.

Here are some tips on how to style this print:

• For a lady-like take on the trend, pick styles such as wrap dresses, pencil skirts or silk blouses that show a bit of skin. For a sportier look, go for a rockabilly bowling shirt or slim-fit trousers.

• Gingham and jeans go together like bread and butter, but avoid the cliche of wearing a knotted gingham shirt with blue jeans. A denim shirt, with a gingham-print pair of pants or shorts, or skirt, looks more modern.

• For the more adventurous, pair gingham with other prints, such as florals and stripes, or textures such as lace.

• A medium-sized check is ideal if you are wearing the print from top to toe (such as a dress), but if you are wearing the print on your bottom, stick to small checks as the pattern has a slimming effect.

Here are some picks.


1. Multicoloured dress, $69.90, from Zara

A breezy dress is suitable for hot weekends. Wear it with a straw bag and strappy sandals.

2. Blue-and-white cotton dress with front ruffle detail, $189.90, from Elohim By Sabrina Goh

Pair this with a navy blue or white Panama hat and a denim jacket.

3. Black-and-white bowfront bra top, $49, from American Eagle Outfitters

If the top is too risque for you, wear a white crew-necked T-shirt underneath.

4. Amy Winehouse x Henry Hate bowling shirt, $199, from Fred Perry

If wearing jeans with this rock 'n' roll top is too predictable, pair it with a pencil or A-line skirt for a more feminine look.

5. Dove-grey halterneck playsuit, $116, from Topshop

Wear a belt to accentuate your waist, sling a small crossbody bag and finish with sneakers or flats for a sweet and sexy look.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2016, with the headline 'Gingham grows up'. Print Edition | Subscribe