With summer officially underway, its a good time to incorporate more colors and patterns in your wardrobe. One of our favorite clothing items for the summer are gingham shirts. While gingham may certainly be worn year round, there is something about the classic checkboard pattern that conjures up visions of warm weather and sunday picnics in the park.
Gingham first made its appearance in the 17th century, where it was imported to England and later migrated to the Americas. The word “gingham” is derived from the Indonesian word ging-gang which means striped. Technically, the term “gingham” refers to any medium weight cotton fabric that is dyed before being woven (as opposed to plaids, which may be printed or dyed after weaving). Originally created by using two different color fibers to produce a striping effect, gingham has since become largely associated with the ubiquitous checkered pattern. Whether striped or checked, gingham is always woven with “balanced” stripes, i.e., ones of egual width. Although available in a variety of color combinations, the classic blue on white remains a popular color combination for gingham fabrics. Let’s take a look at the five ways to wear gingham this summer:
For an easy to wear, relaxed summer look, try wearing a gingham shirt with your favorite pair of straight leg denim jeans. A light blue gingham shirt worn with a dark indigo wash jean with little or no distressing provides a color-coordinated, dressy-casual look. To clean up in a hurry, simply tuck in the shirt and throw on on a slim cut blue cotton blazer.
Gingham shirts are also a great way to freshen up your work wardrobe for thesummer. While a lot of colors will work well with this look, you may want to avoid red gingham so as not to look too country casual. Pair darker tones like black or navy with a charcoal suit for a more conservative look, or try pastel colors like pink or light blue paired with either a brown cotton or gray linen suit.
Even if you are not spending your summer at Martha’s Vineyard, a cardigan and shorts provides a nice complement to a gingham shirt. But avoid ordinary khaki-colored shorts and opt for bolder colors such as navy, red, melon or cream in antique washed cotton, or linen cotton blends to pair with crisp gingham shirts. But when wearing shorts with a dress shirt, remember these tips:
While you may be able to pull of some looks with your shirt untucked, this one works best with your shirt tucked in.
An important factor to keep in mind when wear shorts is that your hem should never hang below your knee cap. While we are not a fan of short-shorts that stop far above the knee, hems that extend far past the knee should only be worn while carrying a surfboard.
In this instance it is best to stay away from patterns like seersucker stripes or madras shorts. Letting your shirt stand out and keeping your shorts pattern free allows for a balanced overall look.
Gingham can also be used as the basis more adventurous outfits combining a variety of tones and colors. This cleverly stylish look defies easy categorization, with the navy stripes and a small check pattern of our our Windemere shirt, expertly offset with a brightly colored bowtie, black skinny jeans and a tan Burberry trench.
While we love gingham dress shirts, it isn’t the only way to wear this fun summer pattern. Gingham ties are rare, but when worn with the right shirt and jacket pairing, look amazing. Although it gives off a preppy vibe, the gingham tie isn’t just for boys or younger men. While this may be a bit casual for the office, we do think it fits perfectly in more sartorial settings. This tie pattern would pair perfectly with a textured white shirt like the Cambridge, a slim cut blazer and a pair of jeans.
Whatever your style or the occasion, don’t be afraid to incorporate this fun pattern into your wardrobe. So what’s your favorite way to wear gingham? Leave us a comment below and let us know!
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