Women's Fashion & Outfit Ideas4 ways to wear a gingham dress with Charlie Gowans-Eglinton
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Charlie Gowans-Eglinton,-Writer

Not sure what print you’ll be wafting around in this summer? Just chill. Our new style columnist is here to take the guesswork out of getting ready…

Summer dress weather is now finally upon us. But what print will you be wafting this year? Yes, florals are perennials, but I’m craving a change – and there’s another print vying for the top spot this summer. Enter gingham. It’s had an, erm, checkered past – but it’s a far cry from the twee ruffled skirts and picnic blanket checks you might remember.

Gingham 2.0 is graphic, bold, and high impact – and that’s before you even think about how to style it. And it’s more versatile than a floral: you can sharpen it up with tailoring, take it on holiday with a dose of colour, print-clash it or treat it as a neutral. So whatever is in your calendar for the months ahead, there’s a combination to suit. Skip the picnic basket bags and check it out.

With all-monochrome everything…

A classic black and white gingham gives you a ready made colour palette to work with, so there’s nothing simpler than adding a few sleek black accessories. Think a belt to cinch the waist, boots for in-between weather, and Sophia Loren-esque sunglasses. It’s foolproof, incredibly chic, and it might even tempt print-phobes, since there’s nothing fussy about this graphic look. Swap black boots for sandals – and a flash of a bright pedicure – to render this holiday-ready.

With a bright blazer…

To instantly give some structure to a wafty gingham dress, just add a boxy, bum-length blazer. Suddenly, you’re transported from Amalfi coast to summer in the city – but choosing a bright colour means that this combination is still a million air miles from sombre officewear. I particularly love this bright spritz-orange, which will bring the sunshine on the greyest of days. Just add white trainers or jewelled sandals for parties and dinners al fresco.

Over a shirt…

If you fall for a strappy gingham dress then – with our climate – you’ll need to weatherproof it on all but the balmiest days. Layering your dress over a shirt is an unexpected but inspired style insider’s trick – you still get the full impact of the print, and a collared cotton shirt adds structure to a soft silhouette for a smarter look that would work just as well for office or party. And with that bright white shirt to balance your look, you can go extra bold on the accessories. 

With yet more print…

The rules of good taste tell us that one statement print is quite enough. Ignore these rules: print-on-print makes for a modern, stylish summer look. You could match them, layering a gingham jacket over your dress for a special-occasion look or adding our AND/OR gingham slider sandals for everyday coordination. But, for the brave, print clashing is my preference. Just look for a shared colour palette, and combine one micro-print with a scaled-up second.

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