A gingham shirt, tie and even jacket can be just the touch of spice that your attire has been looking for.
Now as much as I hate to get into specifics, it’s a good idea for us to know what we mean when the word gingham gets thrown around. A yarn dyed cotton fabric, usually from two different colours, in a check pattern is what comes to my mind and generally the most used definition. Or in layman’s terms; it’s a small to micro check pattern often involving white and another primary colour such as red, blue or green.
Gingham has been and probably always will be a big part of preppy brands such as Ralph Lauren, Gant and Tommy Hilfiger and due to its background in the 60s Mod scene, is also prevalent in traditionally English brands such as Ben Sherman, Fred Perry and Pretty Green. So there’s plenty of choice out there for the modern stylish gentleman. But why should you start ditching your classic plaid, striped or solid shirts for gingham?
Well, because it’s versatile, classic and underused. This generally ticks all the boxes for me when it comes to ideal pieces of menswear.
How To Wear Gingham
The versatility of Gingham comes from the size of the checks that are used. Because they are smaller than a plaid pattern and can go all the way down to a micro check, there is really nothing they can’t be paired with. Solids are an obvious go to such as a red gingham shirt paired with a navy suit and brown penny loafer but what if that’s a little bit too boring for you?
Yes pattern mixing can be a dangerous art but with gingham it becomes a whole lot easier. The general rule is to make sure that the patterns you use aren’t the same size as one another. Due to gingham being such a small pattern, it can be paired perfectly with something as adventurous as a shadow plaid grey blazer or a wide striped black business suit. The same also goes for any of your ties as long as their stripes or checks are bigger than the shirt and you stick to the golden rule of always having your tie a darker colour.
I think gingham is a classic pattern partly because of its versatility but also because of how much subtlety it can introduce to a look. When considering something as simple as a jeans, shirt and jumper combination, the hint of a green gingham shirt from underneath a burgundy v-neck really adds depth and little bit of Italian flair to the overall aesthetic. Micro check is especially good for a business environment, because it will go perfectly with everything you already have in your wardrobe and until the person gets up close to you, it will look like a plain solid shirt or tie. Ideal for those of us who need to adhere to conservative office dress codes but still like to have a bit of fun!
To add an extremely unique take on pattern mixing.