Victoria Beckham threw down the (gingham) gauntlet with her Spring/Summer 2016 collection: checks are no longer just for kids, picnic blankets, and Judy Garland. They’re for grown-ups! But does it really work off the catwalk?
“Believe it or not, clothing that is completely patterned is actually slimming,” celebrity stylist Ali Levine declares, “because the clothing is busy with pattern, but there is no single focal point to draw your eye to.”
The denser the pattern, the greater the minimising effect. So opt for a small, neat check to slim trouble areas, and bigger, bolder prints to enhance your best bits.
We’ve rounded up the most flattering gingham pieces around.
J Crew at Nordstrom, R915
A classic checked shirt will look great with slim-fit jeans, whether buttoned up or left loose over a simple cami. For a smarter look, tuck it into tailored trousers or a pencil skirt. Tuck the shirt loosely into a white denim skirt and you’ve got the perfect weekend look.
Miss Selfridge at John Lewis, R592
If you’re brave enough, a check-on-check shirt and trouser combination can maximise the print’s slimming potential by “lengthening” you from head to toe. If not, a tailored gingham trouser teamed with a crisp white shirt and black loafers is a perennially stylish look.
Topshop at Polyvore, R285
Team a gingham pencil skirt with a shirt and heels for a Marilyn Monroe-inspired look. If you’re pear shaped, a white shirt will help to balance out hips. If you’re more top-heavy, opt for a black shirt to allow the skirt to take centre stage.
JW Anderson at Polyvore, R6 880
This statement silhouette taps into summer’s frills and ruffles trend. Team it with a plain, V-neck T-shirt and strappy block-heeled sandals to avoid looking too flouncy.
This midi dress is great for showcasing a slim waist. For an edgier look, team the dress with a pair of sneakers and a leather biker jacket to keep warm on those chillier days.
London Fog at Nordstrom, R2 146.65
A printed coat is a great accent to a simple, neutral-toned outfit, and this ’60s style trench will see you through summer picnics into autumn and beyond.
Amanda Uprichard at Shopbop, R2 077
This summery bardot-style top provides a bit of arm coverage whilst still allowing you to tap into this season’s shoulder-baring trend. The floaty style and peplum hem will skim over any lumps and bumps, making it perfect for the tummy-conscious. Team with a pair of slim-fitting white or black jeans to balance out the volume.