1950s Fashion Highlights: Gingham Print

With names like “Dirndl”, “gingham”, and expressions like “back seat bingo” and “curtain climbers”, it’s easy to think that the process for naming things went something like: “Quick! Let’s throw random letters in a bag, mix them around and then dump them out! We’ve got a name for the next big whatchamacallit!”

Let’s admit it, the Gingham sounds like a board game and you would not think that it refers to the classic chequered fabric that we see Dorothy rock in The Wizard of Oz. This print gained popularity due to being able to be used to make affordable and stylish clothing but also being used for home decorating and furnishing purposes. 

The origins of Gingham are unclear since there are numerous countries that have claimed gingham as their own. It spread quickly, due to it being very inexpensive to produce, easy to wash and design, and very durable. However, it had different meanings in all countries. In India, it’s a fabric used to dry the body, in Indonesia it’s a pattern that represents good and evil, and in Japan it had spiritual symbolism since it was used to cover a child when it died. In the United States, it was just a fashionable print with no big meaning behind it. 

Gingham is a print that a lot of people associate with tablecloths, picnics, grannies, Dorothy, and Little Red Riding Hood before getting snatched by The Wolf. Even then, it’s an aesthetic that’s pretty timeless. It pops up in the mainstream fashion industry from time to time and there are countless ways to style it. Gingham is merely the combination of white and another color in a checkered pattern. This means two things: it’s easy to style and it comes in so many colors.



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You can go the simple route and simply wear a gingham pattern dress. The Instagram user in the image above remade a thrifted find, and it looks lovelier than ever. I recommend that you stick to a matching shoe color or go with black. Gingham dresses look especially pretty with mary janes, pumps, and pointed toe flats!



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Gingham is a pattern which means that it works great when you break it up and combine it with different colors. If you have a basic black and white print, you can pair with a pair of red trousers for a cherry 1950’s look or with a mustard color skirt for the picnic daydream vibe. As long as the gingham isn't clashing with another pattern, you’re good to go. Gingham looks fabulous with polka dots, floral prints, and even some plaid (depending on the color!). But, you should definitely avoid matching it up with chevron, vertical and horizontal stripes, and geometric patterns.


We hope this gives you a little insight into the world of gingham! If you dare rock the look, tag us on IG!