Box off your spring/sum­mer look with this check list...

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - STYLE WATCH -

OKAY, SO PER­HAPS TABLE­CLOTH CHECKS and pic­nic ging­hams are out of your com­fort zone – but chintzy prints are hav­ing a mo­ment. I know this be­cause I ar­rived to a five-year-old’s birth­day last Satur­day wear­ing the same ging­ham cold shoul­der blouse as an­other mother, along­side two tod­dlers wear­ing ruf­fled dresses in pat­terned grids.

The lat­ter, I agree, isn’t rev­o­lu­tion­ary – lit­tle girls go hand-in-hand with sweet check­ered prints – but this sea­son de­sign­ers are rein­ter­pret­ing the iconic 1960s wo­ven fab­ric syn­ony­mous with ide­al­is­tic do­mes­tic­ity for grown-ups. Take Henry Hol­land, whose take on ging­ham has been the most pro­nounced on the high street, pic­tured far right. He served fla­menco-in­spired off-shoul­der ruf­fle dresses, bell­bot­tom trousers, 1980s ra-ra skirts and bomber jack­ets with ging­ham in­serts and match­ing neck­ties. Joseph Al­tuzarra fol­lowed with tai­lored ging­ham trousers that he teamed with khaki mil­i­tary coats and crin­kled aqua ging­ham shirt dresses that are al­ready tak­ing flight on the high street at Zara and H&M. And de­signer Molly God­dard prepped her her girl gang in tai­lored ging­ham party dresses on ruched mid-lengths. More re­cently Si­enna Miler revved up the fab­ric’s pop­u­lar­ity in a ging­ham So­nia Rykiel peas­ant dress while pro­mot­ing her new movie The Lost City Of Z, pic­tured above, while Blake Lively piled on the con­trast­ing colour com­bi­na­tion for March­esa’s show at New York Fash­ion Week.

The key to mak­ing them work off the cat­walk? Choose form-fit­ting shapes from the waist up with asym­met­ric hems. Any ex­cess of fab­ric sails too close to cur­tain ter­ri­tory. Airy blouses with state­ment sleeves and smart dresses are wise in­vest­ments. Fluted and trum­pet-sleeved blouses or crisp shirts are huge for spring with frayed jeans and loafers. Into sum­mer, off-the-shoul­der dresses, ruf­fled skirts and bar­dot-style tops are clever in­jec­tions. Coats, bags, shoes or ac­ces­sories can be worked into any look, just choose the right colour. Blush pink, navy and red are warm and work beau­ti­fully with khaki, char­coal or dark grey.

Re­mem­ber ging­ham sig­ni­fies whole­some­ness. It con­jures images of sea­side hol­i­days, bistro table­cloths and school uni­forms. It’s per­fect for stay-at-home, cake-mak­ing vibes or equally per­fect for the play­ground. But worn right, it can be pushed into a so­phis­ti­cated realm too. Jazz­ier, grown-up variations play on 1950s tra­di­tions, such as the cinched waist and long hem­lines. Don’t be afraid to con­trast em­broi­deries or em­bel­lish­ment over a ging­ham dress. Cos­tume jew­ellery works bet­ter than clas­sic sil­ver or gold. Those re­luc­tant to get their legs out just yet, tuck a tai­lored ging­ham blouse into a pen­cil skirt or wide leg trouser but stick to dark blue, crisp pro­por­tions. Lighter reds and pinks chan­nel a girly youth­ful­ness that won’t work for hazy danc­ing-filled evenings.

Fluted and trum­pet-sleeved blouses or shirts are huge for spring

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