Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gingham: The Pattern of Warm Weather

While seersucker and madras get a lot of love when warm weather hits (and for good reason), they are, after all, fabrics and not patterns. When it comes to my favorite warm weather pattern, gingham takes the cake. It already kind of resembles a picnic tablecloth (particularly red gingham), so the associations with warm afternoons in the sun come easy.

Gingham comes in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and in a variety fabrics, though some variation of cotton is most typical. While it is usually worn in more casual settings, and the larger prints usually look best for this context, it can also be dressed up, usually with mini- or micro-checks and in a broadcloth-type of material. The photo below shows my own collection of gingham shirts.
From left to right:
-Brooks Brothers non-iron, navy
-LL Bean non-iron, "Aegean blue"
-Jos A Bank non-iron (now washed enough to no longer be non-iron--awesome), navy
-LL Bean non-iron, orange
-Old Brooks Brothers, dark green
-Brooks Brothers short-sleeve seersucker, navy

The two LL Bean shirts are actually new acquisitions, courtesy of my brother for my birthday. LL Bean has a great selection right now (here and here), with long sleeve shirts for $40. However, I think that I may prefer Lands End's offerings, which are currently on sale for $35 for long-sleeve non-iron shirts. Also, they are offering the shirts in exactly neck/sleeve sizes, which are always preferable to the S/M/L sizing that LL Bean offers. While LL Bean currently offers a pink gingham in their micro-check, I really like the fact that Lands End offers pink gingham in a larger check:
I also like their red version:
Lands End also chalks up another win with the pair of gingham shorts that they're currently offering (only in 9" inseam, but they can easily be hemmed to a decent length). They're also only $35:
While shirts and shorts are great, in my opinion, the king of gingham clothing is the gingham sportcoat. While I would settle for a regular navy gingham sportcoat, this multi-color gingham from Brooks Brothers is also a nice option:
Moral of the story, gingham is a great fabric for the summer. It's versatile, easy to find, and available in a large number of styles. Additionally, darker colors can even be extended into the fall. It's an easy choice for any closet.

14 comments:

heavy tweed jacket said...

Gingham is indeed a great fabric for the warmer months. Nice collection of shirts.

Hilton said...

I'm also fond of gingham as I own at least half a dozen shirts in the pattern. I now have my eye on a PRL in pink. I noticed the absence of a shirt in red. What are your thoughts regarding red gingham shirts working with most men's coloring? Keep up the good work.

Tony (College Trad) said...

^Celeb spotting.

Great writeup Trip! I also love gingham and its the perfect shirt for when the temperatures rise. I myself have a few blues, red, and am in search of a green. May have to pull the trigger on those Lands End shorts too.

Terry said...

How do you like the LL Bean no-iron shirt? I bought one of theirs several years ago. It felt like an old poly/cotton blend, even though it was all-cotton. haven't bought a Bean no-iron since.

John said...

If I didn't already feel like the poster child of your sartorial tutelage, I think its undeniable now. I picked up the Lands End macro-check gingham shirt in blue earlier last month.

Stu Hodgkiss said...

I'm inspired to add more Gingham to my wardrobe...

trip said...

Terry-
They're not too bad. I don't really own many non-iron shirts, so I don't really have a lot to compare it to. It's not as comfortable without an undershirt as an oxford cloth shirt, but it's OK.

Peter said...

Non-iron shirts are the Thom McAns of the shirt world. And potentially dangerous too:

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2886/are-no-iron-shirts-made-by-soaking-them-in-formaldehyde

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/your-money/11wrinkle.html

Death Bredon said...

Anyone have a source for ginghams WITHOUT lined cuffs and collars?

Thanks in anticipation!

Anonymous said...

You're sleeping at the post!

H A R R Y G O A Z said...

MUST haves !!!

Have a super weekend.

Helmstyle said...

gingham fabrics are also cool(doesn't heat up) to wear and now very trendy (preppy style). Loved the jacket...

Annica Benning said...

I love pink gingham, especially paired with white.

http://annicabenning.blogspot.com/

Ellen M. Hill said...

Trip my friend, you have great taste. Love the gingham. Blue & White - always a classic.

eHm