Tuesday, 5th Mar 2013
A 60 Second Guide To: Gingham
The 60s kids kept it slim and tailored. The skins slipped theirs on under braces and wore it buttoned up. Marilyn Monroe famously tied hers at the waist. A recent rockabilly revival has seen it peeking beneath heavy leathers. An absolute classic, the gingham check shirt has been a mainstay of the youth wardrobe for decades; its enduring appeal recognised by each generation.
Women's Classic Gingham Shirt - click here to view
With a history as chequered as the pattern itself, gingham's exact origins are unknown. Countries worldwide, each with their own gingham 'customs' lay claim to founding the fabric. The African Masaï tribe have used the pattern for thousands of years and it even features in the national costume. In Indonesia the pattern takes on a spiritual meaning; the contrasting colours represent the battle between good and evil. In India it is referred to as Gamucha and is simply a towel used to dry the body.
The word itself, thought to derive from the Malaysian word genggang meaning ‘striped’, first appeared in the English language in the early 17th Century. The brightly coloured fabric was imported to Britain under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I, who notoriously created strong trade links with the Far East during this period. However the fabric's popularity truly flourished during the 18th Century when mills around the Manchester area began producing the brightly coloured check from imported dyes and cotton.
Men's Authentic Gingham Shirts - click here to view
It was during the mid 20th Century that the gingham shirt truly came to the fore with the cult of the teenager - tribes emerged each with a unifying sense of style. Some were influenced by Hollywood, some took sartorial tips from the early Nashville musicians, others looked to the Italians and French. Each tribe found a way to wear the gingham shirt and in turn passed it down through the generations. The classic check shirt remains largely unchanged – a button down collar, the locker hoop at the yoke, an open chest pocket.
Shop the Men's Authentic Gingham Shirt
Shop the Women's Authentic Gingham Shirt