Reader Question:

Hi ANMJ!

First off, I have to tell you that if it wasn't for you, I'm not sure I would have left the house after baby #2. It wasn't so much the baby weight as it was the overall body changes and new shape. Plus it's so hard to feel sexy after giving birth! Empowered and in love, yes. But sexy? Not until I found your blog. I would read you hourly if you chose to post that often. And my husband has been loving my style lately–major plus!

My dilemma now is that I randomly bought this shirt from j. crew and now that I'm home, I can't for the life of me figure out what I was thinking!

Screen Shot 2012-09-18 at 4.24.25 PM

Is there any way to wear this without looking like a prudish Daisy Duke??? You are tops when it comes to wearable, stylish mom clothes and I'm hopeful you can help. Thank you so much–for everything!

With love and gratitude,
Stephanie

 

Answer:

Stephanie – Thanks so much for your kind words!  And I'm loving your purchase.  Gingham shirts are a pretty safe bet.  They'll add a pop of color and pattern to just about any outfit.  The trick (for me, at least) is to prevent a preppy-overload, and, for you, to keep the look far, far away from those crazy Duke brothers.   Gotcha.  Here's what I found:

 

1.  Make it Fancy

Add a few baubles, really just pile 'em on for an eclectic-princess look.  I especially love the chunky gold chains and ankle booties Style Pantry is rocking, below.

Baublegingham
(image credits, clockwise top left: Style Pantry, Sterling Style, Lilly's Style)

 

2. Go Boho

I love how unexpected gingham looks with a pair of faded flares.  Headscarf and/or fab hair doesn't hurt either. 

Bohogingham
(image credits: Style Pantry, Cupcakes and Cashmere)

Man, Style Pantry is killing it.  

 

3. Toughen it Up

Because gingham is so…cheery?…it's a perfect foil for something tough.  A moto jacket (or boots), a bit of leather, military detail – all will look spot-on with gingham.

Toughenupgingham
(image credits: Kelly Framel by Citizen Couture, To Brighten My Day)

 

4. Skirt It

Gingham shirts are an awesome workwear staple when paired with a tailored pencil skirt…or date-night fabulous with something short and twirly.

Skirtit

(image credits: Nom Nom Bling Bling, Image from an old Nordstroms catalog)

 

5. Just a Peek, Please

If you are nervous, just let a little bit of gingham peek out.  Pairing it with stripes is a total stroke of genius, and Bee's sequins & denim?  Yeah – she's in a class all her own.  

Peekgingham
(image credits: Bows and Sequins, Atlantic-Pacific)

And since we haven't been called "shopping enablers" for nothing…here's a shopping list based on our inspiration:

Gingham Shirt Styling

 

 

Buffalo hooded jacket
lordandtaylor.com

 

Printed skirt
macys.com

 

 

River Island skater skirt
$24 - riverisland.com

 

Wooden heels
amrag.com

 

 

Wet seal
wetseal.com

 

 

 

Hope this helps, Stephanie!!  And readers – I know a ton of you have some gingham shirts…how do you wear them?  What's your go-to gingham shirt look?

xo,

S

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Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and shorts known as denim-underwear, always.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Yay! Thanks for this; I have the same shirt in orange. I’ve been wearing it as you indicated as a work staple, and also with some contrasting bright cropped pants for fun.

  2. “eclectic-princess”. I love it.
    I don’t own a gingham shirt though. (I did do a “find my personal cool” exercise on pinterest and polyvore. If it is possible, I think my style is something like cozy-handsinmypockets-wawrmcolors-princess style).
    So to style my gingham, which I don’t have, I would wear it untucked, layer an orange or red, floral, short sleeved t-shirt over the top (let the gingham collar peek out peter pan style, right?), throw on some jeans ( either skinny with super chunky knit knee high socks and some tall boots, or boy-friend with the cuffs rolled up, brightly colored socks, and converse sneakers). And I would have to have pockets to put all my kids’ treasures in. 😉
    Yep. I’m the take-it-easy princess. LOL

  3. THANK YOU!!! You are my personal fairy style godmother! I LOVE the necklaces over the gingham–I never would have thought to add jewelry but it’s perfect. Plus I’m going to order those skirts and the jacket for sure. Those looks are fabulous.. You are truly gifted when it comes to style–thank you for letting us all benefit. 🙂

  4. Excellent! I had a gingham shirt I was about to consign because I couldn’t fit it into my wardrobe. (the one in the Nordstrom catalog photo, actually). Now I think I will keep it around.

  5. Question: I’m 5.1, and, after 3 kids, my behind and hips are a bit bigger. After seeing Shana sporting her skinnys numerous times i often felt I’d love to get one myself. How can someone with a bigger bottom look nice in skinnys? oh and my legs are on the thin side, which I think compounds the problem. Thanks!
    P.S.: Love the blog!

  6. @Ashley – WOW. I LOVE what you did here. Awesome that I can literally see your whole thought process. I’d love to feature your styleboards here. If you are interested, shoot me an email: aintnomomjeans@gmail.com
    @Annika – There have been so many Goodwill donations that I later regretted…sigh. 🙂
    @Carolina – I do think that just about everyone can do skinnies. I’d actually try a denim legging – something with lots of stretch. I like Levi’s (and their new Curve ID is supposed to mold to your curves). You can offset hips with tall boots…or, since you are only 5’1…a mid-shaft boot.

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