Monday, July 1, 2013

The Ugly Truth Behind Gingham: A Picnic In My Pants

Does anyone else get creeped out by gingham? It seems to have a permanence in the realm of fabric that will forever recollect thoughts of a certain facet of Americana vintage. The same way patchwork recollects American prairie life, or blue and white stripes, that lovely sailing/Kennedy/holiday in the Hamptons/nautical vintage vibe.

But gingham is different than those other well-known patterns. It conjures up a A 1950's American splendor flavor, to be more specific. Gingham is known for picnicking. Picnicking!

I will never forget the scene in Madmen where the Drapers, on a happy little road trip, stop to have a picnic in a meadow! Don (an alcoholic who is having extra marital affairs) looks at Betty (who will later in the episode vomit in her own lap) lovingly while their children Sally (who will soon be forced to visit with a child psychologist) and Bobby (there's not much goin' on with Bobby) play. After lunch they hop back in their brand new Cadillac and go on their merry way...leaving all their garbage to blow in the wind.  Ya know, a regular 1950's picturesque picnic!!! 

So that is what's creepy about gingham. A fabric used for picnicking, which is an act that represents sheer relaxation and happiness, becoming popularized in the height of a time where people were desperate to hide any sort of disfunction of ugliness. 

My life's a picnic....I SWEAR!

Now, thanks to the Oscar de la Renta 2013 resort collection, gingham is back and people are paying a pretty penny to participate in the happy little trend! Trendiness is not, however, why I purchased these shorts. I bought them for 2 reasons.

First, They are totally 90's GAP, a line of clothes which carry their own sort of nostalgic Bush era, 90's prep creepiness (in a good way) vibe. And secondly, so I could say, "there's a picnic in my pants, and you're invited."

What patterns do you love and why? Is it purely aesthetic, or do you get into the symbolism of it all?

Bed Stu Boots · Urban Decay Lip Stain · Kule Button Front Tops
Shorts: Thrifted GAP
Boots: Vintage, Dolly Python
Silk Shirt: Thrifted
Necklace: Stolen (woops) from my mom
 Hat: Thrifted


  1. I'm obsessed with this outfit. Those shorts are amazing. Gingham all the way

  2. Great look


  3. yes, very 90's indeed... Love it..

  4. Beautiful vintage outfit ;) Amazing!

    I am following you beautiful blog and hope you follow back

  5. gingham actually creeps me out too, mainly cos it reminds me of tablecloths...
    i'm a fan of houndstooth. :)

  6. Ugh. I excitedly scrolled down to see where your shirt was from because I feel like that's the shirt I think I'm buying but it never ends up being slouchy enough or long enough.


    You know I admire your thrifting skills but I'm a little sad I can't run out and get the same thing. Heh.

    1. Jenn! I'm sorry, lady! I just tried to double check the tag to tell you the brand at least, but it's been cut out...bummer!
      I tried to search for a wide cut top to put in the widget, but the white one pictured is the best I could do!

  7. I actually love the picnic pattern :D I have a pink dress, that literally looks like a picnic cloth, haven't decide how to style it yet :D
    Adore your looky, the boots make my day ^_^

  8. I think here Gingham is just associated with BB, not much creepiness, well not until she went nutso. Love the second shot, well really love them all, nailed again!

  9. I don't like so much for me this pattern, but the result is great!

    - Laura

  10. i'm a huge fan of gingham and the kitschier the better. true story, i used to have the sickest gingham shorts from gap kids in the 90s. they were literally picnic shorts, red and white gingham with pictures of food and ants all over them. they were amazing, what i wouldn't give to have them now and be all suck it de la renta! love this outfit on you, especially how you went with the flowy top. i'm always a sucker for black and white with a bit of a red lip pop.


  11. Purely aesthetic for me! I love stripes but polka dots and florals are more out of my comfort zone.

  12. I don't know what I love more; your writing (so witty!) or your pictures (so pretty!)

  13. hahah LOVE the reason why you bought these- "there's a picnic in my pants". and i like how they're creepy but in a positive way. and i totally LOLed at imagining Betty barf in her own lap. Ohhh the Drapers.

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  14. When I read the title, the whole 'picnic in my pants' I thought you were referring to a secret stash of candies hidden away in an oversized pocket compartment! Now that you've mentioned it yes gingham is very much associated with picnics. It's probably the only 'thing' you'll find this print on other than in fashion seasons in which it never hangs around for long enough. Pretty much all the picnic baskets and amenities like napkins and paper plates are adorned in it. I also don't watch Mad Men (don't judge) but couldn't help but shake my head at the picnic thing. I believe that's a pretty typical thing they would have done back in the 50's, picnics in random open fields and leaving your rubbish for Mother Nature to attend to.


  15. LOVE the shorts and that hat. These photos look like they're straight out of a magazine!

  16. Lol, I read picnic in your pants and my mind automatically rendered thoughts of the inappropriate kind :) But as I scrolled through your pictures, I thought, her shorts kind of look like a picnic table, until I read your post! I think geometric prints appeal to me the most, something about them is very artistic and screams high fashion.

    BTW, I love your ensemble. It's perfect for the July 4th weekend :)


  17. i LOVE this shirt! how is it so crisp yet so relaxed? it's like a super flowy... box, and boxes don't typically flow. as for gingham, i adore it and own a ton of it in red and white. i have a big thing for most any piece of clothing that gives off an apple pie, freshly cut grass smell, running through the sprinklers type vibe. i don't own any black and white gingham, but looking at you in these shorts i really like it. reminds me of vintage kitchen tiles : )))

  18. Ah, I totally remember the Mad Men episode you're talking about! I've actually loved gingham since I was very young... to me it represents a certain girlishness and carefree attitude, a bit like polkadots! This summer I bought a set of high waisted gingham shorts and matching crop top from Asos that I just love!

    Xo, Hannah

  19. God. You styled this perfectly. And spot-on Mad Men episode review aside, I'm really digging this print.

    Very "on-trend", but as usual, you manage to wear it in a totally original and not obnoxiously bloggy way. The hate and the boots at this perfect combo of southern relaxation and motorcycle badassness, and the fully untucked shirt is like "I don't give a fuck", which, so cool.

    Can you PUHLEASE do a blog post on how you pinpoint the perfect lighting situations for your photos? It's my biggest struggle, but you always nail it. Need some tips asap.



Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to spill your guts! However, please keep those guts nice and constructive.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...