"Florals for spring? Groundbreaking." As the overstated, yet accurate, line from The Devil Wears Prada decrees, taking a sartorial lesson from the hyacinths and peonies that bombard your deli corners is passé. A print that's equally springtime-inspired, yet significantly less cliché, is gingham, which happened to run rampant on the spring runways. Far from Mary-Ann's traditional ensemble, designers' takes on this pattern offered more gravitas (and no coconut cream pie). Always at the fashion vanguard, Joseph Altuzarra showcased a polished alternative to this usually casual motif. The New York designer's collection of ladylike power suits in an array of colors is completely office-friendly. Equally feminine and sophisticated is Oscar de la Renta's heap of statement jackets that debuted at the late designer's farewell show. Paired with a delicate lace top and glamazon earrings, de la Renta's version of this trend exudes a "Lady Who Lunches" attitude. But not every example of gingham this season must adhere to prim and proper standards. Styled with a wide belt and off-the-shoulder sweater, Michael Kors's full skirts are the perfect way to give this feminine print an offbeat twist. And what about Bottega Veneta's peachy shirtdress? With the right accessories, this gingham-clad getup is perfect for almost any occasion. If you haven't gotten over your style rut from this year's harsh winter, remedy your wardrobe with a fetching matching top and shorts a la Diane von Furstenberg's spring show. Rid this ensemble of any Gilligan's Island connotations with a pair of platform sandals.
|Altuzarra Look 3|
|Oscar de la Renta Look 11|
|Michael Kors 48|
|Bottega Veneta Look 34|
|Diane Von Furstenberg Look 27|
Repeat after me: I will not dress like a farmer, I will not dress like a farmer. Though top designers deem the cheery print worthy of our spring wardrobes, gingham tends to veer into barnyard territory. Free yourself from any Old MacDonald connotations by matching this print with modern, or ultra girly, silhouettes. While a checkered cropped shirt or pinafore dress may read campy, Michael Kors's mint halter dress is a forward-thinking replacement. Chloé's ruffled iteration is risky, but will add dimension (and a smile) to your look. Now that selecting au courant checkered pieces is a slice of sartorial cake, how does one style this notoriously finicky print? Play off the pattern's color. A cobalt overcoat will look striking with baby blue and white gingham; however, the look's monochromatism will surprisingly appease the farm girl fad. But if your closet is lacking vibrant statement pieces, opt for crisp white pieces to score an effortlessly chic outfit. Not ready to take the plunge on this trend? Ease into this phenomenon with a sweet gingham bikini.
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All runway photos courtesy of Style.com