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Mary Katrantzou’s eclectic gingham dress explores the potential of this perennially-favourite pattern.

The spring-y sibling to plaid’s fall-weather appeal, gingham has an unfortunately saccharine reputation – harkening back to baby-doll dresses at lakeside family reunions – that makes most adults steer clear of it. Fortunately, this season, some brands decided to help gingham grow up, taking out the sweetness and injecting some serious style. London-based designer Mary Katrantzou featured colour-clashing ginghams at her spring/summer 2018 show; one dress had a drawstring waist, lending a cool athleisure feeling.

If sporty is your vibe as well, look to Guess’s slip-on sneakers to kick your wardrobe up a notch. The monochromatic scheme means they’ll go with everything (for maximum showing off, wear with cropped denim or a midi skirt), and the fray detailing is a modern twist that’s a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.

For its latest celebrity collaboration, Gap worked with actor Sarah Jessica Parker to craft a range of breezy summer pieces inspired by her childhood. The line’s poplin shirtdress features a contrasting check and ruching along the front, meaning it has more in common with the chic looks she wore on Sex and the City than her formative fare.

Story continues below advertisement

Equally swish, H&M’s drawstring-sleeve blouse is contemporary but classic thanks to its toned-down gingham done in white, grey and black. Pair this top with a black pencil skirt for the office and denim for weekend drinks on a patio. Gingham does go best with the great outdoors.

Lyocell-blend blouse, $39.99 at H&M (hm.com).

Gap and Sarah Jessica Parker shirtdress, $94.95 at Gap (gapcanada.com).

Guess Martin sneakers, $89 at Hudson’s Bay (thebay.com).

Have a style query that needs solving? Send your questions to oparker@globeandmail.com.

Visit tgam.ca/newsletters to sign up for the Globe Style e-newsletter, your weekly digital guide to the players and trends influencing fashion, design and entertaining, plus shopping tips and inspiration for living well. And follow Globe Style on Instagram @globestyle.

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