Gingham Style…

…and Classic Design.  FABRIC THAT STANDS THE TEST OF TIME:  You can resort to wearing this even if it’s not exactly considered “RESORT” wear.

Kirsten Dunst, Jackie Kennedy & Marc Jacobs shirt on model.
STYLE!  Kirsten Dunst (cute in gingham dress), Jackie Kennedy (this woman made even wearing gingham look chic)  & Marc Jacobs (a sophisticated gingham shirt on model.)  A little bit goes a long way with this fun fabric.


Personally the design reminds me of an old fashioned Italian style picnic.  But that is why I love my gingham lined wicker picnic basket & pieces of gingham paper lined small wicker trays for storing cheese in the fridge.   In summer I sometimes wear a head scarf on the beach with denim on one side & you guessed it….gingham on the other, conjuring up images of Annette Funicello in the movie beach blanket bingo. Don’t even remember the movie but I’m sure they had loads of fun shooting it.  Gingham is a timeless piece when it’s not overdone – or It can be too cutesy.

my picnic basket needs to be filled
my picnic basket requires nice weather
Sean Connery as James Bond
Sean Connery wears a manly Gingham shirt as James Bond – nothing cutesy about him.

FYI The word “gingham” is derived from the Malay word “genggang” meaning striped. Gingham fabric first started off as a stripe pattern when it was first imported to Europe in the 17th century, but crazy folks making fabrics in Manchester England experimented with check versions.  Over time the word gingham evolved to be mostly associated with the check pattern.


In the 50s, women wore gingham dresses, but men rarely wore gingham shirts.  We know this from watching a few episodes of Mad Men.

In 1963, James Bond (Sean Connery) sported a large blue and white gingham check shirt with his swimsuit in From Russia with Love.  Casual stuff.

At some stage (guessing it was in the 70s) someone designed a tablecloth with this pattern and became very successful.  Since then gingham has been cursed with the name “table cloth pattern”.gingham3 - images for italian style

In the 80s and 90s, bankers never took gingham seriously. Neither Patrick Bateman nor Gordon Gekko would even consider wearing it to work.

Even Nike has a cool gingham print
Even Nike has a cool Gingham style print

At some stage, perhaps due to marketing of Ralph Lauren, gingham dress shirts went mainstream.  Natty British socialites wore them to rugby matches.  Suburban WASPS embraced gingham as the perfect shirt to wear under their blue blazer with their white pants when they went to the country club.  Glenn Beck wore them on TV.  Frat boys wore them to class.  Now wearing a shirt or dress can be fashionable when kept simple.

Fun Fact: DorothyDorothy wore a blue gingham dress in the Wizard of Oz   One of my all time favorite movies.

Research taken from “The Proper Cloth.”



INtrigue INsider: Henley by Garbe

What is a Henley?

My very first Henley was a waffle cotton knit bodysuit in dove grey ordered from the Victoria’s Secret Catalogue.  That started my love for this type of casual shirt.

I find this one from Garbe an impeccably constructed shirt in one of the most luxurious mercerized cottons.  It’s a take on the classic henley but with a bit of an edge with details like italian buttons and raw seams.  Comfy yet sophisticated.  Note: It is NOT a bodysuit.


grey henley
I wear these 3 more than I’d like to admit.
Monique in her Garbe

Trivia: They were so named because this particular style of shirt was the traditional uniform of rowers in the English town of Henley-on-Thames.

Originally quite popular in the early 1970s, Henley shirts have recently made a fashion comeback.

In his biography of Ralph Lauren, the journalist Michael Gross quotes a New York merchant who recalled showing a vintage shirt to a Ralph Lauren buyer: “I showed this fellow underwear—a three-button long-sleeve shirt by Johnstown Knitting Mills. He said, ‘This is a new shirt.’ That’s where he got the idea for the Henley shirt.”

INtrigue INsider – IN jesus fernandez

Let’s revisit the artful jesus (pronounced he-zeus) fernandez lingerie collection from Buenos Aires. Incorporating the fine art of corsetry, every piece is hand made by a dedicated team that put passion into every single stitch.

Shown here are some limited editions which are available while quantities last at


You can take an additional 20% off purchase with mention of this blog for the whole month of November.  Please note: whatever you see on website is what is available – no more of these limited editions or one-of-a-kind will be produced.  French Sizes as marked – please check sizing sheet to find your equivalent size.

Le babydoll – in Italian satin – all different designs
“Le Bodie” Couture Collection

from Kabarett Berlin
Couture Collection

Tokyo collection

One thing to another – transform this!

Winnie the Pooh likes Cashmere
Angels look after gloves and a wool purse
Storing winter hats

I love Hat Boxes if only for the reason that you can never seem to find one when you want one.  So when you DO find one make good use out of it.

These hat boxes are pretty and useful for storing cashmere sweaters, winter scarves and gloves.  Some even contain hats.

You should store your good sweaters in summer months with lavender sachets or cedar blocks to keep moths from making holes – trust me on this!

They also smell much nicer than moth balls which my grandmother used to use.

more scarves

Personal Post – something I can never resist!

It’s called footcandy.that IS the name of the store in St. Helena (Napa) California.  What I realized is that a good MANolo is never hard to find in this town.

I’m imagining Lady Gaga

INtrigue INsider – IN Garbe

Not only is the “Biko” (bamboo fleece sweatshirt) by Garbe my most comfortable and cozy new staple but it’s also super stylish as well with the

raglan sleeves,

deep side pockets

and french back seam

My only worry is that I’ll be wearing it way too much but at least it’s flattering worn with a multitude of bottoms.

Shown with the Hayden Pant in wool jersey with big side pockets.