If you've been toying with the idea of investing in some gingham to actually wear instead of lining your picnic basket with or laying it over your kitchen table, then consider a cute off-the-shoulder top such as this. Black and white seersucker gingham, light weight, hangs perfectly and has all the bells and whistles... literally! Bell sleeves, bow ties and whistle worthy off-the-shoulder. Whoot whoo! This top is from H&M and available in some stores but is sold out on-line. If you're signed up to receive the Above and Beblonde Newsletter, just enter your e.mail in the side bar and I'll let you know as soon as it's restocked.
My favorite look is the black and white theme with a pop of color to add interest. Here I paired it with white frayed hem jeans, black heels to amp up the style and in this case pink accessories - clutch and earrings. I almost always carry a large light weight scarf with me during the Arizona summer because the buildings seem to over compensate for the extreme heat outside by ramping up the AC!
It's actually designed rather well, the bust darts give the boxy shape some feminine silhouette, and with the split side seams, you can easily play with the front half tuck.
I would not advise waiting until you have it on to tie up the bows unless you have a personal dresser handy that can assist you! It's very frustrating doing this yourself. Once you have them just as you want them my suggestion is you put a little stitch through the bow and through the sleeve to keep it in place.
I'm all about being able to wear something multiple ways. Never satisfied with buying something that only makes one outfit, I have a burning desire the minute I get home with something new to ransack my closet and pair the new piece with as many different looks as possible. This blouse is definitely topping the bill with versatility.
My next look is an effortless weekend style that could take you from a barbecue party to a miniature railroad ride around the park.
Paired with the distressed denim cut offs, a large black tote and studded block heel sandals, this outfit is super laid back and comfortable.
I had to show you these earrings. I've had them for almost thirty years so I guess that makes them vintage! They used to be clip-on but squeezed my ear lobes so tight I could only wear them for a very short time. I took them to my local jeweler and had them converted to pierced earrings. I don't know if tassels were ever in fashion back then (I just loved the drama of these) but I sure am glad I kept them this long, because here we are in the year of the tassel!
Looks like we're going to get the miniature train ride all by ourselves, it's hot out here!
Now for some more pink. These hot pink crop tapered leg pants are also from H&M a couple of seasons ago. I decided to leave the blouse hanging loose for this look, the half tuck seems more appropriate for jeans than pants. The pink clutch with it's snazzy design color matches perfectly with the pants which was a bonus.
Here's a close up of my Kendra Scott earrings, which are also a perfect color match with all the other pinks.
This is the same look as before but I had some errands to run, so I changed up the clutch for the large tote and put on some more comfortable shoes.
Washing this top is also a cinch. I washed it on a delicate warm wash and then popped it in the dryer for a short while on a very low heat. I took it out before it was totally bone dry, hung it up right away and it looks like new, doesn't even need to be ironed.
With how versatile this top is I'm sure you can easily make several looks from your existing closet. At $29.99 my three outfits above work out to only $10 a look, that's what I call a bargain! I've linked some other favorite gingham tops I found here. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter, so I can let you know when H&M have re-stocked this exact same top.
Have a wonderful week lovelies!
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50