Styling a Bardot-Style Black and White Gingham Dress for Summer

Not Dressed As Lamb | Fit-and-flare black and white gingham dress, Panama hat, pointed flats
Fit-and-flare dresses make me think 1950s. Gingham makes me think summer.

A gingham fit-and-flare dress just makes me think 1950s Brigitte Bardot in the French Riviera. Whilst I may be more Ann-Margret (hair-wise) than Bardot and I’m just here in a little lane in South West England, I think I’d be happy to channel that “south of France 60 years ago” look every summer. This Hobbs dress is definitely the one to do that in.

I wanted to style it differently to how I wore it when I was featured in the Sunday Times Style magazine – it simply needed a Panama hat, flats and a cross-body bag to make it more casual. It’s still incredibly dressed up compared to what most women were wearing at the supermarket that day (yes, I braved popping in dressed like this to pick up a few groceries) but I figure that if I can’t wear summer dresses on an everyday basis, when can I? I somewhat long for the days when this would have been a very casual look… We’re back to the 50s again. Men and women wore hats, women also wore gloves, hair was always pristine. I think that’s a post for another time.

Are you comfortable when out in public if you’re more dressed up than everyone else? Do let me know!

Not Dressed As Lamb | Fit-and-flare black and white gingham dress, Panama hat
Not Dressed As Lamb | Fit-and-flare black and white gingham dress, Panama hat, pointed flats
Not Dressed As Lamb | Fit-and-flare black and white gingham dress, pointed flats
Not Dressed As Lamb | Fit-and-flare black and white gingham dress, cross body bag
Not Dressed As Lamb | Fit-and-flare black and white gingham dress, silver arm candy
Not Dressed As Lamb | Fit-and-flare black and white gingham dress, Panama hat
Not Dressed As Lamb | Fit-and-flare black and white gingham dress, Panama hat
Not Dressed As Lamb | Fit-and-flare black and white gingham dress, Panama hat
Dress: c/o Hobbs | Hat: Tumi at Amazon (similar) | Shoes: Daniel Footwear (I like these) | Bag: Accessorize | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Wayfarers | Watch: Asos | Bracelet: c/o SENCE Copenhagen | Nails: Revlon (similar)



RELATED  Styling My Classic Boho Maxi Dress (Again!) in Cornwall


  1. Liz P.
    6 August 2021 / 4:55 pm

    So surprised this is 6 years ago because it looks like you now in 2021 (clicked the link in today’s post on Panama hats.) This is such an elegant, timeless, classic, dare I say “ladylike” outfit. I have lots of dresses that I wear “everyday” in lieu of jeans and pants but I tend to dress them down with sneakers or flat sandals. Except that once a week I attend mass (church) at a traditional parish in California, (that is overflowing with young people and families dressed up like in the “old days,”) and I wear nice dresses, heels, boleros, jackets, etc. After church I sometimes go in the store dressed up (although, technically, it’s a bit hypocritical for me to go to stores or restaurants on a Sunday because if it’s truly a day of rest then everything should be closed so nobody has to work on a Sunday.) In the old days my family would go out to parks or visit the old California Missions after mass all dressed up. I still do that, and actually, a lot of people seem to be doing again (even if they didn’t go to church.) When museums and “everything” finally reopened in California a couple months ago, I went to the Old Mission in San Juan Capistrano with friends on a Saturday and a couple of us ladies wore nice dresses, and my friend also wore a floppy hat. There were some groups of younger women there taking the tour who were also dressed up, some wearing hats. So, actually, it could become a thing again to wear a nice dress, and hat, out during the day but in connection with attending church or touring an historic site, park, or village where you can walk around for recreation and lunch or coffee. P.S. there was even a teahouse in San San Juan Capistrano that day and dressed up young ladies were having English tea service. So, this idea seems to be coming back!

    Sorry for the long comment, but since you asked… I think it’s great!

    • Catherine
      9 August 2021 / 7:08 pm

      Thanks Liz, I’m completely with you on the “nice dress and a hat” thing – that’s why I think a Panama is so perfect because it truly goes with ANY outfit, is always in style and always looks smart! x

  2. 30 September 2015 / 8:37 pm

    Hello – I have just joined you as a follower. This dress is just the thing I was looking for during the summer but without success, even in Paris. Anyway I have just sent over a mail order to Hobbs, and will be keeping it for next summer and forever, such a classic. Maybe I shall still get a few wearings this autumn before the clocks change.
    I am excited about receiving your next blog post. I haven't blogged for a few months, took a blog break but will be starting up very soon.
    Thank you for the fun read and nice to hear from another woman of a Certain Age.

  3. 14 July 2015 / 12:18 am

    LOVE this dress!!
    Riva xx

  4. 12 July 2015 / 11:24 pm

    You look simply stunning, I loved your photos in Style Magazine, just perfection and I adore a panama hat. Thanks for linking up to #brillianblogposts x

    • 17 July 2015 / 11:38 pm

      Vicki that's so nice of you sweetie, thank you!!

  5. 12 July 2015 / 10:43 pm

    I love the entire outfit but especially those SHOES!
    I love how sometimes a dress can give the persona of someone that wore the same style before you… almost like you're in costume but not?? It's a massive confidence boost for me.
    Gorgeous style xx

    • 17 July 2015 / 11:37 pm

      I know what you mean, Katie… it's a bit like taking on another personality?! Thank you so much xx

  6. 12 July 2015 / 6:34 pm

    Oh …. so beautiful. Love this dress. Well styled too. I love it with heels and I love it with the hat and the flats. Do I mind being overdressed sometimes???? Hahahahaha. Never. I am so used to being overdressed I don't even notice it anymore (neither do my colleagues).

    • 12 July 2015 / 6:35 pm

      By the way… I do envy your razorsharp photos. Kuddos to the man.

    • 17 July 2015 / 11:31 pm

      Good for you with your being dressed up all the time, Greetje! And thank you for the lovely compliments… I'll also pass on your comments to the husband, he'll be pleased :)))

  7. 12 July 2015 / 3:38 pm

    Your dress is just gorgeous, Catherine. And those are some exceptionally cute shoes. And that watch? Well, you know! 🙂 x

    • 17 July 2015 / 11:25 pm

      Hehe you're a sweetheart, thank you Gareth!!

  8. 9 July 2015 / 8:50 pm

    Oh, hey! We are gingham twins today! Your dress is quite dreamy. I agree, the fit-and-flare style is very flattering on you. Congrats on your Times feature!

    – Liz @ Downtown Demure

    • 17 July 2015 / 11:25 pm

      Aww thank you so much, Elizabeth! I'ma sucker for gingham, I have to admit…!

  9. 9 July 2015 / 5:57 pm

    I am so in LOVE with this outfit! I will feature this look of yours on my Friday’s post. I run different themes everyday and that day is called They Got It Right! Thank you very much for sharing and keep in touch!

    Please stop by today for Color and Grace Fashion link up! 🙂

    • 17 July 2015 / 10:58 pm

      Grace wow, I'm so flattered – thank you!! I'll pop over and have a look xx

  10. 8 July 2015 / 10:56 pm

    I love that dress,it hangs beautifully on you #BriliantBlogPosts

  11. 8 July 2015 / 10:54 pm

    Yes to this dress! It's adorable.

    Also, can I say, I really want your hair. It's a gorgeous colour. 🙂

    • 17 July 2015 / 10:45 pm

      Elizabeth thank you so much…! I've actually gone a much brighter red since these pictures were taken!!

  12. Carly Walko
    8 July 2015 / 4:45 pm

    well this look is pretty much PERFECT. love the dress and fit..and with the hat…ADORE.

    • 17 July 2015 / 10:42 pm

      Carly you're a sweetheart, thank you so much…!

  13. 8 July 2015 / 2:47 pm

    This dress is fabulous and perfect for the supermarket and maybe a farmers market. I'm so sick and tired of how people look like slobs now. That it's acceptable to go out and about in nasty gym clothes and tatty t-shirts. Yes, I get it, sometimes you have to run in and out of a place, but I was at a lovely outdoor mall yesterday, no quick in/out stores, but restaurants and boutiques and book stores, and I was dismayed at the number of women who looked just gross. gross, and dirty.ick. sorry, mini-rant. YOU LOOK FABULOUS!

  14. 7 July 2015 / 11:13 pm

    This dress is beautiful on you. Absolutely perfect summer look!

  15. 7 July 2015 / 5:59 pm

    I love the way you say you wanted to add a hat and flats to your magazine image… I thought that too! I would even put on a pair of Superga's or similar to completely 'casualify' it.
    You look beautiful!

    • 9 July 2015 / 11:07 pm

      Good idea, Samantha… duly noted! Thanks my lovely xx

  16. 7 July 2015 / 4:41 pm

    Catherine. First off, I love you in gingham, Second, I need to borrow the dress! haha, the gathering at the waist is so gorgeous! Love the added accessories as well. Have a great day!!

    Thanks for linking up with Turning Heads Tuesday!
    jess xx

    • 9 July 2015 / 11:07 pm

      Jess thank you – I could see you in gingham. Another dress type to add to your fabulous collection, perhaps?!! ;))

  17. 7 July 2015 / 3:20 pm

    Such a beautiful dress ! You look gorgeous 🙂 x

  18. 7 July 2015 / 2:27 pm

    That is a great dress. I love the wrap around piece it reminds me of the walk away dress.

    • 9 July 2015 / 11:05 pm

      Thanks Jess – I love the wrap around part too. It helps when you've had a large meal…!!!

  19. 7 July 2015 / 9:50 am

    I find people who see me on the regular are disappointed when I'm not overdressed! They expect it now. The girl in my usual coffee shop asked where my pretty dress was yesterday when I went in wearing jeans…

    • 9 July 2015 / 11:04 pm

      Aww George that's so sweet, I hope people I know think of me like that?! xx

  20. 7 July 2015 / 6:36 am

    That's such a beautiful dress and it suits you really well especially with the hat. I do wish we could go back to the 50s but the only problem is that there was some discrimination so I'm happy where I am now haha
    Dalal x

    • 9 July 2015 / 11:03 pm

      Thank you, Dalal! I only meant about going back to that time in a sense of bringing the style back… So I should have said bringing the style back, not going back to that time!! I wouldn't actually want to go back to those days for all sorts of reasons, discrimination being one of many. Times are better now (certainly not perfect by a long way) but it's a shame we sacrificed style and having pride in our appearance along the way…!

  21. 7 July 2015 / 5:05 am

    I need this dress in my closet ASAP!!! Oh I wished the shipped to USA, this dress is just stunning and love how you styled it!


    Would love to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

    • 9 July 2015 / 11:00 pm

      Alice my lovely thank you, though I think they've all but sold out now… I don't think Hobbs anticipated just how popular it'd be!! x

  22. 7 July 2015 / 2:37 am

    This dress is adorable and you are absolutely right wearing it whenever you feel like. As my husband always says it's better to be overdressed then undressed. Besides, summer is too short to wait for a proper occasion

    • 9 July 2015 / 10:59 pm

      You're husband's a wise man, Anna!! hehe 😉 Thank you my lovely, you're right about the summer being too short (I guess you're British?!)

  23. 6 July 2015 / 9:04 pm

    Such a lovely, classy look. It never bothers me to be over dressed!

    • 9 July 2015 / 10:58 pm

      That's GOOD to hear, Louise. Yay for us dressed up girls!! Thank you hun x

  24. 6 July 2015 / 8:34 pm

    Prettiest, smartest dress of the week, C! So classic and very you. xox

    • 9 July 2015 / 10:57 pm

      A fabulous compliment, Patti – thank you! x

  25. 6 July 2015 / 7:32 pm

    I love "dressing up" even for the grocery store! It makes me feel good…besides no one else knows where I've just been or am going, right? jodie

    • 9 July 2015 / 10:57 pm

      Hey that's a really good point, Jodie! Like when Carrie (SATC) goes to MacDonald's dressed in Oscar de la Renta or someone ;))

  26. 6 July 2015 / 5:56 pm

    Beautiful, love that dress. It's definitely a classic x

    • 9 July 2015 / 10:56 pm

      I think it is, isn't it sweetie…? Thank you!

    • 9 July 2015 / 10:09 pm

      I have lots more dresses where this one came from, Sacramento – you'll gonna love it!!! I'm planning on wearing them all this summer!

      Thank you sweetie xo

  27. 6 July 2015 / 4:03 pm

    I honestly can't put into words how OBSESSED I am with your outfit. So fab! Have a great week!

    • 9 July 2015 / 10:08 pm

      Aww bless you, Jenny – thank you so much!!!!!! x

  28. 6 July 2015 / 3:16 pm

    Nice to see that fab dress again Catherine, I still have the article from the Sunday Times. It's in a pile of other magazines featuring bloggers I know, gosh bloggers have had a lot of publicity in this last year!

    I think you look fab, not too dressy at all for a trip to the shops. I don't mind being a tad overdressed for the supermarket. I would feel uncomfortable dressed in a sexy way to the supermarket though – I see girls in my local Asda wearing quite revealing outfits, and I would have to cover up with a big coat to go to the supermarket dressed like that. Yet I feel quite comfortable going to the supermarket wearing a 1940's dress. I am not sure what that says about me!! x

    • 9 July 2015 / 10:08 pm

      Yes there has been a lot of bloggers in the press, hasn't there Sarah…? S'all good I think!

      Now that you say that about what girls wear out and about I know exactly what you mean, so maybe being dressed up isn't that different – just I'm somewhat more modestly dressed than them…! I think that 40s and 50s dresses are just about the most perfect thing for the English summer. Cucumber sandwiches and all that 😉

      Thanks my lovely x

  29. Louise Brown
    6 July 2015 / 2:24 pm

    Ohh I’m such a sucker for gingham print, what a lovely dress!

DISCLOSURE: Items marked* are PR products (I never accept anything I wouldn’t choose for myself) and my opinions are 100% honest. I also use affiliate links where I may earn commission if you click through and buy, at no cost to you.