Checkerboard: From Trendy to Cheugy

Bye-Bye Checkerboard The Trend That's Hitting Rock Bottom!

Checkerboard is going out of style.

checkerboard A person wears checkerboard Vans at New York Fashion Week on February 12, 2022. (Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

If checkerboard is your go-to print, brace yourself – it’s about to get cringey! Just like the fleeting popularity of cow print in 2019 and 2021, and the downfall of chevron, checkerboard is heading towards overdone territory, according to fashion enthusiasts and experts.

But fear not! Just as one trend fades away, another emerges in the limelight. So let’s dive into the captivating world of patterns and prints, where fashion meets humor and eccentricity.

The Ever-Evolving Checkerboard Trend

Retail buyer, Summer Landon, predicts that checkerboard is a “generational trend.” While it has been around for ages, it has experienced multiple ups and downs over the past century. From ancient Egypt to Roman and Victorian homes, checkerboard floors have left their mark. In the ’60s, icons like Twiggy, Sonny, and Cher rocked checkerboard dresses and suits, while the ’80s saw checkered Vans sneakers take the world by storm.

Not only is checkerboard versatile, but it also holds various symbolic associations, from car-racing flags to chessboards. It’s this delightful and energizing nature that makes checkerboard a popular choice for fashion and interior design.

sonny and cher Sonny and Cher in Frankfurt, Germany, on September 1, 1966. (Bettmann/Getty Images)

The Endless Charm of Checkerboard

One of the appealing aspects of checkerboard is its customization potential. With a simple color tweak or a little alteration in shape, the pattern can be uniquely yours. It exudes playfulness and energy, making it a wholesome addition to any space. No wonder people are drawn to its timeless allure.

While checkerboard never truly disappeared, its popularity skyrocketed once again recently. With shows like “The Queen’s Gambit” making chess trendy, people embraced the print in all its black-and-white glory. Celebrities like Zendaya and Kendall Jenner flaunted checkered fashion, and checkered home decor flooded stores in 2021.

zendaya Zendaya attends a “Dune” event in London, England, on October 17, 2021. (Tim P. Whitby/Stringer/Getty Images)

The Checkerboard Craze Continues in 2023

Checkerboard is still dominating the fashion landscape, with retailers like Urban Outfitters, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Anthropologie fully embracing the trend in their collections. At the Versace spring/summer 2024 show, Claudia Schiffer strutted down the runway in a stunning green-and-gray checkered dress. The print adorned tank tops, purses, and jackets, signaling that checkerboard is here to stay for a while.

claudia schiffer Claudia Schiffer walks the Versace runway and Anne Hathaway attends the Albie Awards. (Victor Virgile/Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Celebrities have also jumped on the checkerboard bandwagon. Anne Hathaway and Sarah Hyland proudly showcased their checkered ensembles at various events.

Everyday fashion lovers, like Jenna Barclay, join the checkerboard craze and can’t get enough of this fashionable pattern. Even though Jenna has been a longtime fan of checkered Vans, she finds it intriguing how younger generations associate checkerboard with the ’90s and Y2K aesthetic. Memories of graphic-print carpets in arcades and movie theaters seem to fuel their enthusiasm.

sarah hyland Sarah Hyland wears a checkerboard dress in April 2023. (Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

When the Magic Fades

Just like any trend, a fashion print has its zenith and eventual downfall. In the case of checkerboard, the imminent decline has begun. Influencer Jenna Barclay, for instance, has bid farewell to checkered decor, unable to bear seeing another checkerboard rug.

As retail buyer Summer Landon aptly puts it, trends can become too big, leading to a sense of fatigue and repetitiveness. Our desire for novelty pushes trends into the realm of cringiness. So, farewell, beloved checkerboard – you’re spiraling down the “cheugy” path, joining the likes of chevron.

checkerboard kitchen A kitchen with checkerboard floors from a 1966 advertisement for a boiler manufacturer. (Paul Walters Worldwide Photography Ltd./Heritage Images/Getty Images)

What’s Next? Gingham or Stripes?

As the checkerboard era fades away, it’s time to speculate about the next trendy print. Summer Landon envisions gingham taking the spotlight. With the rise of the quiet-luxury trend, exemplified by style star Sophia Richie, gingham’s timeless and subtle charm seems poised to snatch the crown from checkerboard.

On the other hand, Jenna Barclay believes stripes will reign supreme. Stripes have suddenly emerged as the print du jour, constantly cycling between being classic and trendy.

In the never-ending cycle of fashion trends, one can only guess what captivating pattern will capture our hearts next. Until then, let’s bid adieu to checkerboard with a twinkle in our eyes, ready for the next whirlwind of fashion frenzy.

So, dear fashion enthusiasts, are you ready to bid farewell to checkerboard and embrace the whimsical allure of gingham or the stylish charm of stripes? Let your imagination roam, and your wardrobe flourish with the next iconic print of the fashion world!