As the spring collections debuted all around the world last September, a sense of excitement grew around the sexy gingham pieces that popped up in one collection after another. Each piece resulted in a thrilling “there it is a again!” moment.

At Altuzarra (above, left), the look was sexy; at Bottega Venetta (above, center left) it was innocent; at Diane von Furstenberg (above, center right) the ensemble was playful and flirty; and at Michael Kors (above, right) it was all-American down-to-earth glam. Even though the print has a traditionally girlish roots and a youthful edge, the season’s offerings showed how the gridlike pattern is completely appropriate for grown-ups.

What helped to make the trend feel more sophisticated were the ladylike silhouettes, like tailored blouses and blazers, dresses with hourglass shapes, and pencil skirts with up-to-there slits. And the prints—which can have sweet, picnic-y vibes—felt updated due to refreshing color combos like nude and white, though there was room for the classic blue-and-black and black-and-white combinations.

To work the trend in your wardrobe, try it in small doses—head-to-toe gingham can be tricky and overwhelming. For finishing touches, accent the print with neutral tones and structured accessories.

PHOTOS: Get the Look: Gingham