Now that summer appears to have arrived and socially-distanced picnics and BBQs are back on the social calendar, let’s talk about summer dressing and Broderie Anglaise in particular.
French for “English embroidery’, Broderie Anglaise describes cut-out and embroidered patterns arranged in floral or geometric patterns, forming a pretty, lace effect on cotton and linen fabrics.
Although the technique originated in Eastern Europe, it became highly fashionable in Victorian England – hence the name. Traditionally seen only on white cotton in the 19th century, today the colour range has extended from chic black and navy to pastel hues and bold brights.
Have you noticed there’s a lot of it around right now? There’s good reason – it perfectly compliments the romantic and bohemian statement silhouettes that have taken the fashion circles by recent storm. Prairie style dresses, frills and ruffles, along with puff and balloon sleeves look even more romantic and charming in Broderie anglaise.
Despite its French name, Broderie Anglaise is as quintessentially English as fish & chips on the beach, Pimms, deck chairs and ice-cream cones! Even the Duchess of Cambridge recently appeared on a Zoom call wearing a Broderie blouse. It also works really well in the English summer. The slightly heavier and often layered cotton fabric is just cool enough for our climate and yet doesn’t feel out of place on grey days either!
I think traditional white Broderie works particularly well with denim; whether jeans or cut-offs. Add tan accessories for a fresh, chic look to take you from the farmers market and back to your garden for an al fresco lunch.
A simple, stylish shift Broderie dress and flat slides are perfect for wandering and window shopping on overcast days. I always like to add a pop of colour to a monochrome outfit!
A bardot style Broderie dress is ideal for tanning those shoulders at a picnic or on a walk along the Promenade.
If you need to pop into the office or meet a colleague or client for a socially-distanced catch up, then a Broderie shift dress will look smart and elegant, whilst still keeping you cool.
Finally, I couldn’t complete this edit without including this stunning green Broderie dress (currently on sale!) It may look like a smart, occasion dress (and let’s facing such ‘occasions’ are not on our horizon right now…) but I think by playing with colour and adding some zingy, fun accessories you can dress it down and make it more ‘daytime’.
The dress I’m wearing in the main pic and above is from JD Williams (only a few sizes still in stock) but I have included several red Broderie Anglaise dresses in the shopping edit below:
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and maybe taken away a few ideas for Summer dressing – please do let me know your thoughts! As always, I love to hear from you…
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