13 of the prettiest broderie anglaise pieces on the high street

Trends may come and go, but broderie anglaise has always been a summer staple. The lightweight fabric and intricate nature of the embroidery has been elevating our beach wardrobes for years, but for 2020? It’s having an all-occasions fashion moment too, and making our line-up of warm weather outfits a whole lot prettier in the process.

What is broderie anglaise?

Broderie anglaise – French for ‘English embroidery’ – is characterised by round or oval patterned cut-outs in a fabric, giving a delicate, lacy effect (although not as delicate as lace itself). The shapes these holes create often takes inspiration from nature, such as flowers and leaves, with open areas of fabric of varying sizes.

broderie anglaise
Fashion icon Twiggy modelling a dress from her own clothing line in the late 1960s. Image: Getty Images

It began to grow in popularity in the 1840s, initially as underclothing, but also had a resurgence in the 1950s and 1960s, thanks to stars such as Brigette Bardot, who had the detail on her wedding dress when she tied the knot with Jacques Charrier in 1959, and Twiggy, pictured above. Traditionally, it was exclusive to white cotton or linen fabric, but now it’s on the rails in a rainbow of colours.

broderie anglaise Pippa Middleton
Pippa Middleton caught on to the trend early when she wore this white broderie anglaise dress by Anna Mason to Wimbledon in 2018. Image: Getty Images

Where can I buy it?

The high street is awash with buys for the season ahead, whether you’re looking for vintage chic, boho vibes or even something a little more formal.

broderie anglaise Stacey Solomon
Stacey Solomon wore a lilac version during an appearance on This Morning. Image: Rex Features

If nothing comes up when you search ‘broderie’, try ‘cutwork embroidery’, which often surfaces similar results. Look out for more unusual hues such as mustard and terracotta, or if you’re feeling brave, perhaps even something a little brighter…

13 beautiful broderie anglaise buys to shop now

Broderie Blouse, £65, & Other Stories

Broderie Shirt Dress, £89, Arket

Broderie Anglaise Blouse, £29.99, H&M

Mid Pink Broderie Ruffle Trim Sleeveless Top, £14.99, New Look

Blouse With Cutwork Embroidery, £25.99, Zara

Ecru Broderie Tiered Dress, £38, Next

Perforated Dress With Embroidery, £59.99, Zara

Broderie Button-Up Blouse, £30, Monki

Navy Broderie Button Top, £22, Next

UO Broderie Babydoll Blouse, £44, Urban Outfitters

Pea Green Broderie Anglaise Dress, £25, TU Clothing

Pale Green Augustina Broderie Top, £109, Whistles

Fana Broderie Top, £80, Anthropologie