12 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 2022? 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.

Kate Middleton broderie blouse
The Duchess of Cambridge was first spotted in this broderie anglaise blouse at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2019 and has since worn it again. 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.

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

12 beautiful broderie anglaise buys to shop now

white broderie anglaise dress

Cotton dress, £35.99, Reserved

pink broderie anglaise dress
Nobody’s Child

Serena Mini Dress, £59, Nobody’s Child

white broderie anglaise top

Crop top with cutwork embroidery, £29.99, ZARA

blue stripe broderie anglaise shirt
& Other Stories

Embroidered Sleeve Blouse, £65, & Other Stories

white broderie anglaise blouse

Embroidered openwork blouse, £29.99, Mango

lilac broderie anglaise dress

ASOS DESIGN Premium plunge broderie tiered midi dress with button neck in lilac, £60, ASOS

yellow broderie anglaise insert jumper
La Redoute

Cotton Mix Sweatshirt with Ruffled High Neck, £55, La Redoute

white broderie anglaise shirt

White Broderie Anglaise Shirt, £18, Tu

green broderie anglaise blouse
Oliver Bonas

Broiderie Frill Green Cotton Short Sleeve Blouse, £28 (was £55), Oliver Bonas

broderie anglaise collar

Broderie anglaise collar, £9.99, H&M

blue broderie anglaise shirt
John Lewis

Phase Eight Amica Broderie Anglaise Blouse, £85, John Lewis

red broderie anglaise top

Pure Cotton Broderie V-Neck T-Shirt, £22.50, M&S