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.
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.
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’, 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