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 2019? 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 with broderie anglaise frills 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, broderie anglaise was exclusive to white cotton or linen fabric, but now it’s on the rails in a rainbow of colours.

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

Where can I buy broderie anglaise?

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 ’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…

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

The head of design at ASOS, which has sold more than 90,000 broderie units in the last month alone, recently told GLAMOUR magazine: ‘Originally we loved anything broderie as part of the neutral tones trend in true cotton and milk maid light weight fabrics, but after seeing broderie in neons and fun brights we couldn’t resist adding them into the collection too.’

12 beautiful broderie anglaise buys to shop now

Blouse With Cutwork Embroidery, £29.99, Zara

Hallie Broderie Midi Dress, £130, Boden


Broderie Anglaise Dress, £69.99, Mango

Broderie Jumpsuit, £55, Topshop


Dress In Broderie Anglaise, £69.99, H&M

White Broderie Button Through Top, £26, Dorothy Perkins

Broderie Cover-Up, £48, Next

Black Broderie Button Front Cami, £15.99, New Look

Broderie Bardot Top, £32, Warehouse

Broderie Long Sleeve Top, £32, River Island

Francisca Broderie Cotton Maxi Dress, £140, Monsoon

ASOS DESIGN Premium High Neck Pleated Trapeze Broderie Midi Dress, £60, ASOS