JO ELVIN explains how to be tres chic in broderie brights

Blame it on the heat — the famous fabric with holes is everywhere: JO ELVIN explains how to be tres chic in broderie brights

  • Jo Elvin says that broderie anglaise are crisp and sturdy 
  • She added that they hold their shape and have breezy holes for easy wear
  • Adds that her looks will work for autumn with a cardigan, boots and a belt 

The past few days have had me searching for fashion’s equivalent of the unicorn. That is, clothes smart enough to wear to the office that are also melt-proof.

And I think I’ve cracked it by revisiting the delights of broderie anglaise. Crisp, sturdy cottons that hold their shape, complete with delightful and breezy holes? Sold to the sweaty lady battling another unventilated bus ride, thank you very much.

It’s not fashion news that delicate embroidery work on dresses is popular. Broderie anglaise (even with my scant grasp of French I can tell you it translates as ‘English embroidery’) has been a staple in British wardrobes since the 1840s. We can thank a combination of ‘the Bridgerton effect’ and an insanely hot summer for making the look more popular than ever in 2022. 

Given broderie anglaise had a huge showing on the runways thanks to Dolce & Gabbana, Erdem, Valentino and Chloe, it’s inevitably running rife on the High Street, too.

There’s a bold new rainbow of broderie out there, as evidenced here. For a start, I need that orange Jigsaw number in my life. Everything about it — the neckline, the flute sleeves, the sexy panel of embroidery in the skirt — is flattering and timeless, and perfect for office and weddings.

The La Redoute strappy dress is a powerful argument for the charms of summer black. If you want to tap into the style’s traditionally demure vibes, choose the gorgeously modest pale pink look from L.K. Bennett. Feeling sexy? Flash those shoulders in M&S’s vibrant pink frock.

Any of these looks will move seamlessly with you into autumn: just add a cardi, a belt and a pair of ankle boots and you’ll be ready for cooler temperatures.

First photo: Dress, £46.80, laredoute. co.uk; sandals, £57.85, warehouse fashion.com.    Second: Dress, £230,  fenwick. co.uk; sandals, £38.35, warehouse fashion.com.                          Third: Dress, £175, and sandals, £110, jigsaw-online. com; bag, £99, lkbennett.com                            Fourth : Dress, £200, aspiga.com; sandals, £24.99, asos.com; hat, £29.99, tkmaxx.com.        Fifth image:  Dress, £59,>> marksand spencer. com; heels, £49.99, zara.com.                                  Sixth picture: Dress, £251, lkbennett. com; sandals, £24.99, asos. com; hat, £14.99, hm.com

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