Embroidery with a difference

Embroidery.  To me, this sums up the beginning of the warmer weather, the onset of Spring, the promise of Summer round the corner and all things boho. 

And that's where all the wheels usually start to fall off for me.  I can't do boho.  I have tried, I want to - oh I want to so much as I love it, I really really love it, but it doesn't love me back.  So when I was asked if I would like to collaborate with Debenhams on a series of articles, first off (having had a glimpse of their new Designers at Debenhams ranges), I was over the moon.  Then when they said, the first story was to be embroidery, I'm not going to lie to you -  I did mildly panic.

How to style embroidery when you don't really do boho?  I thought this was going to be a tricky ask.  But, having been to the Spring/Summer Press day and been blown away by the amazing new ranges they had, I was up for the challenge and had a cunning plan.  Oxford Street, personal shopping suite as a dressing room (which is beyond worth doing if you are in need of an outfit and some expert one to one guidance with no pressure to buy - email me for details) and the shop at my disposal (dream time for me), I was off.

There are some absolutely amazing pieces that I would love to wear and have total outfit envy at them not being "me".  

For example - oh hello all things of an utterly divine nature at Studio by Preen.  Knowing that these wouldn't particularly work on me, doesn't stop them me drooling and putting together my "other life" wardrobe (I know I'm not the only person who does that... am I?  Someone back me up please?!).

Ivory Embroidered Blouse by Studio by Preen £55

Or this bardot style one.  

Studio by Preen Blue Striped Embroidered Bardot Top £45

And then I tried it in on and then I loved it.  I think with the flared jeans I have, actually this could easily be more 70s than boho.  I'm going to have to order this.  Size wise - this is a 10.  I would say it's on the generous size.

So that got me thinking - maybe embroidery doesn't have to be all about the boho.  

Two more blouses from Preen which would be perfect for work or for play.  Tucked into high waisted trousers or skirts or wear loose.  Feminine and summery without a hippy hint to them at all.  

Studio by Preen Bright Pink Floral Embroidered Top £49

Or in the red again £49 (definitely more of an orangey red).

As you can see - definitely a tomato orange red with a self coloured embroidery.  I would say it's quite short in the body (despite me being tall, I don't have a particularly long body), which is perfect for over boyfriend jeans - hides a multitude of sins.  On the other hand ideal to tuck into high waisted jeans, trousers or skirts as there isn't a whole bunch up of fabric to deal with (not the technical term).  Size wise - like the other Preen top, I would say true to size/slightly on the large side.  This is the 10.

Then we move on to dresses.  This would be the perfect dress to dress up and down - with sneakers or ankle boots and a little suede biker jacket for the day.  But with heels, this would easily take you out for dinner or even to a wedding or other dressy occasion you may have this season.  The ideal mid length for those of you who don't like the longer maxi midis.  

Nine by Savannah Miller Navy Floral Embroidered Dress £60

And whilst we're here, the dress comes in a top version but only instore. I'm always being asked for out out tops which is something I will be looking at in more detail shortly, but as a sneak peak - this one is a complete winner.  It also gives you an idea of the navy being a true navy.  Size wise - this is a 12.  I would say it comes up on the small side so if between sizes, size up. 

Hopefully gives you an idea of what the dress would look like (couldn't find it in a 12 instore!).

However it didn't take long for me to stumble across something that had my name all over it.  Biker, check, embroidery in red, pink and khaki, check check check.

Star by Julien MacDonald Embroidered Jacket £75

And then, the embroidered pieces that I would happily wear were like buses.  My favourite print is from Nine by Savanna Miller in the amazingly original embroidered crane.  The colours of this are simply perfect for Spring.  

Nine by Savannah Miller Crane Embroidered Tunic Dress £60

Another easy way to do embroidery without going the whole hog, is to let your shoes do the talking.  My staple uniform last Summer is definitely a more pared back look.  So tees, cut off jeans and blazers.  With the obligatory sneakers.  A variation on a theme with these would be an amazing look. 

Nine By Savannah Miller Black Floral Embroidered Shoes £35

But my absolute favourite jumper which I have already worn three times is what they call a sweater.  It's the perfect combo between a sweatshirt and a jumper.  Soft and flowy whilst having that slightly casual edge that a sweatshirt will give.  Not to mention not being remotely scratchy.  Size wise, I sized up to a 12.  

I am over the moon with my two items (and need to order the other blouse) - they definitely scratch the embroidered itch and hopefully I've give you some ideas of how to wear the trend if full on boho isn't something that works for you. 

Finishing quickly with another cheeky purchase from Jasper Conran at Debenhams that I bought emergency stylee on Tuesday.  Needed something to finish my Cheltenham outfit and this did the job perfectly.  Also - eating my words - I did go for the velvet jacket from Zalando in the end.  Was much better with the dress.  

Black and pink dress - Vivienne Westwood at Very Exclusive
Black Carmen velvet boots - Penelope Chilvers
Black velvet riding jacket - Vero Moda from Zalando
Black clutch - Tory Burch

And I even got a mention in The Telegraph Fashion Section.  Although to be fair, despite it being Ladies Day, the amazing outfits were rather slim on the ground, as were the Ladies generally.  I don't think I've ever seen so many men in one place!  We were definitely outnumbered.

So embroidery... are you full on boho or would you rather be more urban (she says like she "actually" knows what that means but it vaguely sounds in the right direction) in your stitching?

Share this:


22 comentarios:

  1. Love the first striped top, the sweatshirt and the embroidered shoes! I don't think any of them qualify as boho! I have dappled a bit in boho but seems to be back with a vengeance this year! As for shopping for my other life, I have occasionally been known to browse net a porter searching for my ideal movie premiere outfit (not really likely to happen given I'm a full time mother with zero creative skills).

    1. Oh my god that's my Friday night sorted. I think that might deserve a blog all of its own!!!

  2. The striped one is lovely on you, hope you got it!

  3. I do love a bit of embroidery, but I'm very particular about color, style etc. So I only have three pieces, weirdly all from Zara (!): an embroidered bomber jacket (lovely cherry blossom/bird pattern in subtle peaches and greys); a very old white blouse-type top with red, white and blue chevron pattern embroidery around the cuffs and neckline; and an old pair of cropped skinny jeans with an aztec-style embroidered stripe down the side (I was looking for Marant rip-offs when I saw them!). I did look at a pair of black jeans in Topshop the other day with embroidered red flowers, but on every single pair the embroidery had sewn the pockets shut! So stupid!

    1. oh that with the pocket thing is plain irritating... EVERYTHING should have pockets by law....

  4. Boho reminds me of tiered skirts, some in broderie anglaise that I used to "toughen up" with studded cowboy boots and then load up with chunky bangles and beads. (Shudder. I thought I was the bee's knees!)
    This new version of boho is much better. That sweatshirt and biker jacket are gorgeous! x

    1. No i can see how that would work!! but yes - maybe not so *now*!. LOL.

  5. Everything you chose just looked amazing on you! Loved the first off the shoulder number and the biker jacket (hope you keep those ;-)

  6. The Zalando jacket looks fab with the dress. I ordered my usual size 10 but it was too tight so it's going back. Think I'm ready to give up on the dress/ jacket search and move onto another outfit entirely.
    Really love the embroidered biker, the navy top and the sweatshirt. You look so much more cheerful than their models and consequently make the clothes attractive - I'm too busy scoffing at their morose faces to notice the garments ! Maybe Debenhams should be told ?!!

    1. Oh nooooooooooo. That's such a shame about the jacket. I ordered the 8, 10 and 12 and thought I had kept the 10 but maybe it was the 12!! I have to say I'm much more impressed with it than I thought I would be. I did buy it specifically for this outfit (something I NEVER normally do) but I think I'll actually get a fair bit of wear out of it. And can you ever have too many black jackets?

  7. That striped preen top looks amazing on you, I wouldn't look twice at their photo! Your pink and black dress is lovely, really stunning.

    I definitely only manage boho lite. The odd peasant blouse, chunky silver ring/bracelet, fringed boots... just not all together! I also think some of those oriental style florals are much easier to wear. Very lovely picks, Kat.

  8. I am often forcing my long sufferer other half to look at outfits so I can ask why I don't lead the life to go with them :-) They are often pale :D The Preen model appears to have the world's shortest body and isn't therefore showing off the tops to their max. I can't do Boho - it reminds me of my older sister in her student days. I prefer clean lines, as my husband would say :-) Also, not so much into the embroidery having overdosed on it in the 1990s - although it was mostly bottoms halves so maybe I could move onto tops. Your Cheltenham outfit is amazing - particularly the hat. All you need is a handsome man on a black stallion to sweep you off your feet (not a jockey obvs :D). xx

    1. Thank you! I'm not a fascinator person at all but I think this straddled the line of not massive hat but something on my head quite well. V pleased with it!!

  9. I too have seen some fab embroidered things in Zara and am trying to think how I could justify getting this very Marant-ish jacket https://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/jackets/parka-with-embroidery-and-pompoms-c358002p4083028.html
    LOVE the outfit for the races. You look great XX

    1. OMG how Marant is that?!!! Gorgeous!

  10. Although not related to all things embroidery - just purchased topshop limited edition khaki feather trim (j)shacket. Check it out - I call this frivolous glamour and perfect addition to spring outerwear. A sure winner and at a fab price. Definitely size down on this!

    1. OMG that sounds amazing. Off to check it out.

  11. I love Boho but I do have to stop myself going into mad cat woman territory ��