The fabric that screams Summer

Except it doesn't scream... it just whispers gently in a Summer's breeze as it's a quiet and ethereal fabric... screaming is just not in its nature.  That may all sound super random but actually if I tell you it's Broderie Anglaise - does that make sense? 

I can see some exceptionally blank faces at the back but do bear with me, as honestly, I think this could be the perfect option for those of you who are struggling with a Summer style. 

So this is something I get asked about a lot.  You want to do Summer feminine but don't want to do boho.  You don't necessarily want loads of billowing fabric - the prairie/Flake Ad look from the early '80s doesn't float your boat either.  And a vest and shorts are just so...utilitarian?

Well, what does that leave you with?  

Here's a small suggestion I'm just to going to try on for size - let's have a look at broderie anglaise. 

I will admit I swerved this for years.  The memory of my First Holy Communion dress is still planted FIRMLY in my mind.  I was actually scarred for years by this.

Here's why...

Yes.  That is a bonnet.  Except not a full bonnet - it's like a segmented scull cap.  It looks like the sorts of things they attach electrodes to in films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  To the day she died, my mum didn't understand why I thought it was AWFUL! 



So it's taken some time for me to get my head around the fact, a little broderie anglaise can be good.  Slightly fear my mother didn't subscribe to the less is more theory and I was sporting a LOT of fabric that day. Not to mention "that" headdress  (all I wanted was a diamante tiara like the other girls had.  Oh yes, it was all very Big Fat Gypsy wedding but it epitomised pure elegance and all things AWESOME to the 7yr old me!!!) and patent round toed shoes which I hated with a passion.  With hindsight they were classic and appropriate, as opposed to the ankle strap small (to my mind HUGE) one inch heeled sandals I wanted from BHS (which my dad bought me afterwards, despite my mum's protestations...).

Anyway, I digress, I have dug out some numbers that will either have you saying your Hail Marys clutching a rosary or have you skipping around town in glee at having found something you can adopt as your Summer style. 

First of all, we're going full on DRESS (minus scull cap and gold crucifix).

Pretty Little Things.  I don't think I have ever included something from here (think the wardrobe of Love Island and you may get an idea why....). 

But this... oh I LOVE it. 

Pretty Little Things Broderie Anglaise Dress £40




Slightly longer, also at ASOS. 

Lost Ink Fit and Flare Dress £48



Another knee length dress in white. 

Paul & Joe Sister Broderie Anglaise Dress £255




Dresses in the sale at Self Portrait. 

Deep V neck broderie-anglaise top was £320 now £160



Or in the navy... again £160



Shorter in black from Nine by Savannah Miller at Debenhams was £55 now £38.50






And the same in white... again £38.50


Winser London Broderie Anglaise Top was £89 now £49



In white... again £49




Or the navy... again £49




But it can be brighter colours too.  And maybe a hint of broderie as opposed to a full on cotton lacy number.

Lucinda Broderie Dress from Boden £120



Which they also have in the chambray and broderie mix.  Again £120




Khaki at Debenhams with RJR John Rocha.  

Khaki broderie anglaise dress was £65 now £45.50




Navy at Paul & Joe and this is sublime. 

Broderie Anglaise cotton and silk blend maxi dress £460



But I've saved my absolute favourite till last.  This is perfection in a dress as far as I'm concerned. Perfect for all Summer occasions. For holiday, for BBQs, for lunches, for just throwing on with flipflops.

Off the shoulder broderie anglaise dress from Self Portrait £340



So you may have noticed there were a plethora of dresses and one paltry shirt style top.  That's because half way through, I decided to dedicate a whole blog post to the tops and have this one for the dresses.  Therefore coming up there will be, a whole blog post on tops that are "out out" tops for Summer.  That you can also wear during the day.   Perfect for those jeans and heels or sandals occasions.  Super looking forward to that one. 

I've still not managed to move past the bonnet and Victoriana horror of my First Holy Communion, but I'm working on it. 

In the meantime, I've found a halfway house.  A nod to boho with some fringing.  And all white.  I have to say I wasn't sure that this was going to work but I LOVE it.


Blouse - AND/OR at John Lewis (part of paid partnership ss18)
Skirt - & Other Stories (ss17)
Sandals - Aspiga Beach (gift current)
Bag - Chloe from Bicester Village (ss17)
Glasses - Chloe from Very Exclusive (ss17)

We're off to a party this afternoon and evening and then tomorrow - it's a trip to Bluewater (on a Sunday - this is a good idea, said no one ever..!) and then I've got a birthday dinner in town.  Lovely weekend ahead so I hope everyone else is having a good time too.  And the husband is happy as larry as there is apparently a ton of rugby on... WHOOP!

Tomorrow I will definitely be back with my first designer v high street post.  Tis a good 'un.

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7 comentarios:

  1. Oh that Navy Self Portrait one is divine! Loads of broad anglaise around this season, though, yes, it reminds me of my childhood; my mum used to make our summer dresses from it. But I’m still fond of it! PS I’ve followed you into the world of maxi dress wearing and have just bought a denim jacket to go with them as my biker jacket doesn’t look quite right. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  2. I so know where you're coming from as far as child hood traumas go, mine involved an acid yellow shirt dress with enamel buttons, and no my mother doesn't understand that I loathed it with a passion. I still don't wear yellow!
    Loving the navy options! I have an ivory blouse I've had for years where the broderie anglais is small circles, there is quite a lot of more modern options about for those of us not into full on romantic style.

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  3. American lady here and I had to google "broderie anglaise." In the states, we call it eyelet. And I had my heart set on my daughter wearing a white eyelet dress to her high school graduation--could have used this post then! It does represent summer/innocence to me. Love you and your blog. You brighten my day...

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  4. Oh Kat I think you’re beautiful but this post and the one where you weren’t happy with your knees both had me in stitches! Love the posts, thank you x

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  5. Love broderie, hate frills - the two together is oh so Waltons. Really looking forward to a summery out out tops blog because I seem to have the sum total of none - what did I wear last year or did it rain all summer or did I just stay in?!! Hopefully there will be some without frills :D Didn't you have a red broderie dress from H&M? It was super covetable, IIRC. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. xx

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  6. Nice one man, i love this!

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