Embroidery is a Bohemian and ethnic classic
Embroidery is often associated with Bohemian style or traditional Old World clothes. In fashion for women over 40, it brings up memories of elementary school when we girls had to learn how to make embroidery.
Embroidery is more than a perennial trend
Embroidery is a classic to brand shirts either to indicate who made the clothes or for corporate identity. Wearing a shirt or other item for the latter reason is appropriate at any age.
Don’t fall for clothes with brand embroidery
Once a woman has found her place in life and style, she has no need for an item with the brand’s name on it. On the contrary, showing off a brands name can scream immaturity and/or insecurity. Who cares who made the shirt? Quality, fit, color and flattering are essential for style.
What embroidery to look for
When your style is Bohemian, look for embroidery in bold rather than pastel colors. Steer away from kitschy motives like hearts, animals, and flowers unless the latter are traditional patterns. If you go for floral or animals, they should be in shades that match the background rather than their natural colors like the butterfly dress later in this post. Go for cross stitches, abstract or mature motives. Folk inspired peasant tops are great with dark blue jeans and flat strappy sandals on a weekend – think California Casual.
What type of embroidery to avoid over 40
Avoid embroidery, ruffles, lace and sequins/pearls/beats all in one outfit. It is for ballroom dance competition. Otherwise it had its time more than 300 years ago. Today, outside the ballroom, it is cute on little girls for the school’s trip to Disneyland, but after fourth grade it is just detail overkill. Embroidery on jeans or the sides of a skirt is a great fashion statement in high school.
The easiest way to wear embroidery is as embellishment along the neckline of tops or dresses (see examples below) that are in a sophisticated color, just one color or on accessories, e.g. an embroidered bag (beach, farmers’ market) or shoes (formal events). Since any embroidery screams look at me, make sure you use the attention to your advantage.
Great embroidered clothes for ageless style
Here are some further visual inspirations of embroidered items that can look ageless when styled with classic pieces, i.e. not full on folk or Bohemian style. Long dresses, of course, are for vacation, the weekend, and at home.
Do you like embroidery? Do you embroider? Do you wear a lot of embroidery? How do you style your embroidery pieces? What is your greatest challenge styling the embroidery trend? Let me know by email, I am curious how I can help you.
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Photo credits for embroidery clothes: eShakti
Photos of me: G. Kramm
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