Many of us adore embroidery, especially hand-made pieces. It maybe because we can assess the labor because we learned the technique in school. Or because our personal style is Bohemian or Romantic Style. After reading this post, you know how to style pieces with this embellishment in an ageless way.
- Embroidery Is a Bohemian and Ethnic Classic
- Embroidery Is More Than a Perennial Trend
- Don’t Fall for Clothes with Brand Embroidery
- What Embroidery to Look for
- What Type of Embroidery Should You Avoid over 40
- Great Embroidered Clothes for Ageless Style
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Embroidery Is a Bohemian and Ethnic Classic
Embroidery is often associated with Bohemian style or traditional Old World clothes like dirndls. In Europe, it’s a favorite on dresses for toddlers and girls under 10. In Asia, the technique was used to beautify cheongsoms worn on Luna New Year. For women over 40, it brings up memories of elementary school when we girls had to learn how to make these patterns.
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. Sure Norm Core was a Do in the late 1980s and pops up perennially as a trend. We all wore the Ralph Lauren pony embellished sweatshirt or the Lacoste crocodile on our poloshirt. These pieces were Must-haves for preppy Ivy League Style. However, at a certain age, showing off a brands name can be extremely risky. It may scream immaturity and/or insecurity, when not styled the right way.
Actually, who cares who made the shirt?
Quality, fit, color and flattering are essential for effortlessly chic 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. 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 (see photo below).
Alway pair your embroidered attire with contemporary pieces to not look costumy or like trying too hard or not at all.
What Type of Embroidery Should you Avoid over 40
Avoid embroidery, ruffles, lace and sequins/pearls/beats all in one outfit. It is for ballroom dance competitions. Otherwise, it had 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. However, 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.
Best Embroidery at Any Age
The easiest way to wear embroidery is as embellishment along the neckline of tops or dresses in a sophisticated solid color or on accessories. Try an embroidered bag for great summer vacation style at the beach or at the farmers’ market. The stitching also looks great on shoes for 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.
Instead of a graphic Tee, try a T-shirt where the motive is not printed, but made with yarn by a sewing machine (see example below).
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Photos of me: G. Kramm
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