How You Can Create Ageless Style with Embroidery

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.

Contents
  1. Embroidery Is a Bohemian and Ethnic Classic
  2. Embroidery Is More Than a Perennial Trend
  3. Don’t Fall for Clothes with Brand Embroidery
  4. What Embroidery to Look for
  5. What Type of Embroidery Should You Avoid over 40
  6. 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.

light blue denim booties with embroidery
These cool Seychelles booties are available at Zulily for $120. They look great with white and blue jeans and a white Tee or shirt in summer.

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).

 

over 50 years woman with skinnies and ethnic embroidered shirt
J Brand skinnies with ethnic embroidered shirt, Longchamp bag and Christian Louboutin pumps (all own)

 

Alway pair your embroidered attire with contemporary pieces to not look costumy or like trying too hard or not at all.

over 50 years old woman in all white work outfit with red pumps
Oliveo white leather skirt, Moda International cardigan, Gloria VanDerBilt pumps, LV multi-color saddle bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Ray Ban sunglasses, ethnic embroidered top worn as blouse (all own)

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.

 

style blogger with embroidery inspired print on a work dress

stylist in wrap dress with embroidery-inspired print
Samantha Brown wrap dress with an embroidery print pattern c/o HSN, accessorized with wood sport watch c/o Jord, worn with own Dr. Scholl wedges, Jones New York cardigan, and Kate Moss for Longchamp satchel

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).

embroidered t-shirt with seesucker joggers
This T-shirt is not printed, but has a machine-embroidery. On first view a graphic Tee. On second view much more elaborated and stylish. Available at Nordstrom Rack for $49.50.

 

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

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