How to create ageless style with embroidery

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.

#fashionover40 style blogger with embroidery inspired work outfit
Jones New York striped cardigan (own) worn over Samantha Brown wrap dress with a print of a classic embroidery pattern c/o HSN, own Dr. Scholl wedges and own Kate Moss for Longchamp satchel accessorized with wooden watch c/o Jord

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.

#styleover50 mature woman with skinnies and ethnic embroidered shirt
J Brand skinnies with ethnic embroidered shirt, Longchamp bag and Christian Louboutin pumps (all own)

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.

Ageless embroidery

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.

#fashionover50 mature woman wearing a wrap dress with embroidery print
Front view of 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.

#fashionover40 How to look ageless in embroidery: Examples
Ageless embroidered clothes to shop for. From left to right: Example of tailored dress with sophisticated background with embroidered butterflies in matching color, Bohemian style maxi dress with one color embroidery along the neckline, modern stripe sheath dress with collar-like embroidery along the neck, example of a folk inspired tunic with one color embroidery at the sleeves and neck. This tunic would look great with white denim jeans.

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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