Of all the gorgeous outfits Daisy Edgar-Jones donned while playing Marianne in the smash-hit BBC series Normal People, there was one that had viewers captivated more than any other.

According to Google Trends, there was a spike in searches for ‘Marianne black dress’ in May, as people clamoured to find out where they could get the beautiful broderie anglaise dress with spaghetti straps seen during the dreamy episode set in Tuscany.

While Marianne’s viral frock has a timeless quality, it just so happens to be bang on trend this season, as Broderie Anglaise was big news at the SS20 shows.

What exactly is Broderie Anglaise? Meaning ‘English embroidery’ in French, it’s a technique in which holes are punched into fabric then the edges are stitched with thread of the same colour, the eyelets creating a textured, lace-like pattern.

Traditionally, it was created using white fabric and thread, but we saw an explosion of bright Broderie Anglaise at Erdem SS20, with stunning puff sleeve dresses in sunflower yellow and burnt orange.

Voluminous sleeves took centre stage at Zimmerman too, where cream and white Victoriana blouses and dresses were styled with ultra-modern accessories.

Now, high street retailers have followed suit with their summer collections, and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to stylish embroidered designs.

Here are three ways to wear the broderie anglaise trend this summer…

1. Monochrome dress
As elegant as Marianne’s dress is, the clingy shape and those skinny straps aren’t for everyone.

As a stylish alternative, look for vintage-style midi dresses in black or white, ideal for teaming with flat sandals and a cross-body bag for a relaxed daytime look, or heeled sandals and a clutch for something a bit more dressy.

Oliver Bonas Broderie Sleeveless White Midi Dress
(Oliver Bonas/PA)

Oliver Bonas Broderie Sleeveless White Midi Dress, €108

Pure Collection Broderie Anglaise Dress
(Pure Collection/PA)

Pure Collection Broderie Anglaise Dress, €145

2. Broderie brights
Take your cue from the Erdem catwalk, with Broderie Anglaise pieces in sunset hues.

Anchor your outfit around a bright dress and add colourful accessories in contrasting jewel tones, like turquoise or jade.

River Island

River Island pink broderie puff sleeve mini dress, € 65.00

Hush Piper Broderie Blouse

Hush Piper Broderie Blouse, €84

3. Statement blouse
A white broderie anglaise blouse is a sound investment for this summer – and many more to come – as it’s the perfect partner for faded denim of any shade.

If a high-necked, Victorian-style top doesn’t work for you, try a fitted, button-front blouse with a V-neck instead.


Fatface Jessica Broderie Blouse, €42.50

Miss Selfridge Ivory Broderie Puff Sleeve Shirt
(Miss Selfridge/PA)

Miss Selfridge Ivory Broderie Puff Sleeve Shirt, €35

Monsoon Rachel Broderie Lace Blouse

Monsoon Rachel Broderie Lace Blouse, €70