When it comes to thrift shopping for embroidered styles, there are several brands that tend to have an exceptional selection. Keep in mind that availability can vary depending on your location and the inventory of the thrift stores you visit, but with a keen eye you can often find them among the racks.
In this fashion guide you’ll find some popular brands known for their embroidered styles, and you may be lucky to find them while thrifting.
My French Connection Embroidered Dress
The photos in this blog post show me wearing one of my all-time favorite Goodwill fashion finds – the French Connection Saya Crepe Embroidered Dress in the vibrant color citron. This stunning dress originally retailed for $248, and I only paid $6.99. The fit and flare cut was flattering to my figure, making me feel extra pretty during our almond blossom photo shoot. Because we were walking around muddy farm orchards, I styled this dress with my floral print Joules wellie rain boots.
Why Do Fashionistas Love Embroidered Styles
Fashionistas love embroidered styles because they offer a unique blend of artistry, attention to detail, texture, personalization, cultural significance, and versatility. It allows them to express their individuality and showcase their appreciation for the beauty and craftsmanship of fashion.
Embroidery as a Form of Artistic Expression
Embroidery is a form of artistry that allows designers to showcase their creativity and craftsmanship. It adds an extra dimension to garments by incorporating intricate patterns, textures, and colors. Fashionistas appreciate the artistry and the unique flair that embroidery brings to their outfits.
Attention to Detail
Fashionistas appreciate the intricate details and the level of skill involved in creating embroidered pieces. It adds a sense of luxury and exclusivity to their fashion choices.
Embroidery adds texture to garments, making them visually appealing and interesting. Whether it’s raised embroidery, beading, or threadwork, these elements create depth and dimension. Fashionistas love the tactile quality that embroidery brings to their outfits, as it adds richness and enhances the overall look and feel of the garments.
Unique and Personalized Style
Embroidery allows for customization and personalization. Fashionistas can choose designs, motifs, and colors that resonate with their individual style and personality. This level of customization sets embroidered styles apart and enables fashionistas to make a fashion statement that reflects their unique tastes.
Embroidery Has Cultural and Historical Significance
Embroidery has a rich cultural and historical significance in many societies. It is often associated with traditional craftsmanship and heritage. Fashionistas appreciate the fusion of traditional and contemporary elements in fashion, and embroidery provides a way to incorporate those cultural and historical references into modern designs.
Elevate All Kinds of Wardrobe Pieces
Embroidery can be applied to a wide range of garments and accessories. Whether it’s dresses, blouses, jackets, handbags, or shoes, embroidery can elevate any piece and make it stand out. Fashionistas appreciate the versatility of embroidered styles as they can be incorporated into various fashion aesthetics and occasions.
Embroidery Can Give Boho Goddess Vibes
Embroidery has the ability to evoke boho goddess vibes and contribute to a free-spirited and ethereal aesthetic. Embroidery is often associated with boho style and goddess-like vibes because it embraces flowing and relaxed silhouettes that exude a sense of freedom and ease. Embroidery is often found on loose, billowing dresses, maxi skirts, tunics, or kimono-style jackets, enhancing the bohemian flair. The combination of embroidery with these loose and flowing garments creates a sense of movement and adds to the boho vibe.
Embroidered Details on Clothing is a Sign of Quality
Embroidery is often considered a sign of quality in fashion. There are several reasons why embroidered items are associated with high quality. While it’s important to note that quality can be found in various forms and techniques, embroidery often carries a particular prestige and association with superior craftsmanship.
Exclusive and Limited
Embroidered items are often produced in limited quantities or as part of special collections. The time and effort required to create embroidered designs can make them more expensive to produce. This exclusivity adds to their perceived value and quality. Basically nobody would bother putting embroidery on cheap and low quality garments. First off, cheap fabric can’t support the threaded detail. And secondly the garment wouldn’t last long and embroidered garments usually last through generations.
Attention to Detail
Embroidery requires careful attention to detail in order to create precise and intricate designs. The focus on small details is often an indication of the designer’s commitment to quality. Fashion brands that prioritize attention to detail in their embroidered pieces tend to be associated with high-quality craftsmanship.
Higher Resell Value on Embroidered Clothing
Whenever I find a very unique and high quality garment at the Goodwill, I know it will be a hot seller on Poshmark, eBay or Mercari. It’s important to note that the overall resale value of embroidered clothing can vary depending on factors such as the brand, designer, condition, rarity, and market demand. However, the unique and artisanal nature of embroidery often contributes to its higher resell value compared to non-embroidered garments.
High Quality Fabrics Used for Embroidered Garments
High-quality fabrics are often chosen for embroidered garments to ensure the best overall result and longevity. These fabrics are selected for their specific characteristics such as texture, sheen, durability, and ability to hold intricate stitching. Choosing high-quality fabrics ensures that the embroidered garments not only look visually appealing but also feel comfortable and withstand the test of time. Here are some examples of fabrics commonly used for embroidered garments:
Silk is a luxurious and highly prized fabric known for its smooth texture and lustrous sheen. It is a popular choice for embroidered garments due to its ability to showcase intricate designs and vibrant colors. Silk provides a beautiful canvas for embroidery and adds an elegant and refined touch to the final product.
Satin is a fabric characterized by its glossy surface and smooth drape. It is commonly used for embroidered eveningwear and formal attire. Satin’s smooth texture allows for detailed embroidery work to stand out, creating a visually striking effect. The richness of satin complements the intricate stitching and adds a touch of opulence to the garment.
Velvet is a plush fabric with a soft, luxurious feel. It has a dense pile that adds depth and texture to embroidered designs. Velvet provides a sumptuous backdrop for embroidery, allowing the stitches to stand out and creating a visually rich and tactile effect. It is often used for embroidered jackets, dresses, and accessories.
Linen is a natural fabric known for its durability and breathability. It has a crisp texture and is often used for embroidered casual and summer garments. Linen’s smooth surface provides a stable foundation for embroidery, allowing the stitches to hold their shape. The natural fibers of linen also enhance the overall quality and comfort of the garment.
Cotton is a versatile and widely used fabric that works well for embroidered garments. It is breathable, comfortable, and easy to work with. Cotton fabrics can range from lightweight voile to sturdy denim, offering a wide range of options for embroidered designs. The natural properties of cotton make it a popular choice for casual and everyday embroidered pieces.
Organza is a sheer and lightweight fabric with a crisp texture. It is often used for overlays, sleeves, and trims in embroidered garments. The translucent nature of organza allows the intricate embroidery to be seen while adding an ethereal and delicate quality to the design.
Top Clothing Brands to Shop for Embroidery Secondhand
Here are some popular brands known for their embroidered styles that you may come across while thrifting:
Free People is known for its bohemian and eclectic style, and they frequently incorporate embroidery into their clothing. You might find embroidered blouses, denim jeans, dresses, and jackets with intricate details.
Anthropologie offers a mix of contemporary and vintage-inspired clothing, including embroidered pieces. Look for their romantic tops, skirts, and boho-style dresses.
Johnny Was is a popular brand known for its exquisite embroidered clothing. The brand offers a wide range of bohemian-inspired apparel, including dresses, blouses, tunics, and jackets, featuring intricate and colorful embroidery. Johnny Was designs often incorporate floral patterns, nature motifs, and geometric shapes, creating a unique and artisanal aesthetic.
The brand’s embroidered pieces are made with attention to detail and high-quality craftsmanship, showcasing the beauty of embroidery as a focal point of their designs. Whether you’re looking for a statement dress or a beautifully embroidered top, Johnny Was is a brand that captures the essence of boho-chic fashion with its stunning embroidered clothing.
It’s worth noting that Johnny Was clothing is very expensive if you purchase new (like $500 a dress). So finding it secondhand is a big deal!
Sundance Clothing Brand
Sundance is a lifestyle brand that offers a variety of clothing and accessories with a focus on artisanal craftsmanship and a bohemian aesthetic. While they may not be primarily known for their embroidery, Sundance occasionally incorporates embroidered details into their designs. Their embroidered clothing often features delicate and intricate patterns, adding a touch of uniqueness and artistry to their pieces.
While Levi’s is primarily known for its denim, you can sometimes find vintage Levi’s pieces with embroidered details, such as floral motifs, animals, or brand logos.
Farm Rio is a Brazilian fashion brand known for its vibrant and eclectic designs inspired by nature, colors, and Brazilian culture. They incorporate various types of embellishments and decorative elements into their clothing, including modern embroidery.
Madewell is a popular clothing brand known for its casual and timeless designs. Madewell’s embroidered clothing often includes delicate and intricate stitching, adding a touch of texture and detail to their garments. You may find embroidered details on their tops, dresses, denim jackets, or accessories.
Love Shack Fancy
LoveShackFancy is a trendy fashion brand that specializes in fun, romantic and whimsical clothing with a vintage-inspired aesthetic. Embroidery plays a significant role in LoveShackFancy’s designs, and they often incorporate beautiful embroidered details into their garments.
Doen is an exclusive fashion brand known for its feminine and bohemian-inspired designs. One distinctive aspect of Doen’s embroidery is its handcrafted and hand-stitched quality. The brand emphasizes traditional techniques and works with skilled artisans, resulting in beautiful and carefully crafted embroidered pieces.
ASOS is a rare fast-fashion brand that consistently makes embroidered dresses. They offer a wide range of clothing options covering pretty much every category. While fast-fashion brands often prioritize trendy and affordable pieces (cheap to produce), ASOS has been known to incorporate embroidery into their designs, providing customers with lower cost options for embroidered dresses.
We Are Kindred is an Australian fashion brand known for its feminine and bohemian designs. The brand offers a range of clothing, including dresses, blouses, skirts, and more. Embroidery can be found in more subtle and modern ways, seamlessly incorporated into the style.
Fillyboo is an Australian clothing brand that specializes in bohemian-inspired maternity wear and women’s clothing. The brand is known for its romantic and free-spirited designs, often incorporating flowing silhouettes, delicate details, and unique prints.
The brand emphasizes handmade and artisanal techniques, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces. The embroidery may be found on different parts of the garment, such as the bodice, sleeves, or hemline, adding a touch of bohemian charm and texture.
In addition to embroidery, Fillyboo often incorporates other design elements such as smocking, tassels, ruffles, and unique prints that contribute to their distinctive style.
Fanm Mon, also known as Fanm Mon Couture, is a Haitian fashion brand that specializes in creating unique and vibrant clothing for women. The brand combines traditional Haitian elements with contemporary designs, resulting in a fusion of cultural heritage and modern style.
Fanm Mon’s clothing often features handcrafted embroidery and embellishments. The brand works closely with local artisans in Haiti to create intricate and colorful embroidery that showcases the country’s rich craftsmanship. Their designs may incorporate traditional Haitian motifs, symbols, or nature-inspired patterns.
Zara is a popular fast-fashion brand known for its trendy and affordable clothing options. While Zara offers a wide range of styles, including embroidered pieces. Zara incorporates embroidery into various garments, such as dresses, tops, jackets, jeans, and accessories. The embroidery designs offered by Zara often reflect current fashion influences and can range from delicate and intricate patterns to bold and statement-making motifs.
H&M is a well-known fast-fashion brand that offers a wide range of affordable clothing options, including embroidered dresses. As a fast-fashion brand, H&M regularly introduces new collections, so the availability of specific embroidered dresses can change frequently. If you scroll to the end of this blog post, you’ll find an H&M gem of an embroidered dress I found at Goodwill.
Hand-Crafted Embroidered Mexican Dresses
Hand-crafted embroidered Mexican dresses, also known as Mexican embroidery or “bordado,” are a beautiful representation of Mexican culture and craftsmanship. These dresses are typically made with traditional techniques and feature vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and delicate embroidery work.
When looking for hand-crafted embroidered Mexican dresses, it’s worth considering shopping directly from artisans or supporting fair trade organizations that work with Mexican artisans. This way, you can ensure the authenticity of the craftsmanship and support the artisans who create these beautiful pieces.
My Sleeping Gypsy is a Ukrainian fashion brand known for its exquisite embroidered clothing and accessories. Inspired by traditional Ukrainian craftsmanship and folklore, My Sleeping Gypsy creates unique and ethereal pieces that combine intricate embroidery with contemporary designs.
The brand’s embroidered clothing often features delicate and colorful stitching, reflecting the rich heritage of Ukrainian embroidery. They offer a variety of garments, including dresses, blouses, skirts, and jackets, all adorned with beautiful embroidery. My Sleeping Gypsy pays great attention to detail and quality, ensuring that each piece showcases the artistry and craftsmanship of Ukrainian embroidery.
When thrifting, keep an eye out for vintage or lesser-known brands. Many vintage items feature beautiful embroidery, whether it’s on denim jackets, blouses, or even handbags.
Thrifting Tips and Stories from a Pro
Below you’ll find some of my favorite Goodwill finds which feature beautiful and on-trend embroidery. Almost all of these have sold on Poshmark or Mercari after a short period of time of actively being on sale.
H&M Embroidered Dress with a Drop-Waist Cut
In truth the brand H&M can be a bit of hit or miss when it comes to reselling. But when you find a garments with such elaborate and eye-catching detail, it’s a no brainer to invest and purchase.
Zara Embroidered Oversized Tunic Top
It’s not unusual to see embroidered boho clothing to come in oversized and loose fitting cuts and shapes. This can make fit easier and the size is less crucial.
Zara Lace and Embroidered Top
In this top I love the monochromatic off-white flower embroidery, paired with statement lace. I wore this top on vacation in San Diego and it felt very folklore and bohemian, but also understated at the same time.
Mexican Embroidered Puebla Dress
I found this colorful and stunning traditional embroidered Mexican dress at Goodwill when I was on the hunt for something else entirely. It’s important to always keep your eyes peeled when walking through the thrift store. Give yourself enough time to take a moment to walk all the aisles and possibly discover some buried treasure.
Madewell Embroidered Shorts
We often think of dresses and tops as being the articles of clothing embellished with embroidery. But don’t forget to look in the bottoms section of the thrift store. I actually found these embroidered shorts in the pajama section of Goodwill.
Free People Embroidered Peasant Top
Finding Free People clothing and accessories at the thrift store is always a treat because it’s one of my favorite brands to wear and sell. Free People is always one of the top searched fashion brands on reselling apps such as Poshmark.
Vintage Johnny Was Embroidered Tunic
When I found this tunic at Goodwill, my heart skipped a beat for a minute. It is extremely rare to find Johnny Was at a thrift store, and this particular piece has stunning embroidery. I posted it for sale on Poshmark and it sold for $65 within a couple hours. I paid $6.99 at Goodwill, so a great profit margin.
*Note one last thrifty tip – You can also find amazing embroidered home goods such as decorative throw pillows, wall hangings, blankets, duvets and bedspreads and more. Give the home section a browse and look up where all the pillows are stored above the racks.
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