Embroidery was a massive trend and success of SS16. We have seen pretty much any piece of clothing embroidered: from jumpers, dresses, blouses, coats, to shoes. It all started earlier with Kenzo and Markus Lupfer's gorgeous embroidered sweaters with striking tigers and gaping mouths which became huge sell outs. But SS16 took the trend a step much further. Marc Jacobs' reinterpretation was playful (school doodles like) and sparkly. At Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana and Stella McCartney, it was a more romantic embroidery approach with delicate flowers, birds, pinks and reds or star prints to adorn our usual classics, most strikingly denims.
Gucci and Stella McCartney
This was a frenzy not to be missed by the high street. While intuitively embroidered jeans may not necessarily rhyme with easy to wear, in practice they are incredibly versatile and, as a result, have invaded the racks of all our favourite shops. Worn with trainers or loafers they make for a perfect laid back look but add a pair of stilettos, a golden chain strap shoulder bag and you are ready for your evening out.
Obviously, the quality of traditional embroidery is impossible to imitate at cheap prices, but does that mean you have to splash £1k or more to get access to the embroidery club? I don't think so. The high street has yet again been incredibly creative when seizing this trend with pretty much no taboos: all jeans cuts have been transformed using embroidery (skinnies, boyfriends, girlfriends, cropped...), and the patterns used range from discreet to very bold. And since this may just be another fleeting, ephemeral fad, then I would think you are better off indulging, guiltless, in one (or some) of the best embroidered high street jeans before we move on to the next craze.
I am a big fan of those designed by Topshop (blue patterns worn above, details below) and had a massive crush on the pink flowers/birds from Zara this Summer. The latter ones are unfortunately no longer available but there are some very similar options at Gap, French Connection and Topshop again. You also have to admire how delicate Mango's version is and the restrained black New Looks (which also happened to be one of the cheapest...).
Topshop MOTO Blue Embroidered Straight Leg Jeans, £45
Mango Croatia Embroidery Straight Jeans, £49.99
M&S Floral Embroidered Girlfriend Jeans, £39.50
Gap AUTHENTIC 1969 embroidered best girlfriend jeans, £49.95
French Connection DIONNE Embroidered Boyfit Jeans, £90
Zara Embroidered Jeans, £39.99
Topshop MOTO Dark Blue Embroidered Mom Jeans, £58
New Look at ASOS New Look Embroidered Patch Skinny Jeans, £29.99
If you are looking for a better quality, longer lasting (and consequently less common) option, I would recommend the Zoe Karssen range, particularly the 'Bugs' All Over Janis Boyfriend Jeans (pictured below). But they cost €220, so pretty much £220 these days...
Now a final option, if you are into diy, is basically to create your own perfect pair of embroidered jeans... There is a lovely little textile shop on Marylebone Lance, VV Rouleaux which sells all the motifs to customise your favourite jeans with. And if you are feeling lazy, you might want to try 3X1 at Net-a-Porter and one of their £30 cotton patches.
Let me know how you get on!