"Embroidery" and "edgy" aren't two words you'd normally lump together, but, as they say, the simplest ideas are often the best. Take the micro-trend of subtly embroidered tees that's been simmering away for the past few months. While the loud-and-proud slogan top is currently enjoying a moment, our attention has been grabbed by more delicate statements, ranging from tongue-in-cheek mottos to beautifully stitched floral embellishments, all executed in a brilliantly understated way.
Labels like Paris-based Maison Labiche have long made uncomplicated needlework their niche, and my own tee from this cult label—simply adorned with the Jay Z track title "99 Problems"—never fails to incite a reaction every time I wear it. The brand's stripy Breton styles sell out almost instantly, and it offers the option of customising your own, providing the perfect gift idea for friends that are notoriously tricky to buy for. Then there’s UK label Double Trouble Gang, which adorns its oversize tees with film quotes as well as offering a custom service for just £39, and independent makers on Instagram who you can commission directly to whip up whatever bespoke design takes your fancy.
The high street has gotten in on the act lately too, embroidering all manner of tops with roses, statements and, rather endearingly, animals. So next time you go to update your T-shirt inventory, don’t make it a plain affair.
Shop our edit of the best embroidered buys by scrolling through the gallery below.