Doilies Are Back & They’re Coming For Your Closet

Cottagecore 2.0

Emily Ratajkowski, Kylie Jenner, and Ayesha Curry love the doily dress.
Getty Images, Instagram/kyliejenner
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The humble doily may bring about thoughts of tea parties and trips to your grandmother’s house, where the crochet circles likely topped every available surface. A staple since the Victorian era, the woven novelty items reached peak popularity in the ’50s, but have since gone the way of shag carpet and sponge-painted walls.

Though doilies have largely been erased from modern home decor, the kitschy crochets recently found a new home within the fashion space. Delicate crochets are being added to skirts, blouses, and, most commonly, dresses. Doilies are the fabric of the summer, welcoming a new era of cottagecore style.

Cottagecore 2.0

Cottagecore has become a quintessential summertime aesthetic, primarily because of the timelessness of its staple item, the little white dress. The trend, which has been TikTok-famous for a hot minute, recalls picnics on the English countryside and Jane Austen novels. In fashion-speak, that equates to eyelet lace, dainty florals, and puffy sleeves. The doily dress, of course, fits right in — cottagecore 2.0.

One of the biggest proponents of the trend is fashion influencer-turned-doily-dress-designer Laura Tønder. The Madrid-based content creator started crafting pieces from vintage doilies last year, breathing new life into the dated style.

“I have idolized the technique for years, since I saw a floor-length dress from The Row and Eckhaus Latta’s designs,” Tønder tells Bustle. “When I traveled to my hometown, Copenhagen, I visited my favorite flea markets and found these vintage doilies and got this gut feeling I needed to make some pieces from [them].”

Using her mother’s sewing machine, Tønder made as many garments as she could in two weeks, and soon, a business was born. “I shared it on my Instagram and the reaction was overwhelming. I finished a total of 20 designs, drew a logo, had my partner shoot some amazing images, and launched the webshop.”

Kettel Atelier officially launched in July 2023 and, soon after, Denmark’s biggest street style stars began wearing the delicate creations. Tønder believes buyers resonate with the doily’s “uniqueness” and “craftsmanship.” She adds, “We long for something romantic, simple, and beautiful.”

Courtesy of Kettel Vintage/Adrian Jul Cruz
Courtesy of Kettel Vintage/Adrian Jul Cruz
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Naturally, Celebs Love The Look

After being buoyed by social media — with Tønder at the forefront — the doily is now entering the mainstream. Offering a romantic take on Hollywood’s ubiquitous naked dress, celebrities of all calibers have begun adapting the look.

Emily Ratajkowski was spotted in NYC wearing a doily dress of her own just last month. On May 30, the My Body author wore an LWD covered in a patchwork of floral-inspired doilies — a $200 handkerchief dress from Mango.

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While Ratajkowski wore the look in the city, Kylie Jenner took the style on her travels, putting the cottagecore style where it belongs: in a grassy field. While in Mallorca with her siblings last May, Jenner wore a long-sleeved mini from Jean Paul Gaultier’s archives.

Red carpets have also been seeing the style. Ayesha Curry joined Brother Vellies founder, Aurora James, at the 2023 CFDA Awards — both wearing doily dresses from Diotima.

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Social media, too, is inundated with doily content. Influencers and fashion editors have also been rocking the look, infusing woven elements into more than just dresses. TikToker Olivia Marcus, for example, wore a black jacket with a contrasting cream crochet-style trim. Meanwhile, stylist and editor Mecca James-Williams wore a two-toned doily dress in cream and white.

Doilies Are Dominating Runways

Runways, too, have started to reflect social media feeds, with designers harkening to the look more and more. In Prada’s Fall 2023 collection, for example, the Italian label outfitted models in white skirts with doilies affixed. The Row also included a maxi doily dress in its Pre-Fall 2023 show.

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Diotima is perhaps the most loyal to the look. Designer Rachel Scott honors her Jamaican roots by tapping artisans to create intricate crochet patterns — a signature of the brand. Diotima’s Spring 2024 collection, for example, was sprinkled with the doily look in varying patterns and bright hues.

George Chinsee/WWD via Getty Images

Zimmermann’s Resort 2024 collection saw white dresses, skirts, and blouses generously covered in doilies. While it wasn’t tagged as bridalwear, the frilly white designs closely resembled a wedding gown.

Shop The Style

There’s no shortage of doily-inspired garments (read: dresses, skirts, jackets, and more) in the market today — and at the rate it’s trending, that number will only increase.

Shop styles from designer labels like Zimmermann and Beaufille, as well as high street brands like & Other Stories and Mango. Zara, for example, has been leaning into the look for a few seasons now, tacking doilies onto an array of merchandise.