Anyone for crochet?

I was in Topshop yesterday (like most days) and realised that the return of crochet has crept up on me like a ghost in the night. Strange, really, because there’s nowt subtle about dresses with huge gaping holes in ’em.

In my limited experience with crochet, it looks faberoony on the hanger and dreadful once you put it on your actual body. It promises the impact of lace and delivers the feel, look and shape of a doily. I’m suspicious of anything my granny could make me (though I doubt she actually would, because she has better taste – the fashion gene is strong in my family) and try as I might, I can’t find a crochet dress that fits just right and makes me feel glamorous. I need to feel glamorous at all times. It’s an affliction.

I do have one crochet piece that I wouldn’t part with for the world; a cropped, green cape/shrug affair that found its way from a shoot to my wardrobe a good few years ago (these things tend to happen). It has consistently worked well with jeans and now, cropped harems. I might give it a little award for long service.

On the basis of my lovely, hard-working top, I gave crochet the benefit of the doubt when I saw it all over Toppers. I picked up a gorgeous-looking blush number and even felt my pulse rise on the way to the changing room. Heartbreakingly, it looked appalling on (ill-fitting, clumsy and a bit tatty) and would have made me sweat like a Scouser in Dixons. Bah.

So I’m afraid I ain’t recommending any crochet dresses; I vote we boycot them and focus on subtle hints of the arts and crafts favourite instead. If you’re wavering, check out our lovely Cate to the right, who appears to have gone out in a blanket. Poor celebrity.

No, a smattering of crochet on a pretty shift dress and a kooky accessory made out of the stuff is more than acceptable and just about right for this time of year.

For starters, not only is this crochet-backed dress green (my favourite!) it also has a lovely vintage vibe going on. And everyone needs a maxi this season – why not combine two trends with this cheeky (and very flattering) crochet-trimmed baby?

This baby doll cover-up and maxi skirt from Topshop are both ideal for beach wear and the crochet is so subtle not a single old lady will get out of her deckchair to congratulate you on your fashion choice.

Everyone needs a trusty crochet top like mine and from this season’s selection I’m plumping for Oasis’ black flower top, the oversize Free People vest and Topshop’s flowery cardi.

I’m also giving you my permission to wear this yummy Yumi crochet skirt – on condition you have the killer pins to carry it off (let’s do some honest maths now; corned beef legs + cream crochet mini = disaster).

Accessories-wise you’ll mostly find the Fashion Detective loving an extra-long scarf, cute metallic waistcoat, girly necklace and clip set, crochet corsage, and, quelle surprise, the must-have summer stetson. Yee haw!

And if nothing here tickles your fancy, you could always get out your hook and yarn (?) and make something gappy at home. Yeah, right.

Rachel Bilson rocking the crochet top thang:

Written by Johanna Payton