Toile de Jouy, or simply “toile”, is a decorating style that originated in 18th century France. The name of the the design in French means “cloth from Jouy-en-Josas”, which was a town in north-central France.
The motif consists of a white or off-white background, with a fairly complex image on it, usually depicting a pastoral scene. Toile is most known for its use in curtains and upholstery, but is also seen in dresses, aprons, bandanas, and even shirts.
The flowery nature of toile has made it more common in women’s clothing than men’s, but toile can occasionally be seen in dress shirts and neckties for men as well. Done right it can look French and sophisticated, but done wrong it just looks busy or feminine.