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Lace is Still Hot: Modern Ways to Wear Lace for Spring & Summer 2015

read update on lace clothing trend

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

The last time I wrote an article about lace (and her little sister – crochet) was two years ago, so I started wondering if lace clothing was still trendy for 2015. Well, the answer is yes, yes, yes. I am finding lace tops, dresses, and accessories all over the London stores (online). And, that means we’ll be wearing lace for several more years in the US, because women like us (and most women) take our fashion cues from Europe and the UK. So, look around for casual lace tops for daytime and fancy-dancy lace dresses for evenings.

basic math for fashion

Pretty + Funky = Chic

Well, I should backtrack and rephrase what I just said. It's somewhat silly for someone to explain whether or not lace is trendy.

Lace never really goes in or out of style.

However, designers and fashionistas have been coming up with some cool, experimental ways to wear lace in the last few years (in addition to the 1970s boho-lace-crochet redux). So, there are definitely some neat tricks to making lace feel new and modern and edgy.

And, when you're around my age... over 40... ahem... over 50... okay... over 60... you always want to be careful when you're wearing lace, so that your outfit doesn't make you look prudish, matronly, or old fashioned.

Lace Should Not Feel Matronly

Think back to when you were a kid. There was probably some old lady down the street who wore her serious white-lace blouses buttoned right up to her chin in a stuffy, uptight, rigid manner... oh so prim and proper and all that rot... The kind of old biddy who never wore sandals before Labor Day. The kind of meticulous old frump who never wore black before 6pm... The kind of imperious rule-follower who always matched her navy blue purse to her navy blue shoes and her navy blue polyester blazer and her navy blue polyester skirt and her silly blue-hued helmet hair. (Note: I'm not talking about cool, neon, ombre cobalt tresses.)

Well, that old lady down the street was wearing the exact matchy-matchy 1950s style I want you to avoid... especially when you're wearing lace... because lace is a perfectly "acceptable" look that's so normal it can easily slip into the fashion void.

And, I don't want you to slip into the fashion void of the matron.

how to do the math to get a chic lace outfit

Funky Hip Lace Outfits

Pretty + Funky = Chic:

Here's how to avoid looking like that uptight old lady who scared the crap out of you as a child:

read about hip lace trends

Cute Lace Necklace

Don't try to make your outfit look too perfect. If you're wearing something that could be described as pretty, prissy, precious, cute, or elegant, you should add something funky to your outfit. The photo of the dark red lace top (way up above on the right) shows a simplistic example of the basic concept. The lace is pretty and girly. The jeans are funky. The balance is chic. Prett + Funkey = Chic. (Well, that example is just a starting point. The model in the photo would probably need to add a funky necklace, some groovy earrings, a fringed suede purse, and whatever...)

On the other hand...

Don't try to be too wild when putting together an outfit or you'll scare the natives. If you're starting with something funky and edgy, you should balance it with a few elements of "normal" nice girl clothing and accessories.

For example, if you're putting together an outfit that's mostly black leather, something fit for Cher on a chopper, you should balance your edgy biker look with one or two things that are pretty and suburban, like a pearl choker necklace or a pink floral scarf or a casual lace T-shirt. (That way the local Hell's Angels will know you're just making a fashion statement and they won't beat you up for hogging in on their turf. AND, when you mix your fashion metaphors, it keeps you from looking like Granny Gone Bad.)

Being chic is all about balance.

On second thought, don't wear an all-black biker outfit AT ALL... unless there's a good reason. I used the black-leather example to help you understand a concept.

How to Wear the Modern Lace Trend:

Now, let's review the math equation we learned in class today:

  • Pretty (cute, sweet) + Funky (hip, edgy) = Chic (unique, balanced)

Notice that the formula does not include an exact ratio of pretty to funky. It's impossible to say how many funky things you will have to include to keep your girly, lacy dress or blouse from looking too pedestrian and collegiate. Fashion is an art not a science.

Yes, I'm just making this stuff up, but it sounds reasonably convincing doesn't it? Oh, I don't care if it makes sense to you. I know what I mean.

read about new ways to wear lace

Dresses With Lace Inserts

Okay, let's get back on track.

Trendy Lace Clothing & Accessories:

Here are some trendy things I've seen online. I've been lusting after a few of these. Can you guess which ones?

read about new lace trends

Lace Shoes

  • 1. Bonded-Lace Raincoats (Macs)
  • 2. T-Shirts with Sheer Lace Backs
  • 3. Dresses with Lace Inserts
  • 4. Lace Sandals and Espadrilles
  • 5. Lace Necklaces and Earrings
  • 6. Lace-Print Leggings and Lace Tights
  • 7. Lace Pencil Skirts
  • 8. Sporty T-Shirts with Lace Hems
  • 9. Boho 70s-Style Crocheted Kimonos
  • 10. Lacy Peasant (Gypsy) Blouses
  • 11. Lace or Crochet Swimsuits and Coverups
  • 12. Crochet Shorts and Denim Shorts with Lace Details (That's a trick answer. Most of us are way too old to even think about these.)

Hot Lace Trends for 2015:

What can you do to lace to make lace look new and hip and edgy and different? Well, I'm glad you asked. Here are some of the lace trends that are currently popular:

Colored Lace:

One of my favorite trends is brightly colored lace. When I was growing up, it seemed as if lace was always plain boring white or Easter-dress pastel. Oh wait, there was the opposite extreme... the black lace cocktail dresses worn by one's mother whenever a babysitter was procured.

read about hot trends for spring summer

Brightly Colored Lace Trend

However, I don't remember any lace dresses of the early 60s being "Supernova Violet", "Space-Alien Yellow", or "Trendsetter Tangerine" like the groovy lace colors of spring 2015. (Okay. I just made up those names. They sound like intensely hip color names to me. Maybe we should come up with fun, descriptive monikers for happy hues.)

Oh wait, when I was a child there must have been stores with lacy red dresses, because my little neighbor friend used to repeat rumors of distant women in garish red lace dresses who worked in nightclubs frequented by sailors. Those women must have shopped the Sears Catalog, because there were no ruby red lace dresses in our stores.

Anyway... I'm in love with all the bright lace tops and brilliant lace dresses for spring and summer 2015 (like the rich blue in the main photo). These incredibly saturated hues have such a modern feel, even the red ones.

Printed Lace Dresses and Tops:

Look at the floral print dress on the right in the Brightly Colored Lace Trend photo (above). That pattern is printed on lace. That dress is so beautiful. I have no idea what it would look like on me but I know a thousand women who could wear that with real panache.

I want to take that printed-lace dress and frame it. I'll put it on my wall to cheer myself up on cloudy days. That beautiful design has a carefree, 60s vibe. A cross between Marimekko and Jan Brueghel the Younger (a baroque painter from 1600-ish).

Of course, if you're not as color crazed as I, there are other, more subdued and elegant, options to soothe your demure esthetic.

read about new lace trends for 2015

Oversized Lace Patterns

Oversize Lace Patterns:

This lace trend is so cool... like a huge graphic design on your clothes. I'm not talking about oversized clothing. This modern trend consists of huge, giant lace... humongous overwatered flowers in a sci-fi movie.

No... not that big. These patterns are just big enough that men and women who are so old they need readers don't have to put them on to see the lace. This is a trend I would definitely wear. And, it seems to photograph beautifully.

read about trendy lace party dresses

Dramatic Lace Overlays

Dramatic Lace Overlay on Dresses:

This trend is something that takes you by surprise the first time you see it. This is brilliant. This is elegant and demure and sexy all at the same time. The first two retro-styled fit-and-flare dresses above have colored lace over white. It's stunning isn't it?

Those two twelve-year-old models look like they're wearing something from Grace Kelly's closet. And, the strange thing is that the dresses look amazingly expensive but they're basically affordable.

The eleven-year-old model on the right is wearing something that looks as daring as the crazy frocks worn by Kate Moss, but actually, her dress is no more revealing than an average miniskirt. The lace maxi is a knock-off of an expensive runway look, which has white (or any color) lace and appliques over a short nude slip or bodysuit.

It's breathtaking. I only wish I were a teenager again so I could wear it.

No matter how many times I look at that dress, I feel like that girl is posing for Playboy. Don't you? However, I have looked at this dress many times and the only things visible are her arms and legs. Magical and daring, yet not.

read about new ways to wear lace

Sheer Lace Skirt Hem

Sheer Hem Lace Dresses and Skirts:

I'm sure there's some kind of official name, but I don't know what this trend is called. I usually call it something like "sheer lace skirt that comes down longer than the real skirt"... but that's an even worse name. Please tell me if you know what to call this, so I can make this article sound more authoritative. For some reason, I can't remember the name of this, but I wanted to show you anyway because I love it.

It's a cool way to show off your legs and cover your cellulite at the same time. If you look through the photos in this article, you will see this same trend in a few more places.

This groovy trend has made it so we can ALL wear mini skirts... even apple-shaped women who usually look like they're going to tip over in short skirts. The longer hemline balances everything.

Ladylike Lace Clothing:

Is all this lace and crocheted lace a sign that women are going back to the sweet, feminine look of earlier times? Well, yes and no.

Read about lace trends for 2015

Cute Red Lace Dress

To me, it's always better to mix things up. I don't think any of us are going to be doing a period piece staged in the early 60s. So, it's much more fun to mix a hippie skirt with some Betty Crocker Bakelite jewelry and a pair of neon punk shoes. (Well, that may be a bit much even for me.)

Here are some combinations that might inspire you to be inventive:

  • Wear a feminine crocheted top under your denim overalls to cutesy up your tomboy look (a big trend in the 70s).
  • Wear a fringed hippie jacket and a pair of workboots with your lacy dress to cut down the prissy, good-girl factor.
  • Wear a sheer lacy coverup or kimono over your swimsuit to make your beach outfit sexier than a bare bikini. (The peek-a-boo factor is what makes this alluring.)

Lace can be dressy. Lace can be casual. Lace can be sporty. Lace can be edgy. You can use lace to cover your flabby arms without covering them. You can guide people's eyes to any part of your body with the right placement of lace.

Yes, I'm beginning to think that lace is the duct tape of the fashion world. The next time you see a simple lace T-shirt, remember this article. I'm not kidding. I've just talked myself into looking for one.

More Articles for Chic, Happening Chicks:

How to Wear an LBD: 3 Ways to Style a Little Black Dress or a Long Black Dress

How to Wear Printed Shoes: 8 Styles of Patterned Footwear

Woodland Wedding Dresses: Ideas for Wedding 2, 3, 4 or Whatever

lace party dresses women

Main Photo - Lace Dress for Women

Photo Credits: Prshots.com.

  • Main Photo: M  and Co.
  • Pretty + Funky = Chic: Asos.
  • Funky Hip Lace Outfits: Apricot, Marks  & Spencer, La  Redoute.
  • Cute Lace Necklace: Wallis.
  • Dresses With Lace Inserts: Asos.
  • Lace Shoes: DebenhamsUK.
  • Brightly Colored Lace Trend: VeraMontUK, Asos, Asos Curve, Adrianna  Papell.
  • Oversized Lace Patterns: Phase  Eight, Asos, M  & Co.
  • Dramatic Lace Overlays: Asos (3).
  • Sheer Lace Skirt Hem: Asos (3).
  • Cute Red Lace Dress: Wallis.

(I haven't had time to look for typos, so if something seems really wrong, leave a comment so I can fix it.)

What do you think of this article? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

Follow Me on Pinterest Follow My Boomer Lifestyle Blog on facebook

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24 Comments

  1. kay kerns

    Nice article Tina! I love this trend. I have a memory of my mom sporting a form-fitted nude (pinkish tan) pastel lace knee-length dress in the late 60's. She managed to look both hot and proper at the same time! I like the bright or dark colored lace the best. I watched American Idol the other night and Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges, wore a bright orange lace dress and looked great!

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Kay,

      Wow, I don't know which dress sounds more amazing -- your mom's nude lace dress or J-Lo's hot orange dress. I'm voting for your mom's dress because she sounds like she was really fashion forward for the 60s, but I love bright lace tops and dresses, too. I also love the boho (hippie) tops with lace or crochet inserts that remind me of my happy time (the early 70s).

      And, my favorite sweater of the moment is a lightweight sweater (slightly open weave) with a long lace hem that covers my butt. I wear it over a cami and top it off with a short jacket or lightweight Johnny Was bolero. I need to find more long tops with lace hems. It's a really cute look. I got my sweater at Haute Look - discount place for Nordies -- for REALLY cheap. I wish I had bought two of them.

      Kay, I will always picture your mother in a sexy, nude-pink lace dress. How beautiful.

      Tina

      ps I can totally picture you in a rich cobalt lace top, a color like the dress in the main photo. You would also look good in a top the color of J-Lo's dress.

      • Tina-Boomerina

        K,

        I just looked up Jennifer Lopez' orange lace dress and pinned it to my Pantone Tangerine Orange board. (https://www.pinterest.com/boomerinas/pantone-tangerine-orange-2015/)

        I looked around and it's a Valentino dress for $2200. I'm not telling you so you can buy it. Duh!

        That's a ridiculous amount of money for a normal person and J-Lo probably got it for free because it's publicity for Valentino... I'm telling you because it might help you find a knockoff lace t-shirt in that color.

        Every store and clothing brand will call the color something different, but technically it's Pantone Tangerine (spring/summer 2015). I know you're on a tight budget but you might be able to find something similar at someplace like Tarjay when it's a little closer to summer.

        T

        • Tina-Boomerina

          ps J-Lo's orange dress (or a knock off) would look better as a top.

          It would look great over distressed jeans (or jean shorts if you're young enough or skinny enough to pull it off).

  2. Phyllis Kennedy

    Hey there!

    I love the look of lace, especially in the summer. My problem - what the heck do I wear on my legs? I'm 65, still have good legs but feel uncomfortable in a lovely dress with my bare, white legs sticking out. I live in Arizona so summer can bring temps over 110 in the daytime. Sure it "cools" off at night - to about 90. Mostly it doesn't bother me, but I wonder what hose do I wear, closed-toe sandals so the little stitching doesn't show? Your advice is the only one I trust, so there ya go. Help! How can I look polished and feel attractive?

    Phyllis Kennedy

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Phyllis,

      Hi. I've been out of town and I just got to your comment.

      What the heck do you wear on your legs? Most women wear bare legs these days. Even if you have pasty white legs, I think that's what most chicks do. I'm not saying you HAVE to go bare legged, but that's what everyone says and that's what I see... especially when it's hot out.

      My daughter, the fashionista, says most women go bare but if you want to wear stockings, you can. She recommends something like Donna Karan. I'll double check, but I think Donna Karan is what she recommends... and she used to work on Rodeo Drive... so she knows way more than I do.

      Okay.... I checked with my daughter. She said Donna Karan is the right brand. We are going to write an article when my daughter can tell me more. Hue is good for tights, but sometimes Hue colors are not good. I hope you'll come back when we have a real article with more info.

      Tina

      • Tina-Boomerina

        ps Phyllis, I think I emailed you, but I'm not sure if this darn thing is working right.

      • Tina-Boomerina

        Phyllis

        And, when I get settled in my new house... hopefully within a month or so... I'm determined to find out the correct answer to the nylon queries for once and for all.

        ps

        Even though I answered your comment in a somewhat flippant manner (in my usual joking way), I understand how important this question is. I spent hours looking for the answer for my daughter who was wearing a black dress to a wedding in the South and wasn't sure what to wear on her legs. I never got a straight answer for my daughter after all that.

        T

  3. Dorry Fenton

    Can we have some older models please.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Dorry,

      I would love to use older models, however I use photos that I get for free. If you look under my swimsuit section, I wrote a whole post explaining why I use young models and why I wish I didn't have to. I can't remember the name of the article, because I changed the name of it several times, but you'll recognize it when you see it.

      I'm thinking of having contests for women who are over 40 and send in photos of outfits they like. I'll have to wait until I'm settled in my new house. Jet Metier will already get some honorary prize, as will Jennifer because I've used their photos in articles.

      I'm sorry it took so long to reply, Dorry, but I'm selling one house and buying another and I'm living in dog-friendly hotels and staying with neighbors and things like that, so I don't always have good access to the internet.

      Looking forward to seeing a photo of your favorite outfits once I'm settled. If I can post photos of myself, all my favorite readers should do it too.... just think about it.

      Tina

      • Tina-Boomerina

        ps Also, my grammar and spelling may not be up to par because I'm typing on a tiny laptop... also I'm typing quickly because I don't have my cushy desk chair that I usually write from (it's in storage while we move) and so my neck hurts from sitting in the wrong position.... accckkkk... my life is falling apart. Put your thumb over the faces of the models. Someday I'll do an article with Mother Theresa's head glued over the 12-year-old model's faces....

  4. Jet

    Tina,

    There is more information and more descriptors in your lace essay than a see-through baby doll nighty.You deserve exposure across the fiber optic lines and periodical stands.You really see a trend for its place in contemporary history and you are able to discern the new variations on the themes so clearly. You could be a laceologist.

    I myself wore often to concerts, like Depeche Mode, an outfit I rigged up from the Mr. Mister video of "Broken Wings" of a long transparent black lace skirt worn above black bike shorts. I wore a satin bustier and embroidered black pumps. It is similar to the one you described. I went to concerts alone in those days, and lovely thing and kind things happened to me. (Really)

    I also wore it to a party, where one woman said to me, " I can't imagine how awful it would be to lose your looks after being the center of attention."

    From our mutual experience of living in Hawaii twice, I thought of crochet bikinis. If you were house sitting in Hawaii during the day, I could imagine you crocheting maillots for the girls that wanted to attract the attention of the big wave surfers. They were pretty enough to display even off the body. I was looking for one at the antique mall the other day, for which I would hang in irony like a macrame plant sling.

    Tina, you are the only one I know that can make comparisons to the Dutch masters, Cher on a chopper, Betty Crocker and duct in reference to the new iterations of lace. I've got the readers and a bit of cellulite, so it looks like you and me are ripe for the lace trade.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Jet,

      I used to go to concerts alone, too, but mostly in the 60s and early 70s. I preferred going with a guy or a galpal but it didn't always work out. After that I was usually married or broke.

      Also, I had an outfit that was a see-through lace maxi skirt (off white) that came with some off-white pants that were meant to be worn under the skirt. I had a few snide comments when I wore that back in the 80s.

      Are we long lost cousins or what?

      However, I was never very good at crocheting. The island girls would have given the surfers an eyeful when their bikini tops fell apart. (Also, I love the wording of your comments. I wish my mind would wander far and away and through the hills and valleys to come up with your type of metaphors.)

      T

  5. Erika

    I LOVE that blue outfit at the top of your post. Whose is it and where can I get it????

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Erika,

      It's great isn't it. The outfit is from M&Co in the UK. They ship to the US, but check measurements and sizing because UK sizes are a little different than US sizes. I don't have time to get the link for you but it's probably still available. Just google M&Co or M and Co UK. It should show up right at the top.

      Tina

  6. wheresthebeef

    My Mom is a member of this website. She said you'd get a laugh out of the bold fashions in this video!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LwG-EjxbN4

  7. Tina-Boomerina

    ps

    Sorry to all of you. It's taking me a while to get to the comments because I'm out of town and more ... Tina

  8. Isa

    Hi Tina : Love your article. I just came from the mall where I found a gorgeous nude pink lace and sheer, long sleeve below the knee dress. I was thinking that it was for teens before I tried it but I wanted to see how I looked in it. When I saw myself in the mirror I looked beautiful, felt good. I saw myself going to drink tea with my aunts or going to a weeding with these dress or taking a romantic portrait with it. I have some shoes that are of the same color but I do not want to look like and Easter Bunny. What do you think should be the shoes and accessories for a dress like this.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Isa,

      You sound lovely... and so does the dress. And, I'm glad you tried the dress on. You'll never know what styles look good on you unless you try something different every now and then.

      I'm not sure what color pink you're talking about, but since you mention the Easter Bunny, I'm going to guess it's more pink (blush?) than nude.

      It's currently hip and trendy to match your accessories to your dress, but I seldom do that. If your dress is something like the outfit in this photo (which clicks through to another one of my articles - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/274790014741653876/ ) you can see that the model is wearing shoes that match her pinky-tan-nude dress. And, it looks fabulous... even though the shoes look a bit too small for her feet... NEVER wear shoes that hurt.

      If matching your shoes to your dress feels too retro, you could do a darker version of the dress color or try almost any shade of metallic sandal (flats or heels).

      However, if you want something more "grounded" because you feel like you're going to float away, you could wear beige or medium brown shoes or flats. Personally, that's what I would do. I'm seeing a lot of white shoes, but that seems weirdly "1962" to me. I think I would go with some shade of brown... anything from nude up to chocolate brown (sandals if it's warm or it's evening / suede or leather for day). Gray or blue-gray would also be a good choice. However, if you have matching shoes, you should try them and see what you think. (If I just happened to have matching shoes, I might wear them... just because it's a hip look.)

      However, you can do whatever you want. Try on all your shoes (and booties) and make up your own style ---- as long as it's flattering --- you should be daring and give it a try. You'll know if it looks good or bad when you see it, but without trying it together, you won't know.

      You thought the dress was for teenagers. If you don't try on those tan booties, you won't know if they work with your dress. Okay, you don't have to try on your cowboy booties unless you're having a fun, dress-up kind of day.

      I think a tan or gray or blue-gray or metallic clutch would look smashing. Personally, I like shoulder bags, but my writer friend pointed out how the strap throws off the way the dress hangs. And, she's right.

      If the dress is all lace, you don't need much jewelry. I'm thinking one big metal bangle and a pair of earrings would probably be enough. And, you may not even need that. If you felt amazing just putting the dress on, I would keep the accessories neutral and let the dress (and you) shine.

      And, you don't have to match your accessories unless you're in the mood. You could even make your dress funky with a long pendant. I think you'll be wearing that dress all the time. If not, you need to get out and have tea with your best friend from high school... or your mom or your daughter.

      And, it's hard to know what will look good with your dress without seeing it. I hope this helps.

      T

  9. Taylor

    I was looking at your site and saw the white dress with an aqua overlay(under Dramatic Lace Overlay: first one on the picture), and I fell in love with it! I searched and searched for it, but I couldn't find it any where! I was wondering... where is it from, where can I buy it??

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Taylor,

      I just saw your comment and sent some links in an email. That dress is almost sold out, but there may be another similar dress if the size they have doesn't fit you. Happy hunting. They have lots of cute stuff.

      Tina

  10. PARIS

    I am wearing a gorgeous white lace too the floor dress with back out what do I wear under it

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Paris,

      If I understand you correctly, it's a backless dress, and you're main problem is the top half. I'm not a lingerie expert because I grew up with the ladies who burned their bras, but I've found some tips on a few websites:

      Get lingerie that matches your skintone not your dress.

      Try a backless bra. I've never had much luck with those things, but you might. Get double-sided bra tape to keep your bra in place. Another option is to have a good tailor sew (bra) cups into the dress. Ask (email) the people at the best store in town to recommend a tailor. If your boobs don't sag, you might be able to go without a bra... that's what I do whenever a dress fits properly on its own. You can buy things to tape over your nips or use round Band Aids to cover your nips if they stick out.

      For the lower half of your body, Spanx and Spanx-knockoffs are good. Always go a size or two larger so you can breathe after you eat a couple of hors d'ouvres (sp?). I think the ladies in the store had me go up three sizes and they were RIGHT.

      T

  11. Emma

    Do you know where that teal and white dramatic lace overlay dress can be purchased