Lace is Still Hot: Modern Ways to Wear Lace for Spring & Summer 2015
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.
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.
Pretty + Funky = Chic:
Here's how to avoid looking like that uptight old lady who scared the crap out of you as a child:
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.
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?
- 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.