Lace is one of those magical fabrics that can be so many things: sexy, girly, edgy, grandmotherly. It's all in how you wear it.
This season, lace comes out of the lingerie closet and into everyday wardrobes, showing up on shoes, bags, skirts and dresses and even jewelry. And especially this time of the year, it feels so right to wear this fanciful fabric to parties or even as a feminine touch for everyday, worn peeking out from layers of warm clothing or as a surprise accent in a pump or bag.
At Banana Republic, you'll find a lacy sheath in a dusky gray ($175). Pair it with a sky-high pumps and a simple clutch, and you're ready for the glitziest of holiday parties.
Valentino, a brand known for its feminine styles, went no-holds-barred with lace for its 2011 fall collection, which includes lace overlay dresses, tiered lace skirts and even a pair of knee-high see-through lace boots ($1,295 at Nordstrom).
Even jewelry has been inspired by the delicate patterns of lace. At Anthropologie, gold-colored Preserved Lace Drop earrings ($32) look delicate yet substantial enough to wear with winter sweaters.
And this spring will be all about lacy cutouts in lighter shades. For Louis Vuitton's spring 2012 shows, models wore the sheerest of dresses covered in white eyelet lace.
And at Alexander McQueen, gossamer lace netting covered models' heads as they wore feminine designs in shimmering pinks and golds with a delicate lace bodice.
What to look for at retailers this spring? Expect plenty of eyelet skirts, along with lacy tops and lace-accented accessories.