You thought about wearing a bra top, but let's face it, the look is just too daring for you.
Fortunately, there’s another lingerie-inspired style that’s not only been gracing fashion runways, but that stylists believe works on everyone.
READ: Feeling Daring? How to Wear a Bra Top
“Whether interpreted as a print, worn all over, topping off an outfit, or intricately placed in panels and insets, lace is now the must-have fabric for 2014,” says Lizzy Bowring, fashion director at Stylesight. “New non-traditional interpretations have emerged (on the runways). Some rigid, others more tightly woven with metallic for a modern geometric look.”
“On the flipside, lace can be discreetly feminine and grown up or provocative and sexy," Bowring adds. "Other laces are seen as lightweight and sheer, resembling slips of lingerie."
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Whether you want to feel like a model or just want to add some oomph to your overall personal style, lace is one of the easiest and sexiest fabrics to wear — if done correctly.
We asked renowned stylists for their advice on how to embrace lace without baring all:
Say Hello to Color
Stylists insist that when it comes to wearing lace, you should invest in an array of bright, bold hues. "This will keep you looking young and fresh," says fashion consultant Colin McDonald. "It makes you glow." Whether you chose turquoise, tangerine, or classic red, don’t be afraid to experiment.
Enhance Your Shape
According to celebrity fashion stylist Anthony Henderson, there’s no fabric that will flaunt curves quite like lace. “It’s not just for your grandmother’s coffee table, the curtains, or the living room,” he says. “When wearing lace, you want it to accentuate your hottest assets. You should be confident that it will make you feel fabulous.” Henderson advises making sure the lace is strategically placed on your favorite feature to flaunt it.
Dress Like a Duchess
Melissa Liebling-Goldberg, fashion and beauty director for POPSUGAR, says to take inspiration from a duchess who’s often photographed wearing this classic look without being too seductive. “Kate Middleton is the epitome of how to wear lace,” explains Goldberg. “It’s an utterly feminine fabric, but the slim silhouettes she picks keep it looking modern, along with her sleek accessories. This is not a fabric to go over-the-top with jewelry.”
Got curves? Flaunt them with a peplum. This is an easy look that will make your waist appear smaller and enhance your figure in all the right places. Add nude stilettos to elongate the legs.
Add Different Textures
A designer lace dress is ideal to channel your inner Hollywood screen siren at a swanky soiree, but when it comes to daytime, it's best to opt for a more casual look. “If you’re going to rock lace, make sure to mix it up with different textures, like your favorite pair of boyfriend denim or a black leather skirt," says McDonald. “Stay away from wearing lace head to toe. It will only age you and make you feel a bit antiquey.”
Invest in the Best
Invest in high quality lace. “Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ wedding garb isn’t quite the look you’re going for, so keep it classy with the quality,” says Emmy Award-winning fashion expert Hilary Kennedy.
Short on Time?
If you’re in a hurry, lace can help solve your what-do-I-wear woes because the hair and accessories should be kept as minimal as possible. “Hair and accessories should be no fuss,” says Kennedy. “You don’t want to take away from the sex appeal of the lace, so keep it sleek and easy with the rest of your look.”
Wear It to the Office
Yes, lace can be worn to the office, but there’s a specific way to keep your outfit polished, not raunchy. “Make sure you choose neutral colors,” says model and fashion expert Jaimie Hilfiger. “Wearing bold colors will be too daring for a conservative setting and eliminate the element of grace to your look. Don’t go sheer.” For office-friendly attire, Hilfiger says to stick with pencil skirts and blouses with thicker lace prints. Those peekaboo pieces? Reserve them for a night out with friends.
See a Seamstress
Before you wear a lace dress, it’s important to first visit a seamstress and ensure that it’s not only the right fit for your frame, but also the correct length. “If the dress is too long, the lace may give an effect of excessive weight,” says celebrity stylist Ali Levine. “Whereas if your dress is too short, it can look cheap.”