Lace – Old Lady Or Always In Style?

Lace: Old lady or always in style? I don’t have any lace in my closet at the moment. Not a scrap, not even a lacy bra. I didn’t know that until I thought about writing this today. And I love the look of lace, simply love it. Kate Middleton’s wedding gown gave me shivers. Then there are these dreamy, feminine blouses to contemplate:

I am also deeply in love with this lace midi skirt by Alice + Olivia:

Must wait until it’s on sale. 😊

The history of lace and lace-making is fairly recent, in terms of the design world. Its use in fashion began in the mid-1500’s, and of course it was made by hand. The Industrial Revolution in the 19th century brought about the machine-made versions. “There are a few parts of the world where hand-made lace is still produced for sale, but increasingly through the twentieth century lacemaking became a craft undertaken for pleasure.” Have you tried it?

So why don’t I own or wear any lace items right now? Maybe it’s my memory of this frothy confection from my youth:

You can still nab it on Etsy, maybe for a retro party?

Kidding! Or maybe it’s the fear of looking too Church Lady, too stuffy, too Miss Havisham:

Joan Hixson as Miss Havisham.

I think the best way to introduce lace items to my wardrobe would be a clean-lined blouse like this one. It’s not fussy or Old-Lady, and it’s not Bridal. I do like ivory next to my face. To stay modern, I’d pair it with a slim skirt or a pair of jeans. And I would keep the accessories clean: simple earrings or bracelet and ring:

I like this.

I also have been ogling lace-trimmed skirts like this one from Zadig & Voltaire. Here I would pair it with a simple knit top, even an upscale tee. Maybe a pair of sleek boots too. The ones shown are pretty gorgeous:

Just a lace hem with a masculine boot makes a modern blend.

Do you wear lace? How do you work it into your style and how do you accessorize? Or is it hopelessly inappropriate for the 50- and 60-something stylish woman? Please let me hear your thoughts, and have a lovely, lacy day.

“He greatly valued his possessions, chiefly because they were his, and derived genuine pleasure from contemplating a painting, a statuette, a rare lace curtain – no matter what – after he had bought it and placed it among his household gods.”

-Kate Chopin

Stay safe, xo

Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse:

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  1. I am a fan of lace. I like both skirts you featured. The blouses and lilac dress are too detailed for lace. A simple lace pencil skirt or sleeveless sheath in a solid color looks fantastic. As someone already mentioned, the lace has to be elegant and good feeling. The cheap scratchy stuff is unwearable.

    • Hello MP and Happy Sunday to you! Thanks for your comments, and I agree – lace has to feel good. xx

  2. To my mind, lace or no lace has less to do with age and more to do with your overall look and vibe.
    I’m kind of a jeans and t-shirt girl, bordering on what we used to so quaintly call “tomboy”, so there is not a single stitch of lace in my wardrobe. It’d feel to me like playing dressup.
    But if lace has always been in your repertoire, why would you abandon it just because you’re a certain age? If it’s working for you and you like it, I say rock that sh#$^%.

    • Good morning Rena and how good to see you. Love your advice, right to the point! : > Stay safe and fabulous, xx.

  3. Viva Lace always in style .I Love wearing lace as the intricate designs are true art. I really like black lace in small touches on blouses,camisoles and skirts so feminine refined and sexy at any age . That skirt you showcased was exquisite and definately on my wish list for sale time.

    • Hi Joan and thanks for your comments. You’re right that some lace is artistic! A lace camisole sounds perfect. Stay safe and well, xx.

  4. I, too, love lace but wear it sparingly. I have a sheer black lace top that came with a black camisole beneath it. I have changed that out for pink, beige and white on occasion. I have paired it with khaki pants and jeans to good effect. I also have a voile print blouse with an ivory lace yoke and the tiny wildflower print makes it look good with almost anything.

    • Hello Joyce and thanks for coming over. Your lace top sounds lovely and versatile, well done! Stay safe and well, xx.

  5. You nailed it Patti, lace should be worn with other very simple items and jewellery with clean lines to make it look modern and take it out of ‘old lady’ territory.

    • Hi Lise and thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re enjoying your wardrobe and the beautiful Spring weather! Stay well, and safe, xx.

  6. Awhile back, I purchased a black lace moto jacket. It has an offset, exposed zipper and I thought it looked so cool on the model. Well, I’ve never worn it out due to the lace issues you talked about. Your post has given me something to reconsider. I’d love suggestions as to how to wear my jacket. I really appreciate your posts and always look forward to a notification that you’ve posted. Have a wonderful year!

    • Hello Deborah and thanks for your comments and kind words. Please, go ahead and wear that black lace jacket, with your favorite jeans or a dark denim skirt. If it’s boot weather where you are, I’d add those too! Stay well and safe, xx.

  7. I have a turquoise lace jacket a friend gifted my several years ago. I have rarely worn it, for the reasons I think of lace as old fashioned. However, these days I am trying not to purchase new clothing and trying to come up with new ways to wear what I already own. thinking I might pair it with distressed jeans and a tee shirt, my metallic sneakers.

    • Hi Darby! I love your idea of the lace jacket with distressed jeans. Like Sheila does, mixing ladylike and tough. Thanks for coming by, xx.

  8. I love lace, but it has to be a nice lace, not that cheesy 80s stuff. A Victorian-style blouse with lace inserts is retro but can look very modern with wide-legged trousers or an A-line skirt. I have a couple of lace dresses, and I always add “tough” accessories, like leather belts or studded shoes to make them less girly. That juxtaposition of tough and girly makes a huge difference.

    Hope you are well, Patti!

    • Oh hey Sheila, great to see you. Yes, I am with you on adding a “tough” piece to a girly piece. You do it so well. Stay fab, xx.

  9. I like a touch of lace, here or there — never all-over lacy things, anymore.

    A friend gifted me a huge bag of lace trims for sewing … some of them are 19th century hand-crocheted beauties. I am working through the collection slowly, adding bits and bobs here and there to doll up some old favorite blouses that are in sore need of spiffing up. And adding indiscriminately to baby dresses, for friends’ grand-babies.

    • Good morning, Lin and thanks for your comments! I think it’s lovely that you use lace to change up the blouses you already own. And for baby dresses – that’s creative and sweet. Stay well, xx.

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