Monday, November 26, 2012

How to wear lace in the office

While cold weather never really hits Miami, the winter season has me longing for texture after seasons of breezy floaty stuff. Cozy knits can be too warm (except for in an air-conditioned building), but lace is a great alternative to add another dimension.

I'm a little torn on lace in the office, though. While it is a classic fabric that has been around for centuries, it also often evokes sexy lingerie, which really shouldn't be visible in an office environment (whether you wear it for your own knowledge is up to you). I'm a bit of a prude —I still haven't worn anything more open than peep-toes in my workplace so maybe it's just me—but I'm determined to branch out, starting with this top I got a few weeks ago.

Super-conservative offices (like law firms or banks) may not be the right place for lace at all, but if your workplace is a little more lenient, here are some tips on keeping lace ladylike for the office:
  • Cover up underneath (more than just a cami). Avoid flesh-tones underneath, too, lest folks mistake it for actual flesh. As with regular clothes, bra straps and bras should not be visible. 
  • Watch your colors. The lace and underlying layers should be complementary. I personally love the subtle look of tone-on-tone lace (with the under-layer in the same color).
  • Keep the silhouette conservative. This goes for both cut and fit. A lace skirt looks much more ladylike at knee-length than mini, and with a little give instead of skin tight. Anything that could be mistaken as a bustier or lingerie should be avoided.
  • Take care of snags. If you're a klutz like me, minor snags are bound to happen on any fabric other than sturdy cotton. Keep your lace looking neat by using a straight pin or safety pin to push the snagged threads back through the fabric so they're not visible on the surface.  
  • A little goes a long way. If you're not quite comfortable with statement lace just yet, there are plenty of intermediate options for you. Try it out a little at a time.

What do you think about lace? How do you make it office appropriate?