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? 

22 comments:

  1. I've missed you, Angeline, and keep hoping you'll come back to style blogging. You were one of my inspirations to try it myself.

    I have a couple of lace items I wear to work, but they're tops and a little easier to style for the office. I actually have a TULLE skirt on a work today, inspired by Already Pretty and Wardrobe Oxygen, and hope the outfit pics reflect how much fun it is to wear and style for work :)

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  2. I love the lay out of the blog! Minimal and simple, exudes content over form factor. The tips you've stated here is also accurate and easy-to-follow. Thank you very much for posting this one cause I am trying to mix and match my own wardrobe to get effective results.

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  3. Angeline!!! Where have you been? :)

    I'm still not on board with lace at work. You're right, it does remind everyone of lingerie. I think I'd be too self-conscious wearing lace in an office. I wouldn't want to be perceived as trying to be sexy. Meh, maybe I'm just old.

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  4. i totally agree with all your rules, especially the "Anything that could be mistaken as a bustier or lingerie should be avoided." work is not the place to be sexy! better err on the side of conservative than to have to be taken in my hr for a talk.

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  5. I am so glad to see you posting again! I am a huge fan of lace in all of its forms. I think wearing all of the costumes from when I was a tour guide stops me from having that lingerie association. I love a good lace shirt with a cap sleeve. I have a grey one and a cream one. I've tried the cream one at work but it's full of sequins and just doesn't work. The grey one I wear like crazy though usually with a grey tank underneath and either a skirt and cardigan or jeans and a blazer.

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  6. Happy to read you are back ;)
    I adore lace - makes me feel fancy.

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  7. really great article i like the way you put the outfits together so that they looked professional with a touch of class added in

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  8. I seldom wear lace in the office, and the times when I did, it was hardly noticeable. The next time will be a daring one to show off my more daring side.

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  9. Thanks for your post. This helps office ladies a lot. I also find some other useful information from your blog. I will check back soon, and hope to find more perfect articles:)

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  10. Hello Angeline,

    I love this post. Been adding a little lace on my work clothes these days and am loving it. Hope you had a wonderful day! Happy holidays!

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  11. I like your suggestions. Thanks for providing these.

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  18. I think it does depend on the item, but I do agree about the skintone-under-lace stuff not being appropriate for the office.

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