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David Jones

Amazing Lace: 5 ways to wear one of fashion’s most-loved fabrics

photograph of model wearing ensemble with a sheer lace camisole


For as long as women have been dressing to the nines, ladies have been wearing lace. From the fashion-obsessed Marie-Antoinette, to the flappers of the 1920s, to the dancers of the Moulin Rouge, some of history’s best-dressed women have incorporated the beauty of lace into their daily aesthetic.

In the past few fashion decades our love affair with the fabric has lingered on, featuring in the quirky costumes of Madonna in the eighties, and more recently in the collections of Prada for Fall/Winter 2008/09. It was the latter that initiated a full-fledged lace resurgence on the runway, a revival that continues to be embraced by modern-day women of all ages.

To help you to achieve your perfect lacey look, we’ve work shopped 5 ways to wear one of fashion’s most-cherished fabrics.

1. Subtly layered

photograph of model wearing white sleeveless dress with black lace top layered underneath.

Because a floor length lace gown isn’t always appropriate, you can experiment with the fabric in more understated ways. A delicate lace blouse layered beneath a tunic or dress will add a dash of modern elegance to your look. 

2. Lace on lace

photograph of model wearing outfit with lace pants and matching lace top

For the “all or nothing” approach, don’t be scared to experiment with a little lace-on-lace. From wide leg lace culottes worn with lacey camisoles, to high-waist A-line lace skirts worn with cropped lace tops. With so many different hues, textures, and silhouettes now available in fashion’s lace archives, there are endless lace-on-lace ensembles in store for you to try.

3. Tactile texture

close up photograph of model wearing white lace off the shoulder dress with long sleeves

By its very definition, lace is a fine open fabric of cotton or silk, made by looping, twisting, or knitting threat in patterns. But some more modern lace designs pack a little more punch, characterised by their substantial texture and weight. While a delicate lace camisole is beautiful for a warm summer’s day, a “heavier” looking lace piece can make a stellar statement for a dinner or special occasion.

4. Elizabethan elegance

close up of a woman wearing a black lace dress

While dramatic ruffs, restrictive bodices, and puffed sleeves don’t play a particularly prominent role in contemporary fashion, a touch of Elizabethan elegance still lingers on the runway, particularly in garments made of lace. For a more classic, hyper feminine lace look, opt for dresses that feature high latticework necklines, long sleeves, and modest floor length hemlines.

5. Delicately sheer

Model wearing outfit with lace top by Jedd Cooney

Whether it’s a soft button up blouse or a chic camisole, if it’s made of sheer lace, it’s bound to be beautiful. Pair delicate pieces such as these with more structured garments such as high waist jeans for day, and voluminous, wide leg trousers for special occasions after dark.