Sexy is Back
Ever since my mid-twenties, I have traded sexy underwear for practical everyday support. Sometimes I don't even wear bras as there is hardly anything that needs support as far as I am concerned... But one thing Instagram has taught me is that in the fight between practicality and fashion, the former never ever wins and details, even camouflaged lace, matter more than anything when it comes to style. And having been bombarded by images of fashion bloggers and brands such as Lorna Luxe, Meleponym, Audrey Lombard, Anine Bing etc, I have naturally become totally obsessed with that lace detail nonchalantly exposed. So simple yet so perfect.
In this post, I therefore present to you my quest for the perfect lace, to be worn on a lazy Sunday or more formally, including at work (some of you will already know how I love to challenge the codes of everyday corporate fashion - if you don't, check out my Insta account). There are very few rules to follow but just in case you were hesitant to embrace the sexy lace trend, here are a few tips that will infallibly make it work. Rule number 1: Simple is best. A subtle lace bra that can just about be noticed under a tee-shirt, a denim shirt or some soft knit will make you look like you have tried even though it's probably the easiest outfit to put together. Rule number 2: Opt for plunge shapes and avoid thick straps. Long V shape bras or camis are usually your best allies as they have a more modern feel (except if you have a generous bust (which I sadly know nothing about), in which case , I suspect you will prefer support, and round wired bras may be preferable). I also tend to prefer thin straps because they're more versatile (eg can be worn under tank tops or camis more easily). Rule number 4: Splash on cheap jewellery. Wear tons of layered necklaces to make the lace stand out even more. The high street (H&M for example) generally has pretty cool ranges now but if you prefer independent brands, I tend to buy from Bohomana, Escape Jewellery or Instants Plaisirs. Rule number 4: Don't be afraid of contrast. Forget your mum ever said seeing through your underwear was a fashion faux pas. White on black will actually give you some extra edge. Rule number 5: Don't necessarily spend too much. There is something for every budget here. And expensive lace does not necessarily represent the best choice. There are some amazing pieces around £20 (some of which are listed here) and equally some atrocious, granny like pieces at +£300 (which you won't find here obviously).
If you need to come to sexy lace in steps, my advice would be to invest first in black guipure bras (they're apparently called 'bralettes' these days, which is possibly the worst word ever invented) as even if you end up shying away from putting your underwear on display who does not need pretty underwear anyway? Alternatively, try lace camisoles with your regular (but discreet) choice of underwear. And if you're still unsure, aim for subtle details in your everyday wardrobe, eg a lace hem detail on a jacket, a skirt or a pair of trousers, lace patches on a simple white shirt. I know with age there sometimes comes a fear of showing too much flesh. I think I am one of those persons as I have had several abdominal surgeries and my belly is now an abstract Picasso. But I have still taken this dive, so why wouldn't you? And if I can't convince you, check out Kitty's uber stylish Instagram profile kitscool, am confident she'll make you change your mind.
If, on the contrary, you're feeling a little daring, why not try lace bodies? This is honestly going to be my next purchase. Asos has some amazing choice which are too tempting to resist, especially in the £20 range.
1. (Not so) Hidden details
1. Mango Lace Triangle Bra, £19.99 - if you only have 20 quid to spend, get this (or one of the Asos bodies if you already own lace bras)
2. Agent Provocateur Pearle Leavers Plunge Bra, £155 - hidden beauty apparently has a price, it's just above the 150 mark...
3. ASOS Bailey High Leg Lace Body, £20 (also in black) - like I said (also frequently worn by Ms Lombard if this is the sort of detail that matters to you)
4. Gooseberry Intimates Uncovered Body, $139 (also in ivory) - only just discovered this US brand but already starting a mini-obsession...
5. Gooseberry Intimates Bra Longline Be Mine, $80
6. ASOS Sidney Eyelash Lace Plunge Body, £22 - the only thick strap model suggested on this page because I think it would look gorgeous under a chunky cardigan
7. Victoria's Secret Front Close Bralette, £18.18 - simple, cute and cheap!
8. Anine Bing Stretch Lace Soft Cup Bra, £80 (also in black) - the best when it comes to lace lingerie, honestly
2. Subtle provocation
1. Zadig & Voltaire Christy Camisole, £150 - my absolute favourite brand when it comes to silk camis. I probably own ten different colours (some styles are marked down during the sales, best time to invest) and I wear them all the time
2. Magali Pascal Black Camisole, £185 - new discovery (love the fact that the lace is pointy and not round) but pricey unfortunately
3. The Kooples White Silk Crepe Cami With Black Lace, £145 - amazing contrast
4. Eponym Creation Top Jules, €145 - again, because I love spiky lace...
5. Pins and Needles Apron Neck Lace Cami, £34 - could work well under a jacket
6. Mode in Elo Caraco Dentelle, €19 (many different Spring colours available, UK shipping) - very cheap and perfect V shape
7. Princesse Tam Tam Insolente Camisole, £49 (also in ivory and red) - this is a very good quality, affordable French lingerie brand which I sincerely recommend
8. H&M Satin Strappy Top With Lace, £19.99 (also in white, black and pink) - with the recent Spring days I have started having a thing for mint green colours...
3. Formal guipure
1. Bas&h Alyssa Jumpsuit, £375 - oh so beautiful. Bas&h you did it again. Your jumpsuits are just to die for...
2. La Redoute Stretch Pencil Skirt with Lace Hem, £23.40 - to give the above look a try?
3. H&M Lace Body, £19.99 - love this goth style. Would be perfect to spice up a dull workwear attire
4. The Kooples Black Lace Suit Jacket, £385 - beautiful but once more that doesn't come cheap!
5. Magali Pascal Off White Maxi Dress, €299 - if only we had more Summer days in London, this is what you would see me wear...
6. Maje Short Lace Bomber Jacket, £239 - am not a bomber fan but could totally fall for this one...
7. Claudie Pierlot Panama Pants, £209 - hesitated about this one. Love the idea but somehow even the model doesn't look great in those pants. Could just be the picture. Needs to be tried and tested
8. Sezane Nevada Shirt, £85 - already bought this one and it works wonders over jeans or tux type trousers for work