5 tips on how to wear lace to work without looking too sexy

So you’ve stocked your closet full of lace (just because they are too pretty to resist), but now that it’s time to actually put them on, you can’t figure out how to make them look office-appropriate. Don’t fret, let us show you how with these top tips and tricks

Showbit  /  Alberta Ferretti Spring Summer 2011

I’ve always loved lace and it has been my go-to fabric whenever I want to look romantic and sultry. This lustrous material is one that never dates and has a magical effect that makes me feel super feminine whenever I put it on. 

As gorgeous as lace might be, it is usually not encouraged in a workplace setting (especially for a conservative office) because of its suggestive connotations. When styled incorrectly, it may come across as lingerie-like, making you look like the protagonist in a steamy romance novel.

However, there are some days where we would love to sport a statement look for a boost of confidence and wearing lace will do exactly that. 

While it’s true that some lace tops look more alluring and boudoir-esque than others, it’s more about how the lace is worn and not so much in the lace itself. Here are five foolproof ways on how you can nail this fabric for your nine-to-five style at the office. 

Polyester lace dress by Vila, $70.55 from ASOS

1. Choose light/neutral colours 
If you want to keep your look more casual and conjure up a more innocent vibe, neutral coloured lace for example white and beige will do the trick. 

White guipure lace dress by Self-Portrait, $464 from Net-A-Porter

2. Go for ‘big’ lace
There are many different types of lace, classified by how they are made. One of the lace motifs with the least “boudoir” integrity would be macramé lace. It’s a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting, which results in it being coarser with big lace pieces. 

Polyester dress by Vila, $61.70 from ASOS

3. Layer something over it 
If you prefer light delicate laces, try layering a knitted tunic over it. The lace-edged hem of a dress peeking out will lend the perfect touch of femininity to your outfit. 

Polyester drape waistcoat, $109 by Zara

4. Pair it with a masculine outerwear
Masculine cuts will help to “neutralise” the sexiness of lace pieces. Work a blazer or a draped vest over your ensemble and you are good to go! You can also try pairing lace top with pants instead of a skirt to look more sharp and polished. 

Calf hair pumps by Oscar de la Renta, $568 from The Outnet

5. Tone down on your shoes 
If you are going for a “busy” head-to-toe lace look in the form of a lace dress, keep the design of your shoes clean and minimal. You can also keep the heel height lower to make it more office friendly. 

If you are still not convinced, you might want to test the waters on a day where you have no major meetings scheduled. If you feel overexposed, just dial back the degree of skin exposure by throwing on a blazer. Have fun!