“White lace” conjures up visions of Kate Middleton floating down the aisle to marry her literal prince. But for the rest of us, it can be a tricky style to pull off. Too much lace and suddenly you feel like a grandmother or a small child on her way to Easter Sunday. Too little and it’s easy to lose sight of it. With the right accessories and attitude, though, you can make your little white dress even more versatile than your little black one.
Choosing the perfect dress for you and your event is key. It won’t matter how you dress it up or down if the centerpiece of your outfit isn’t right in the first place. The options for a stylish white lace dress are nearly endless, so take the time to find one that you look great in and also feel great in. The best accessory is always confidence, but comfort isn’t far behind. Show off those legs you’re so proud of in a mini, or let your arms be free in a halter or spaghetti strapped creation.
Whatever you choose, be sure to have the right undergarments. Depending on strap cut and your comfort level, strapless may be the easiest option for a bra to wear with lace. The straps won’t show, nor will they run the risk of getting caught in the lace itself. If you’re uncomfortable in strapless, but don’t want the hassle of keeping your straps in place all night, invest in a bra that sticks to your actual skin. Keep your underwear skin toned and minimal.
Shoes should be your next major consideration. Is your dress so long that you’ll need heels? Or is it the perfect length for those sandals that give your feet just enough sparkle? For a night out on the town, a pair of high heels with a pop of color can give your white lace just the right amount of fun. If you’re going for elegant and understated, though, slip on a set of silver or flesh-toned ballet flats. You’ll be both comfortable and fashionable.
It’s easy to fall into a “winter wonderland” mindset with a white dress, so try to steer clear of white accessories. Instead of a white clutch or coat, try a cross body bag in a deep jewel tone. A black and white plaid print on a coat can draw attention without overpowering the lace detail of your dress. The goal is to contrast, not clash. If it’s warm enough, try a duster in a pastel color that brings out your eyes, or complements your skin tone.
Jewelry can be what makes or breaks an outfit. Pearls can bring a vintage feeling, but be careful that you don’t stray into “grandmother” territory. A choker with lots of detail can make an off-the-shoulder or plunging neckline seem a bit more demure, while a simple silver chain with a charm settled on your décolletage can pull a full outfit together. Not a fan of necklaces? If your dress doesn’t have sleeves, load up on the bangles and bracelets. Take into account the kind of lace your dress is made with, though. If it’s especially delicate, dainty jewelry not only fits with the look itself, but a small unassuming bracelet without charms on it is less likely to snag your dress as you dance the night away or take in the sights on vacation. If it’s a sturdier fabric, however, try a bold cuff on your wrist or bicep. (For men, read this great guide to choosing men’s jewelry).
Whatever style you choose, loud, sexy, delicate, or modest, the best decision you can make is to have fun while looking great.