How to wear lace over 40

by guest writer

How to wear lace over 40 |

Please welcome today’s guest writer Sabine from Oceanblue Style.

Lace is all around or at least the fabric “du jour“ so to speak. If this makes you want to cry out “no lace“ like Mr. Bennett did in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” you should stop right there and bear with me for a moment.

Instead of turning your back on lace I am inviting you to follow me on a quest where I show you how to wear lace over 40. Together we are going to conquer the styling dilemma that laughs us in the face every time we think of lace.

Lace associations

First of all, what does the material stand for? Dowdy, old-fashioned, thus: difficult and outdated? At least, that is what it used to be like for me.

Secondly, I am still hiding those childhood pictures back from the days when Princess Diana was a style icon wearing ruffles, lace and all with panache while I looked like a clown. Sooooo, “no more lace”, I said to myself, thanking Mr. Bennett silently. However, the “lace” question started to feel like a challenge and there is nothing I like better than a “styling challenge“.

So how to wear lace over 40?

Give it an edgy twist!

Easier said than done? Not necessarily.

Last year when shopping in New York City I came across a black patent leather jacket. Such a clothing item makes for a very strong statement and it was in desperate need of some toning down. The perfect contrast came along when I was inspecting my closet – a black lace skirt I had discovered at a vintage store in Berlin about ten years ago. I then added two more basics like a black turtleneck and some leather boots – also straight out of the closet and no extra money spent! And there it was: my „all grown-up women” urban afternoon look.


The “Modern Victorian“ look

The first styling success made me long for a white blouse with an Edwardian touch. That is why I treated myself to a white, terribly soft blouse. Its lace applications are quite subdued. The notched fabric around the waist makes it even more appealing.

With this look you will notice that I stuck to classics like red pumps and a blue blazer. To achieve a relaxed look I opted for patent leather and jersey.

We are aiming for another edgy effect so the white lace blouse is matched with a pair of blue leather pants which creates the most extreme contrast.


Adding color to the lace and mixing lace with lace

After such warm-ups I was finally ready to take the plunge and take the lace look one step further. At a fashion show in Frankfurt I saw a figure fitting white blouse with applications made by Danish designer Anna Fjord, who had been living in Paris for some time. She managed to turn the classical white blouse into something completely different.

The idea is to mix elegance or basics with an unusual note. This rule will provide you with endless styling opportunities!

In the looks below I mixed the black vintage midi skirt with a sheer white and black blouse and in the second look I mixed lace with a color applique lace blouse.



Why do these looks work?

As mentioned before it’s the “stick-to-basics” pattern coming into full swing here: black and white, blue and white. Of course, you can adapt it to your color palette going for beige, grey, red. I haven’t gone for the most dramatic style yet: red and black channeling a Spanish Flamenco dancer (and don’t know if I ever will) but matched the Anna Fjord blouse with some pink pleated-front pants.

You could also wear it with a white classic tee or men’s shirt if you wanted to create an even more cool grown-up effect or add a touch of ease. Styles that would certainly make Mr. Bennett beg for: “More lace”.




Will you wear lace this season? Which of the above looks is your favorite?

Sabina Brauner is a German with a Californian spirit and after living in San Diego calls Frankfurt her home now. She is the author of Oceanblue Style, a “salon-blog” for grown-up women over 30. OB Style refreshes its readers with a regular fashion breeze of european, urban elegance mixed with So Cal ease, talks about contemporary issues and travels.


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patti

Wonderful post, Sabine and Sylvia, and beautiful lace looks. Love that last skirt with faux fur!



2 Sabina @Oceanblue Style

Thank you very much Patti. Means a lot. Hope you are well! xxx Sabina


3 Samantha

I like how all of the ladies featured have steered clear of that “colourful lace shift dress” look, which is trying to lull women into a false sense of ‘trendy’.
These women have taken the lace and made it unique to their personal style.
There are some beautiful and confident looks here.
Very inspiring…. I may just did out some lace of my own!


4 Samantha



5 Sabina @Oceanblue Style

Thank you Samantha for sharing your throughts. I am so glad you have taken the time to comment and let yourself be inspired. Best, Sabina


6 Samantha

I have just realised that the ‘ladies’ are in fact all Sabina! I thought you had styled different people! I am such an idiot!! . Even more impressed though, as each look is so individual that it looks like a different woman! Brilliant. X


7 Sabina @Oceanblue Style

Thank you for your kind words. xxx


8 beate

love sabina´s blog!
for me lace was and is sexy – but it is like with all the other materials – if the person who wears them is dowdy – the clothes look dowdy. but sabina – you´r radiating coolness and glamour! and you have a very good hand for unexpected fresh combinations!! hugs! xxxxx


9 Sabina @Oceanblue Style

Thank you so much for your appreciative words its readers like you that keep my imagination on its toe and coming from a professional designer like you makes me blush! Just thank you again! xxxx


10 Petite Silver Vixen

Styled in the wrong hands, lace can be old fashioned but paired with other textures like leather or suede and it updates it immediately. Love the different styles you’ve come up with. Definitely NOT frumpy!


11 Sabina @Oceanblue Style

So glad you like it. Thank you very much for your friendly comment! Appreciate it. Sabina


12 Greetje

Very good examples Sabina. I love the first two looks (and the outfit with the pink trousers).
Indeed very well thought through. Love the balance between the leather and the lace. The masculin with the feminin.


13 Sabina @Oceanblue Style

Thanks so much Greetje. So glad you like it. Well put xx Sabina


14 Patty

Einfach ein super toller Beitrag, dein Blog ist echt super 🙂

Liebe Grüße 🙂


15 Tiffany

I love the look of lace. It is very elegant. Thanks for putting these looks together.


16 esther

Love wearing lace. A red lace dress looks amazing and makes me feel girly and feminine.


17 Sherry Edwards

For me lace has never been out of style. I always wear it – in or out – it’s always in for me.


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