How To Wear And Look Fabulous In The Lace Blouse Trend

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Every few years or so, it seems like lacey blouses, usually Victorian or Edwardian inspired or similar, come back into style. The lace blouse trend is back with a vengeance for fall 2019. I’ll tell you about the historical fashion inspiration behind this look, and also show you how to wear the lace blouse trend when you’re over 40.

What Is Victorian Style?

Victorian style was popular during the reign of Queen Victoria (of course) and it has become heavily romanticized by Hollywood and fashion designers/aficionados over the years. The blouses that were popular then tended to be super feminine high necked, long sleeved, and were usually worn tucked into skirts and topped with a jacket. Everything was heavily corseted and probably not that comfortable by today’s standards, but you can still capture the spirit! Go here to learn more about Victorian era fashion.

What Is Edwardian Style?

Edwardian style refers to looks that were popular right before World War I. While it might seem similar to Victorian fashion, it revolved more around the “S-curve” and looks tended to be higher waisted and more drapey. It is less strict than the Victorian looks, and usually with more volume in the sleeves. If you watched Downton Abbey, you know the style! Go here to learn more about Edwardian era fashion

While both these eras can seem costume-y or generally tough to wear unless you want to look like an extra in a historical drama, they can be surprisingly elegant. Keep the rest of the outfit modern and add your own personal touch to the look with accessories and jewelry. 

How To Wear The Lace Blouse Trend

Here are the keys to making a lace blouse look modern and fabulous.

Keep The Rest Of Your Look Simple

Cigarette style or slim cropped pants or denim tend to work the best with a lace blouse paired with sleek booties or flats. Avoid anything that looks like it could be the rest of the era-specific costume (unless you are going for that) like fuller skirts or lace-up heeled boots. Think about this black lace blouse by WAYF paired with slim black or ivory trousers, simple stud or drop earrings, and a great cocktail ring and you’ve got the idea. Let the lace shirt or blouse be the focus of the look and you’ll have a winning outfit formula every time. 

The Lace Blouse Trend: One Extravagant Piece

It is a rare woman who can pull off a full on multi-layered maximal lacey look (and we salute all of you!)  Most of us are better off making the lace blouse a statement.

Know Your Figure

Edwardian style or higher necked pieces emphasize a larger bust, while lower peasant, tie-neck or cravat styles actually can draw the line away from it. For the former (and petite up top) types, we love this Halogen lace crepe blouse, which would be easy to dress up with the aforementioned slim pants or down with jeans and flats. The latter can try this peasant style blouse from Velvet by Graham and Spencer available at Anthropologie that has the ideal neckline for a delicate necklace (or three). 

Bell Sleeves Or Poet Sleeves

Bell sleeves or poet sleeves are fun to wear – and flattering. They might be a little impractical for day to day life (especially bell sleeves). But volume at the sleeves adds drama. Plus they can distract from your upper arms if that’s an area where you don’t want to draw attention. This poet-sleeved blouse from FP One at Shopbop has a flowy elegance, or go for serious drama with this black lace blouse by Divine Heritage

Or Go Sleeveless

It’s definitely not authentic to the time frame or fashion era that these blouses were originally popular in, but making them sleeveless like this black version from Generation Love can certainly go a long way towards updating the look. 

Invest In Quality

Cheap lace looks well, cheap, so this is one trend that you don’t want to go for the fast fashion. If you love the look, something like this Beufile lace blouse could be a worthwhile investment, especially if it fits with your personal style and you know that it will always come back into fashion. We also love this Andrew GN black and white lace blouse for a unique take on the look. 

The Victorian or Edwardian style lace blouses can be a romantic, dreamy look if they fit your personal style. The key to keeping them modern is to invest in a quality piece and pair them with contemporary items. This keeps things from being overly costume-y, unless that fits your personal aesthetic! 

When you are wearing one of these types of tops, keep your jewelry simple and delicate as well. Especially with the particularly lacey ones, there is a lot going on. You likely don’t want to distract from the details of your beautiful blouse. 

What do you think of this lace blouse look? Is it too much or just enough? 

–Jacqueline Zenn

Sources: victorian-era.org, vintagedancer.com

This post contains affiliate links which may give us a commission at no additional cost to you.

You may also like to read about more fall 2019 trends like How To Get The Top Fall 2019 Jewelry Trends For Less and It’s All In The Elegant Details For Fall 2019.

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Comments (3)

  • Haralee 6 months ago Reply

    Love the lace blouse!The poet sleeves the frilly necklines, I am drawn to it!

  • debbie 6 months ago Reply

    Good article Lauren. I actually saw the headline and thought “aargh-a lace blouse style now?- but I read the article and found it interesting and I liked the referral links to victorian and edwardian history. I also see that it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming lace top (and they do over-power me at times) and if it leans towards bohemian I am all there. Thanks!!!

    Lauren Dimet Waters 6 months ago Reply

    I was apprehensive when I saw this was a trend at first too but like you I looked into it a bit more and I am now loving it. It does lean a little bohemian which is probably why I love it too! With jeans I am all over it! In fact I bought one of the ones shown.

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